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Jane sums herself up as, "a governess, disconnected, poor and plain." To what extent do you agree with her and in what ways is she much more than this?

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Introduction

Ciara Mc Kendry Jane Eyre C'work Jane sums herself up as, "a governess, disconnected, poor and plain." To what extent do you agree with her and in what ways is she much more than this? I believe this statement is untrue. Jane was a lot more than who she said she was. She started out as a reserved, isolated and lost child at Gateshead, but gradually achieved a lot more in life. She gained confidence, independence and happiness, and developed the capacity to love. Jane Eyre became an orphan at a very early age. She came to live with an Aunt and her children, who were disrespectful towards her, leading to her growing up in a hostile and restrictive environment. They incessantly undermined her self-esteem, forcing Jane to live her life in poverty, "...poverty for me was synonymous with degradation."(p.19) As Jane grew up, with the Reed family perceiving her as an outcast, mean and a dependent, she gradually believed this was to be the truth, "I was a precocious actress in her eyes; she sincerely looked on me as a compound of virulent passions, mean spirit, and dangerous duplicity."(P.12) Her progression was inhibited, as the Reed family were aware and jealous of her potential and abilities. ...read more.

Middle

Nobody actually said she was ugly, yet she was never complimented about her rather strange looks. Bessie commented, "(she was) no beauty as a child,"(P.92) whilst Abbot said, "if she were a nice, pretty child, one might compassionate her forlornness; but one really cannot care for such a little toad as that."(P.21) This was not suited to work with a child like the mind of Jane's who had no self-confidence. However, Jane soon rid herself of her disconnected and plain image. The first signs of this were when she first met the Rivers sisters, "She has a peculiar face...I rather like it."(P.358) and Rochester, who sees her as "not naturally austere...(her) looks and movements will have more vivacity and variety than they dare offer now."(P.143) She felt confident in the company of Rochester and she felt good about herself, which didn't happen too often, when he said encouraging and pleasant comments, "Jane, you look blooming, and smiling, and pretty."(P.271) In a way, she felt she had power over their conversation. She seeks love in Rochester and it means more to her than life itself, "If others don't love me then I would rather die than live." She had the same effect on Rochester and it seemed different and somewhat absurd to be wanted, as she had never experienced being loved before. ...read more.

Conclusion

She understood this as he "has no more of a husband's heart for (her) than that frowning giant of a rock."(P.429) Their love was more shallow and unreal compared to hers and Rochester's, where they bonded more. Jane's true love for Rochester is proven when she finds out about the fire at Thornfield, "I am strangely glad to get back again to you: wherever you are is my home-my only home."(P.258) When she learnt about Rochester's disabilities, he became blind and a cripple, she feels it is vital to be there with him so he could be comforted and encouraged, "A loving eye is all the charm needed."(P.257) Her feelings of a stronger love for Rochester came about and they decided to get married. In conclusion, I believe the statement is very untrue. Jane portrays of herself in such a way to show her self-esteem was not too good at the time and is proven throughout the book how her character had grown so much from being plain, to being a person who was so much and had so much. She was a passionate young lady with many talents in profusion and who attained a lot more confidence and independence. After all the obstacles she had met, "Mr Edward and (her), then, are happy."(P.480) She turned herself around from being a disconnected, poor and plain young girl, to a connected, wealthy and beautiful young lady. ...read more.

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