Essay on Bertha: Jane Eyre

Submitted By bakerjoe
Words: 855
Pages: 4

Selenna Villanueva
AP Literature
Period 4
2/19/15
Minor Character Essay Rewrite In our society, people are always being told how they should act, what they should wear, who they should be etc. As a result, it has become extremely difficult for people to understand themselves and their desires. In the book Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, the story follows the journey of a young, orphan girl named Jane Eyre into adulthood and self-discovery during the Victorian era, an era which encapsulates conformity. Jane faces several trials and tribulations throughout the book including a character named Bertha who, although makes a brief appearance, has a significant impact upon the book and illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole that it is significant for people to know and value themselves. Bertha’s significant, albeit momentary, presence reflects upon the meaning of the work as a whole that it is important that people know and value themselves. In the book, Bertha is a giant obstacle between Mr. Rochester and Jane. Mr. Rochester, the man whom Jane loves, is about to propose to Jane, however, unbeknownst to her, he already has a wife named Bertha who had been living in his attic. Hurt and confused, Jane is forced to choose between herself or the man she loves. Ultimately, Bertha’s role as Mr. Rochester’s undisclosed wife makes Jane realize that she loves herself the most, thus she leaves Mr. Rochester. It was a painful decision for her but she knew she deserved more than the role of his mistress. Jane’s decision to put herself first after discovering the awful truth that is Bertha reflects upon the meaning of the work as a whole. It is through her own heartbreak that she strengthens and becomes the independent woman she is by the end of the book. If Jane had just married Mr. Rochester without any obstacles she would have become an obedient wife and she wouldn’t have had to chance to fully discover who she is. It is this very heartbreak causes Jane to become much stronger than Mr. Rochester and realize her own self-worth. In addition to making Jane realize her own self-worth, Bertha’s appearance makes Jane realize what she truly desired thus reflecting upon the meaning of the work as a whole. Upon discovering Bertha, Jane was given the chance to leave Thornfield and rediscover her life and family. She was able to carve her own path in the world and learn not to marry just because it was offered to her. This is evident when St. John asks for her hand in marriage and she refuses. The marriage would have been certainly convenient; however, Jane knew the man she truly wanted to be with was Mr. Rochester. While Jane continues onto her path of self-discovery, Mr. Rochester is left emotionally and physically destroyed when Bertha sets the house on fire. Mr. Rochester becomes completely dependent upon Jane and the balance in their relationship shifts. When Jane finally returns to Mr. Rochester it is of her own accord. It was no longer a choice between herself or Mr. Rochester but her choice to be with Mr. Rochester because she loved and knew herself. Bertha’s impact upon the story illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole by making Jane realize that she desires freedom. In the story, Bertha is…