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From her troubles with the abusive Reed family, her friendships at Lowood, her love of Mr Rochester and her time with the Rivers family, Jane’s character remains strong and vigilant despite the hardships she endures. Through the course of the novel, Jane’s character changes slightly but moreover reinforces itself as Jane uses people, situations and her personal experiences to gain knowledge, and assist her gaining her full character.
From when she was a child, Jane had forthright values of herself and an example is when she reprimanded John Reed for attacking her with a book, Wicked and cruel boy! I said. You are like a murderer you are like a slave driver You are like the Roman emperors! She was exiled and alienated by the Reed family, creating a very independent spiritHer character is more quick to concise and imaginative whilst also being perceptive. I was a discord in Gateshead Hall. I was like no one there; I had nothing in harmony with Mrs Reed or her children or her chosen vassalage. She knew that the Reed family strongly dislike her and the reason behind it. Justice and principle was also seemingly very important to her then.
At Lowood School, there was a harsh and strict environment but the environment was eased for Jane by friends such as Helen and Miss Temple who treated her with respect and care. Miss Temple is described by Helen as Miss Temple is very good, and very clever ; she is above the rest because she knows far more than they do. This is also the way that Jane feels about Miss Temple due to her understanding of the children’s feelings and needs. This was contrasted with Mr Brocklehurst who was a hypocrite and treated Jane and the rest of the students with contempt. Jane became to understand of the many different types of people with different characters who would come into her life.
She rejects the extremist model of Helen’s character but uses it to become more understanding as she learned to balance conflicting aspects throughout the rest of the novel. It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil actions will extend to all connected to you.. Helen believes in strongly enduring the pain and from Jane’s rebellious and angry spirit, a development of understanding and endurance contrives. Although Jane is changed, she never really accepted the full model of Helen and still believed in justice and principle.
Jane’s character was afraid of rejection, as so had been done throughout her previous years with the Reed family. Mr Rochester’s proposal had been as stepping-stone for her to overcome the troubles she carried in her past. Mr Rochester was Helen’s first love yet her character hindered her from dependency. She merely wanted freedom and independency in a form where she would be able to love as well as find a balance between her values.
Leaving Thornfield was her search for the independency and freedom that she needed to have as part of her character and Jane here struggled hard with her love and need for independency after discovering Mr Rochester’s previous wife. But then a voice revered me that I could do it; and foretold that I should do it. I wrestled with my own resolution… Jane wants to be weak and just love Mr Rochester and be with him yet her character was strong, leading her away from Thornfield and into a whole new perspective of the world. Penniless and hungry, Jane is forced to sleep outdoors and beg for food and this shows how her sense of autonomy is so much ardent than her sense of pride.
To find that the Rivers family were cousin related to her; This was a blessing , bright, vivid and exhilarating; not like the ponderous gift of gold. Jane was overjoyed to find that she had family whom she loved and she valued this over the inheritance that she was given. Another part of the love she had been searching for had been fulfilled and through this, Jane’s character’s became more loving and was ready to let go of some of the self-sufficiency she valued so much.
As she did to Helen, Jane rejects the extremist model of St John although she still respected him and the freedom that he had offered were still not suited to her needs for self reliance. She knew there was no love or passion between her and St John therefore would not go as his wife, showing that love was still important in her character. This triggered the need to go see Mr Rochester, and finding him dependent of her believed that this was the solution and happiness she had been searching for.
The development of Jane Eyre’s character is central to the novel and as she keeps escaping the surroundings and people around her to find the balance of freedom and love that her character values. Through situations, Jane remains vigilant in character and it develops from a rebellious orphan to a mature independent woman so that she eventually finds contentment.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte