The classic novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte tells the story of a young woman maturing into a gracious, intelligent woman with the help of friends, but most importantly education. To escape from her cruel aunt, Jane went to a charity school for girls named Lowood. She exceled in all her classes, leading her to believe that she would be teaching as her occupation. Soon it all changes when she becomes governess of an unusual yet charming man’s ward in a wealthy household. After her parents passed away, Jane was sent to live at Gateshead where she was severely mistreated by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and her cousins. When received an offer to go to school, it was like all of her prayers have been answered. It isn’t luck that changes Jane’s life. What alters her life is her desire for a good education. Jane’s education is significant because without it, Jane wouldn’t have been inspired to be a governess, therefore Jane took learning seriously; Bronte’s purpose for this theme is to show that Jane has the necessary wits and intelligence to pursue her dreams by working hard in school.
Charlotte Bronte confronts the importance of education in this Victorian novel as she portrays Jane as a young lady who sees the importance of education for her future. During her time at Lowood, Helen and Miss Temple had a conversation that changed Jane’s life. “They conversed of things I had never heard of; of nations and times past; of countries far away: of secrets of nature discovered or guessed at: they spoke of books: how many they had read! What stores of knowledge they possessed! (pg 105)” From then on, Jane knew what she wanted to do, and by the time she was old enough to work, she was good at it. “Oh, don’t fall back on over-modesty! I have examined Adèle, and find you have taken great pains with her: she is not bright, she has no talents; yet in a short time she has made much improvement." This quote proves that Jane was good at what she did while changing other people’s lives in the process.
Jane gets excited about going to school for numerous reasons; the most important reason is she finally gets to leave Gateshead. She’s so tired of the animosity and disgust that she doesn’t care where she goes, as long as it is far away from Gateshead. “Besides, school would be a complete change: it implied a long journey, an entire separation from Gateshead, an entrance into a new life. (pg 31) Lowood is a charity school for girls, therefore the conditions are not what one would expect. Being accustomed to living lavishly, it is even harder for Jane to adapt to it especially since Mr. Brocklehurst called her a liar in front of the class. This doesn’t stop Jane’s curiosity for learning. “I scarcely knew what school was; Bessie sometimes spoke of it as a place where young ladies sat in the stocks, wore backboards, and were expected to be exceedingly genteel and precise; John Reed hated his school, and abused his master: but John Reed’s tastes were no rule for mine... (pg 31)” Jane’s attendance at Lowood, which results in her receiving a good education, earns her a job as a governess for Adel, This couldn’t have ever been possible if she did