Passion,Dreams In Jane Eyre Essay, Research Paper
Passion, Dreams, and the Supernatural in Jane Eyre
Eliza Brownell ‘97 (English 61 1993)
ntrospection, half-belief in the supernatural, conflicting emotions,
gushing description appear throughout Jane Eyre. Rochester’s mention of
prescience — both foreshadowing and premonition — come up again and again
throughout the work. “I knew. . . you would do me good in some way . . . I saw
it in your eyes when I first beheld you,” Rochester tells Jane. Both he and she
believe implicitly the things they read in eyes, in nature, in dreams. Jane has
dreams which she considers unlucky, and sure enough, ill fortune befalls her or
her kin. When she is in a garden which seems “Eden-like” and laden with “honey-dew”, the love
of her life proposes to her. However, that very night the old horse-chestnut tree at the bottom
of the garden is struck by lightning and split in half, hinting at the difficulties that lie in
store for the couple.
The turbulent exploration of Jane’s emotions so characteristic of the text reveals some of
Bront?’s most prevalent ideas — that judgment must always “warn passion,” and that the sweet
“hills of Beulah” are found within oneself.
As Jane grows throughout the book, one of the most important things she learns is to rule her
heart with her mind. When a child at Gateshead she becomes entirely swept up in an emotional
tantrum, which proves to be the most painful memory of her childhood. At the pivotal point in
the plot when Jane decides to leave Rochester, she puts her love for him second to the
knowledge that she cannot ethically remain with him – the “counteracting breeze” once again
preventing her from reaching paradise. Only when Rochester has become worthy of her, and
judgment and passion move toward the same end, can she marry him and achieve complete
Charlotte Bront?, like her heroine, traveled to wondrous lands within the confines of her own
head. While Jane, engrossed in Bewick’s History of British Birds,…
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