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Themes in Jane Eyre
Transcript of Themes in Jane Eyre
Connections Exploring Theme One must be self-respecting and religious, while
also exercising the freedom to love and feel Ones identity and happiness can be achieved by the sense of belonging and love Helen What is theme? The theme of a piece of fiction
is its view about life and how
people behave. In other words,
it is the universal truth
about life. In fiction, the theme is not always
intended to teach or preach. In fact,
it is not presented directly at all. You
extract it from the characters action
and setting that make up the story.
In other words, you must come up
with the theme yourself by
making inferences. To determine theme, We ask what insights into life or human nature are revealed in the story. The theme is never a question or a single word. It is always a statement.The theme statement should reflect the values of the entire work, not just one or two episodes or lines
Examples: hard work brings rewards; good always wins out; coming of age "... to gain some real affection from you, or Miss Temple, or any whom I truly love, I would willingly submit to have the bone of my arm broken." (Chapter 9)
In the conversation with Helen and Jane, Jane is suggesting that in order to have true love, she would give or sacrifice parts of herself for love. "Hush Jane, you think too much of the love of human beings...why should we sink with distress..." ( Chapter8)
Helen symbolizes a religion Jane essentially rejects. This allows Jane to form her own perspective about faith and principle consequences. She believes love from a human won't expire. Helen, Jane's friend can almost be seen as a Martyr figure. At Lowwod, Helen receives punishments yet accepts them without rebelling, almost characterizing her as Christ-like. Helen can also be seen as a messianic figure. An example of this would be a chapter when Helen dies, and even the markings on Helen's grave "Resurgem" meaning "I will rise again" can be seen as Christ like. Helen is a perfect example of the theme of balancing religion with love and freedom because she teaches Jane how to love and how to look past people's fault instead of criticizing them for it. Although Helen devalue's the love of human's and preaches that it is only through the love of God that one can survive, she pushes Jane to start respecting herself in order to be able to love. "Jane, you understand what I want from you? Just this promise-'I will be yours, Mr. Rochester.'
'Mr. Rochester, I will not be yours'" (p.364). "'...I have been married to Mr. Rochester this morning'" (p.521).
After Jane having received her wealth, Jane agrees to Mr. Rochesters second proposal. The reason that Jane accepts the proposal this time is due to how she is now in the same social class as Mr. Rochester, Jane feels that she now belongs. After not receiving love from former people in Janes life, she meets Mr. Rochester, who she falls in love with. Replying no to Mr. Rochester first proposal, portrays how Jane is not sure about marring him due to social class differences. Jane feels as if this difference is in the way of her sense of belonging. Love has no boundaries. Religion and spirituality are key factors in how characters develop in the novel. Jane matures partly because she learns to follow Christian lessons and resist temptation. Helen Burns introduces Jane to the New Testament, which becomes a moral guidepost for Jane throughout her life. As Jane develops her relationship with God, Mr. Rochester must also reform his pride, learn to pray, and become humble. Bronte depicts different forms of religion: Helen trusts in salvation; Eliza Reed becomes a French Catholic nun; and St. John preaches a gloomy Calvinist faith. The novel attempts to steer a middle course. In Jane, Bronte sketches a virtuous faith that does not consume her individual personality. Jane is self-respecting and religious, but also exercises her freedom to love and feel. A "religious figure" in Jane Eyre is Mr. Broklehurst. Though he is charitable to the school, he is hypocritical as his family is lavished in fine clothing. When the reader first meets Mr.Broklehurst, Bronte describes him as "a black piller" with a "grim face at the top was like a carved mask" (pg 25) and again he is described as being a "black marble" (page 56) when he punishes Jane at Lowood. These descriptions of Mr. Broklehurst makes him seem cold, evil, two- faced and emotionless. Although he contradicts the point of the theme stated, he is also a character that Bronte mocks, emphasizing the importance of balancing one's religious aspects and the ability to love and feel.