Jane Eyre essay

Submitted By berim
Words: 1355
Pages: 6

Jane Eyre, it is only fitting that the title bears her name and her name alone. Jane Eyre, as a child this title captures her central struggle, ostracized by the Reeds and loathed by Mr. Brocklehurst, she yearns to be loved, even if it means sacrificing the parts of herself she holds dearest. But as an adult the title of the this novel captures a different sense of independence, not one of loathsome segregation but of choice isolation, a realization that happiness is not rooted completely in love nor seeded completely in sovereignty but manifested as a combination of both. There is no love for Jane in the Reed house. Divided by class, Jane finds herself at odds with her fellow inhabitants, specifically John Reed. John consistently abuses Jane both verbally and physically, in one instance hurling a book at Jane, his rationale being that Jane has “no money” and has “no business to take” their books. Jane does not take so kindly to these words and reproaches, “…You are like Roman Emperors!” There can be no love for Jane in the Reed House because she is not of the same class. It is a sad reality; one Charlotte Bronte remains all the more critical of. For John is a symbol of the tyranny that classism imparts, his gluttony at the table a representation of the greed and his hurling of the book a representation of their oppressive power. He does not allow Jane to read for he fears what reading does, allowing her to see that women can be intellectuals, that women are not what male patriarchy would have them believe and that if class had not existed maybe Jane would be loved and perceived as their equal. Jane speaks out against the system and for it she is imprisoned in The Red-Room. The former quarters of the now deceased Mr. Reed. Caged, Jane keenly observes the lavish decorations covered in a “quiet dust” and the “chill” of the room from a lack of “fire”, it was lifeless, without love, without emotion, “solemn”, and though Jane is eventually freed from The Red Room, she never leaves it in spirit, always tormented by a lack of love. This lack of love is carried with her even to Lowood and though she is able to capture moments of happiness, they are just that, moments, fleeting with the wind of misfortune. Helen Burns dies and Miss Temple leaves, but Jane still holds on to this misguided sense of childlike optimism, that there’s more to be had in this world, that she too can experience that same sense of adventure experienced by Gulliver. She sets out to Thornfield Hall. It is at Thornfield Hall that Jane is to teach Adele, a young lady who shares similar circumstance with Jane. Though not scorned to the severity of her governess, Jane fears that Adele is in danger of fulfilling the same malicious cycle she had previously experienced. Mr. Rochester’s indifference towards her, Lady Ingram’s irritation with her, and her eventual enrollment in a boarding school similar to Lowood Institute all inform this. Although Jane plays her own role in perpetuating this cycle by teaching Adele the skills necessary to be ladylike and entertain, she harbors a genuine compassion towards Adele because she fears that she is a victim to the same circumstance that she fell victim to. Jane grows close to Adele, and Mrs. Fairfax too for that matter, creating a family of sorts to get her through the trials and tribulations at Thornfield Hall, a feeling of belonging that she had not previously known. As Heidi Kelcher writes “Belonging to a family is a major theme in Jane Eyre.” She goes on to write ”The novel’s structure buttresses the theme of Jane’s search for a family. Beginning with the false, hurtful family of Mrs. Reed and her spoiled children, Jane encounters increasingly more rewarding versions of family coinciding with her personal maturation”, ultimately culminating in the creation of her own family with Rochester. Thornfield Hall also introduces the first love interest of Jane Eyre, and though Jane comes to truly love Rochester, she is at…