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Jane Eyre Themes

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Cassie Kornstadt

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of Jane Eyre Themes

Jane Eyre Lucas Hernandez
Mrs. Qualls
British Lit. Honors
12 December 2012 Themes Themes Loss and Recovery Works Cited Passion v. Reason Gender Roles Self Reliance Value of Compassion Biography Pictures of Bronte Charlotte Bronte Charlotte Bronte was born April 21, 1816. Her father was Rev. Patrick Bronte, and her mother's name was Maria. Bronte and her family moved to Howarth in 1820. In 1824 Charlotte and three of her sisters were enrolled at the Clergy Daughter School at Cowan Bridge. Bronte and her sister Emily were brought home after their two eldest sisters became sick and died. In 1846 Bronte began working on Jane Eyre, while caring for her father who was recovering from eye surgery. In 1847 Jane Eyre was published. In 1849 Charlotte's sister Anne died of consumption, as did her sister Emily the year before. In 1855 Charlotte and her unborn child died, because Bronte contracted tuberculosis. A year later her novel The Professor was published. Charlotte Bronte had many of her works publish such as poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villete, and The Professor. Throughout the novel Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte uses compassion to shape the characters destinies. Jane grows up in a home where her aunt and cousins, mainly her cousin John, treat her like she is no better than a common dog. Even though Jane tried to stay on her best behavior everything she did caused her to get into trouble. The fate of her aunt Reed and cousin John were reflected by the lack of compassion they had for Jane. John dropped out of school and became an uneducated heavy man who did nothing in his life and inevitably killed himself. Her Aunt whom sent Jane to a charity school because she did not want to be burdened by Jane had a stroke and had a painful and slow death. At Lowood Mr. Brocklehurst tells everyone a lie about Jane being a dishonest person even though he knew nothing about her and did not care to hear Jane’s testimony. Because he had done such a heartless deed Bronte seals his fate with a demotion from the head of Lowood to a second in command position. Despite the accusations against Jane Miss. Temple, her kind teacher allows Jane to prove her innocence. The compassion that Miss. Temple shows Jane is rewarded, fait allows Miss. Temple to be married and she goes off to live a wonderful life. Now in the twenty first century it is not odd for a woman to speak out against a man or to hold a place of power, however in the nineteenth century this would have been unheard of. Men were considered the dominate gender. They were thought to be the ones who are smarter, stronger, and more powerful. While women were assumed to be weak and dumb. Bronte was a woman ahead of her time, because she believed that a woman could do anything a man could do if not better. Bronte portrayed this mindset throughout the novel through the attitude of Jane Eyre. Jane speaks her mind whenever she wants to, which would have been seen as a sign of disrespect. In the Victorian era women would never person tell a man what they were doing was cruel or dishonest they would simply bite there tongue and deal with whatever was going on. However Jane has no problem in telling a man they are flat out wrong, for example when Jane tells Mr. Rochester that he is making a poor decision in marrying Blanche Ingram. Because Bronte was somewhat of a feminist she gave Jane the ability to be self reliant. Jane grows up learning that the only person that can help her succeed is herself. She uses her self reliance the most in her late teens when she put out an announcement that she is looking for a job as a governess. This is an act of self reliance because in that time period a woman would have a man seek employment as a governess for her. She also showed self reliance when she split her inheritance with her cousins, the Rivers, and only kept what she felt was necessary for her to live comfortably. Jane Eyre was a person of reason until she went to Thornfield Hall to become a Governess. She falls in love with her employer Mr. Rochester even though she knows that it is wrong. At first she tries so avoid being alone with him but she seems to repeatedly be put in situations where they are alone together. After a while she gives into her passion, and Rochester admits his love for her. When Jane and Rochester’s wedding is stopped Jane feels that the reasonable thing to do is to leave Rochester, and that is what she does. A few months later she cannot control her passion any longer and she goes back to Rochester. Upon return she is acknowledge to the fact that Rochester was a blind cripple and that he is no longer married. Perhaps the reasonable thing to do would have been to leave the crippled Rochester but her passion for him was greater that what was reasonable and she marries him. Jane experiences loss and recovery throughout the entire novel. Her first loss is the death of her parents, although her parents died before she could consciously remember them she still is at a loss for a true family. Jane loses her best friend Helen to consumption; she also loses her love Mr. Rochester. After she lost Mr. Rochester she was united with her cousins that she didn’t know she had; she also gains a family when she returns to Rochester and finally marries him. Biography:
"Charlotte Bronte: A Brief Biography." Charlotte Bronte: A Brief Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/brontbio.html>.

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