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Jane Eyre

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Introduction

Explore how Jane emerges as an intelligent and educated woman by the end of the novel. Throughout the novel, Jane experiences many hardships which help her mature and develop into the young woman she eventually becomes. She overcomes the problems and mistreatment she faces during her life and emerges an independent, strong woman. The novel was written in the Victorian era; a time where women were judged on factors such as wealth and beauty. Jane, however, was neither of those so had to gain her place in ways which were seen unconventional at the time. While staying with the Reeds, she is constantly belittled and made to feel of less worth than them 'humbled by my physical inferiority' (p. 1). Jane is constantly devalued and neglected, even at one point being told that she is 'less than a servant'. She is treated as an outsider and therefore has to learn how to cope when there is no one to rely on and turn to. This causes her, even from an early age, to learn the importance of self dependence. Through having to spend a lot of time alone, Jane reads a lot developing her knowledge. 'You are like a slave driver - you are like the Roman emperors" (p. ...read more.

Middle

Fairfax. 'I felt a pang at the idea that she could even temporarily misconstrue what she had seen' (p.83) She worries about being thought badly of by Mrs. Fairfax. Jane respects her opinion and seeks her approval, becoming upset when she doesn't receive it. A family system is therefore formed between Jane, Mrs. Fairfax and Adele. Jane, at first, doesn't know how to act in Mr. Rochester's presence. 'You fear in the presence of a man to smile to gaily' (p.43) Throughout her life, Jane has barely any contact with men so is unsure of how a lady in her position should behave. She has never experienced being in such a close proximity with a man so regularly, and is concerned of doing something which could have been seen as the 'wrong' thing to do in those times. Jane's relationship with Mr. Rochester helps her to grow on an emotional level. 'I looked at my face in the glass and felt it was no longer plain'. Her relationship with Mr. Rochester helps raise her self esteem, as it proves to that she has desirable characteristics. This gives her something she has been missing: the feeling that she is worth something. Bronte using the word plain gives an insight for the reader of just how little self belief Jane had and how negative a view she had of herself. ...read more.

Conclusion

417) Her experiences in the year help her to overcome what she felt before, and now she feels capable to return to Mr. Rochester after everything that has happened. She has matured emotionally and is now able to face something which caused her so much pain before. By the end of the novel, Jane is able to put the past behind her 'Reader, I married him' (p. 477). She can move on from all the hurt she felt and can allow herself to act on her love for him again. Now they are equals, each with their own identity, and it's magnanimous the way Bronte shows Jane overpowering Rochester. Jane now has control and is in charge of herself, without needing anyone else. The Victorian audience would have been shocked by this unusual power exchange and viewed it with almost a sense of awe. Through Jane's remarkable life, everything she experiences helps to shape her into the women she becomes. She has a strong character which helps her get through the bad, and helps her eventually emerge as an educated and independent woman. She gains her identity, finding out her past and meeting her family. The suffering she experienced, from the brutal bullying with the Reeds through to being deceived by Mr. Rochester, increased her emotional resilience greatly. She learnt many life lessons, and came out at the end as a more internally complete woman. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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