Jane Eyre 9 Essay, Research Paper
By Charlotte Bronte
Approximate Date Written: 1847
Jane Eyre. The orphaned daughter lives happily ever after. Jane is the main character in this novel and shows a lot of conviction and maturity even at a young age.
Edward Fairfax Rochester is the main love interest in Jane s life and eventually becomes her husband. Edward is a bit of the opposite of Jane since he is a bit rough cut and gruff. He does want a wife who loves him even though is already married with a child. Edward isn t a monster and does have a compassionate side.
Adele Varens is Rochester s daughter from a previous affair. Even though Rochester denies the fact that she is his daughter, he takes her in as his ward. Adele becomes very good friends with Jane.
Bertha Rochester is Edwards s first wife. She has lost her mind and is locked in her room often but escapes from time to time. She plays a vital role when she lights Jane s bed on fire and then kills herself, causing Thronfield to burn down and Edward s handicaps.
John and Sara Reed are Jane s cousin and aunt who torment her in her early years. They teach Jane to forgive and then cause her to move to a school for eight years.
Plot and Topic
Jane Eyre is about a plain and simple girl named of course, Jane Eyre. Her parents died when she was very young and she goes off to live her aunt and her cousins (smells like Cinderella). Ten years pass and her aunt and cousins constantly mistreat Jane. Her aunt suffers a stroke and she gets sent to boarding school and stays there for eight years. She becomes a Governess at Thronfield and she and the master of the house Edward Rochester falls in love. While Jane stays at Thornfield, she sees and hears a lot of strange things that remain a mystery to her. Jane s wedding day arrives and before Jane and Edward are to be married, a man named Mason stops the wedding and says that Rochester has a crazy wife who is locked up in a room in Thornfield. Upset, Jane leaves and Rochester s nutty wife sets fire to Thornfield and jumps from the roof, killing herself. Jane lives with some new cousins and returns one year later to Rochester. Unfortunately Rochester has been blinded with limited vision in one eye, disfigured and has lost his left hand from the fire a year ago but Jane still loves him and they get married.
Theme and Purpose
One theme from Jane Eyre is that love conquers all. Jane and Rochester are in love even though their age differences and their social upbringings. They ve been through a lot of problems together such as Bertha, Rochester s insane wife and the Thronfield being burnt down. After all this Jane returned to him and married him even though he was blinded and disfigured. That just proves that Jane loves Rochester no matter what.
Another prominent theme in the novel was what goes around comes around. Everybody in the book got exactly what he or she deserves. For instance, Mrs. Reed, Jane s aunt treated Jane harshly and she had a stroke when she found out that her darling son John had killed himself. John Reed who bullied Jane as a child had a gambling problem and killed himself. Edward Rochester, Jane s lover, locked his wife away in a room and he paid for that sin with his sight and face. However Jane who suffered so much in her life, was rewarded with true love and riches, which she received from a dead uncle.
The main theme is that nothing can conquer true love. What Jane and Edward had was true love. If it was anything else, Jane would ve left him for good or she wouldn t have married him even after she found out that he was blinded disfigured and lost his left hand. Because of their love, Jane looked beyond those handicaps and married Edward out of love.
There are many symbols in Jane Eyre such as Jane s sea. Jane had a dream about a buoyant but unquiet sea. She fought against the sea all night in her dream, where she moved toward a beautiful land, but was puled back by a a counter-acting breeze. The sea represents her and Rochester s love and all the obstacles it will go through in the future.
Jane has another dream in which she is clutching an infant and watching Thornfield crumble. The infant represented Jane s sadness as a child and the sadness she will go through in the future. Thornfield falling apart is a sign of what is to become to Thronfield in the future hence the fire.
Another symbol is the novel is a Chestnut tree. It was right after Edward Rochester proposed that the weather became stormy and they both went inside. The next morning Adele, Rochester s ward/daughter, told Jane that a horse chestnut was struck by lighting and was split in half. The thing is that Mr. Rochester proposed to Jane under that very tree which was struck by lighting and that symbolized the troubles that Jane and Rochester would go through and that they would separate sometime in the future.
Another symbol was a rock that Jane read about in a book when she was a child. The rock was standing alone in a sea of billow and spray. The rock symbolized Jane and the billow and spray represented Jane s aunt and her son who consistently took shots at her by bullying her.
After Jane had left Thronfield, she wandered around from town to town looking for some work and a home. She had basically no luck until she reached a house of St. John and his sisters. She was taken in and cared for but she did not know that the people that were caring for her were her cousins and her cousins did know their relation to Jane either. It was not until some time later that they both realized that they were related.
A really ironic situation was between Jane and her aunt, Mrs. Reed who was a rich, widowed, landowner who along with her children, treated Jane harshly. Her husband, Jane s uncle later wrote a letter giving his entire estate to Jane but she did not receive this letter until Mrs. Reed was on her deathbed. Now Mrs. Reed s son treated Jane the worst out of all the children and he was also a compulsive gambler and lost all his money, which was also his mother s money. He then killed himself and caused his mother s stroke and left his mother broke. Jane, on the other hand, received her uncle s estate and lived while Mrs. Reed and her son, who mistreated Jane so much, died penniless.
Another irony was that Rochester was a caretaker. He cared for his crazy wife. He also cared for his daughter and Thronfield and Jane. Now suddenly he has been blinded and handicapped and he is now the one needs to be taken care of.
The big conflict in Jane Eyre is her struggle against her social and personal limitations. The first fight comes when she has a choice between living with her poorer relatives or living with her rich relatives. Jane chooses the richer relatives since she thinks that her poorer relatives would be dirty and rude but she probably would ve been happier with the poorer family since they would not have treated her badly. The second conflict comes when Jane finds out that Rochester is married to Bertha even though it is not for love. Jane has the choice of staying with him or leaving him. The next conflict is when Jane and Edward are going to be married but Edward s mother doesn t approve of the marriage since the difference between their ages and social upbringings and standings. The gap between them was twenty years and back then it was not acceptable, much like today. The last example of conflict comes when back to Rochester a year after the fire. He is now disfigured and blind and needs to be taken care of. She could either marry him or leave him since he isn t the man he used to be. Jane however marries him.
The tone in Jane Eyre is a detached one. It is unemotional and very serious. The author tells the story without a lot of drama and a lot of the events in Jane s life are similar to Bronte s life. It gives the novel a definite personal touch.
An example of imagery in Jane Eyre was when the spring of the plague of typhus. Jane was at Lowood, her boarding school during a beautiful spring, which contrasts with the horrible conditions in the school. Days of blue sky, placid sunshine, and soft western or southern hales filled up its duration. And now vegetation matured with vigour; Lowood shook loose its tresses; it became all green, all flowers; it s great elm, ash, and oak skeletons were restored to majestic life; woodland plants sprang up profusely in its recesses; unnumbered varieties of moss filled its hollows, and it made a strange ground-sunshine out of the wealth of its wild primrose plants: I have seen their pale gold gleam in overshadowed spots like scatterings of the sweetest lustre.
A good example of the imagery in Jane Eyre is the author s description of a Midsummer-eve sunset. It s much like Twains description of the Mississippi River. Where the sun had gone down in simple state-pure of the pomp of clouds-spread a solemn purple, burning with the light of red jewel and furnace flame at one point, on one hillpeak, and extending high and wide, soft and still softer, over half heaven. The east had its own charm of fine, deep blue, and its own modest gem, a rising and solitary star
Another example of imagery was after Mason had been sent away to the doctor after his sister had attacked him, Jane and Rochester walked in the garden in the early morning since they couldn t sleep. A walk edged with box, with apple-trees, pear-trees, and cheery trees on one side.
Another example is when Jane met Mrs. Fairfax, Rochester s maid, and was led to the attic to see the view of Thornfield. The bright and velvet lawn closely girdling the gray base of the mansion; the field, wide as a park, dotted with its ancient timber; the wood, dun and sere, divided by a path visible overgrown, greener with moss than the trees with foliage.
Setting and Historical Events
Jane Eyre takes placed in the mid-nineteenth century England in the Victorian Era. There are no actual historical events mentioned in this book and those that were mentioned were not of great importance.
An allusion in the novel was when Rochester asked Jane to describe St. John after telling him her story after the burning of Thornfield. She said John was a well-mannered and handsome man and Rochester got jealous and called him a graceful Apollo, who was a Greek and Roman god of manly beauty, music, poetry, light, prophecy, and healing. Rochester then said he was Vulcan, who also was a Greek and Roman God of metalworking and fire and was very ugly.
Another allusion was a Cairgorm Stone, which was a stone that was found in the Cairgorm Mountain is stone that is a dark brown color. Jane s cousin Eliza was said to have her parents Cairngorm eye. That meant that Eliza had her parents dark brown eye color.
An allusion in the novel was when Mason was stabbed and sent to the doctor and Jane and Rochester was talking out in the garden. He asked Jane if she approved of his marriage to his first wife. The west wind whispered in the ivy round me; but no gentle Ariel borrowed its beneath as a medium of speech When Jane speaks of Ariel, she is talking about a sprit named Ariel who was a spirit of the air in Shakespeare s Tempest. She was required to use his magic to help another person in the play. Jane wished that the wind would be Ariel from the Tempest coming to give her an answer.
An example of an allusion was when Mr. Rochester described his bride, Miss Ingram as big, brown and buxom; with hair just such as the ladies of Carthage must have. Carthage was a city in Africa that and the women in Africa had dark, thick, and curly hair which was the type of hair that his first wife had.
A good allusion was after Rochester asked Jane to see the new carriage he had got for Miss Ingram. Rochester said: …and whether she won t look like Queen Boadicea, leaning back against those purple cushions. Queen Boadicea was a queen of the Iceni and a leader of an unsuccessful revolt. Rochester meant that his wife would look like a Queen in the new carriage.
Another example of an allusion was when Rochester proposed to Jane. She was thinking of Hercules and Samson with their charmers. Samson was a Biblical figure in the Bible who fell in love with a woman named Delilah. She later tricked him and brought about his downfall. Hercules was a mythological character that married Deianira and she ended up killing him when he fell in love with another princess. Jane thought that Rochester was charming her and maybe mocking her.
A final allusion was when Jane called Rochester King Ahasuerus when he offered her half of his estate. King Ahasuerus was a king in Persia and was the husband of Esther. He fell love with Esther and made her a queen even though she was a common girl. Jane is saying that she feels like Esther and Rochester is the king.
Bronte wrote Jane Eyre in a Victorian style. It is a very formal style of writing. The characters in the novel have the values and actions of the Victorian era. An example would be regard for family and morals. An example of this would be when Rochester asked Jane to be his mistress because he was unable to marry her. Jane refused because she thought it was immoral and wrong and disrespectful to herself and his wife.
The voice in Jane Eyre is a voice of maturity. Bronte tells the story of Jane like a flashback movie. Most of the excitement in Jane s life happened before she was twenty and that has forced her to grow up quickly. While growing up, Jane s outlook on life changed several times. An example would be when she held a deep resentment and hate toward her aunt when she was a child. However as she grew older she let go of the hate and forgave her as she lay on her deathbed.
My favorite quote from Jane Eyre was: It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you The reason I love this quote is I agree with it and I always have tried to follow my life to this quote. I think that if others thought like this and then acted there would be many more selfless people in this world.
Life Lesson Learned
The lesson I got from this novel was to trust in love and everything will work out. Love will conquer all.