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Jane Eyre – Her growth

Jane does grow in the book Jane Eyre. The theme of the book is Janes continual quest for love. Jane searches for acceptance through the five settings where she lives: Gateshead, Lowood, Thornfield, Moor House and Ferndean. Through these the maturation and self-recognition of Jane becomes traceable. It is not until she runs from Rochester and Thornfield that she realizes what she really wants. Jane is able to return to Rochester finally independent, with a desire to love, as well as be loved. In the beginning Jane seems a strong character who is very rebellious; In the Victorian times it was considered deceitful for a child too speak out.

Jane wishes to overcome this. And she does when she says, I must keep in good health, and not die. (28). At Gateshead it became obvious Jane is self-willed and has a temper. An example of this is when Jane stands up to her aunt saying, You think I have know feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness, but I cannot live so: and you have no pity. (33). Here Jane makes her first declaration of independence. She will no longer be considered a secondary member of the Reed household.

Jane wants more than anything at this time to be loved and she feels she will not have it because of al the things Mrs. Reed told Mr. Brocklehurst, and she displays her temper again, I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you but I declare I do not love you . . . (32). This fight led to Jane saying she will never call her Aunt Reed again. Which will show growth is Jane later. This is why Jane is rebellious. Jane learns she should not care so much what other people think of her. At Lowood Jane is repulsed by Mr. Brocklehurst and his two-faced character. Even so, Jane fines her first true friend. Helen Burns, another student at the school. By instruction, Helen is able to prove her messages.

When Jane is punished in front of the whole school, she tries to accept it. But Jane still dreams of human affection and is deeply hurt when she is scolded. Jane goes as far to say, If others dont love me, I would rather die than live. Helens response, You think to much of the love of human beings, (69). Through example Helen teaches Jane too. Helen is punished by, Miss Scatcherd because her finger nails were not clean. Jane wonders why she just took it and did not fight back.

Jane says, When we are struck without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should . . . Helen replies, Love you enemies; bless them that curse you . . . (56). When Helen is dying of Typhus she reminds Jane, I believe: I have faith: I am going to God, (82). Jane is able to draw strength from Helens faith, making her stronger. Helens messages guide Jane through her turbulent life. This is how Jane learns not to worry so much how other think of her. Jane leaves Lowood for Thornfield, she is both older and wiser but she still is unfulfilled. Pursuing a new position as a governess, Jane hopes her new life will make her whole. At first she is bored by her work. Then Rochester totally transforms her life.

She says, . . . my only feelings to you must be gratitude and devotion, (270). Jane is not as rebellious as she once was as a child, which shows growth in her. She gives into Rochester. It is proven when she says, Do you I can stay to become nothing to you? (268). Due to society and her physical appearance, Jane does not she herself as Rochesters equal. Jane is not rich and is not pretty. She says, It is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at Gods feet, equal- as we are! (268). When Rochester proposes marriage to Jane it totally takes her by surprise.

Rochester fills her emptiness. Jane grows when she takes Helens advise. Mrs. Reed is on her deathbed and Jane actually comes back to Gateshead to see her. She said she would never call her Aunt again but she did, She is at the lodge, aunt. (251). This shows growth because she is loving her enemies and forgiving them. After arriving at Moor House, Jane is offered marriage without love from St. John. Jane has a difficult time refusing this proposal. St, John pressures her in to it, God and nature intend you for a missionarys wife . . . A missionarys wife you must- shall be.

You shall be mine: I claim you not for my pleasure, but for my Sovereigns service. (430). By going to work as a missionary, Jane would have supposedly done right in Gods eyes but, would still not have been happy. Reunited with her true love, Jane is able to take advantage of circumstances and marry Rochester. She says, Reader, I married him. (480). Proving now she will do as she pleases. Jane went from a rebellious child to a conventional wife and mother devoted to her much older husband. She learned to accept, let things go, and to forgive. This is how Jane grew in the book Jane Eyre.

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