In the novel Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte, Jane, the protagonist, searches for love and acceptance as she evolves from an alienated childhood to an independent adulthood by learning about herself and about the world around her. In the end, Jane internally breaks free of the sexist bonds that are imposed on women in the Victorian Era, and develops a triumphant outlook on life. I felt that through Jane Eyre’s experiences, I was able to draw clear and interesting connections to my own life. I was able to do this through the familiar developments Jane has a woman, and through the inspiration Jane’s life has given me.
Through the occurrences in my life, I was able to connect to Jane’s trials and tribulations. As a young dependent girl, Jane faces imprisonment in every environment in which she subsists. An example of where Jane’s environment restrains her is when she states, “[The red room] was chill, because it seldom had a fire, it was silent, because remote from the nursery and kitchens, solemn, because it was known to be seldom entered[â€¦]” (Bronte, pg. 13-14). The parallelism and imagery in this quote shows how Jane’s setting excludes her from freedom and does not let her escape. As Jane is isolated in the room, which’s colour red expresses a sign of a forbidden room, it acts as a symbol of her detachment in life with the people she lives with. I was really able to connect with this moment in Jane’s life to my immigration from Israel to Canada at the age of 6. When my family and I immigrated to Canada, I did not speak English and found myself to be very isolated from the rest of the kids at school. Although Jane’s detachment from the people in her life was due to a different reason then mine, like Jane, I felt alone and remote and was unable to communicate with the people around me. When Jane finally escapes Gateshead and the red room and moves to an orphanage, she still is not free in her new environment. This is shown when Jane states, “Again the bell rang; All formed in file two and two [â€¦] drawn up in four semicircles, before four chairs, placed at the four tables [â€¦]” (Bronte, pg. 60). This repetition shows how at the orphanage Jane cannot make any of her own decisions and is being ruled after. Although Jane moved to a new environment, she still has not taken any steps forward in becoming who she wants to become and was often left disappointed with her circumstances. Her new circumstances leave her with problems to overcome, such as no freedom to make any of her own decisions because being a young girl in the Victorian Era, Jane has no opportunities to leave and no opportunities of getting any other education. It is impossible for Jane to choose where she wants to be and what she wants to do, however, it becomes more possible for her the older and more mature she gets. I was also able to connect with this occurrence in Jane’s life to my own experiences with my school life. As an elementary school student, I disliked school very much and hated the domination teachers had over me, causing me to be disappointed in the fact that I had to go to school and even as I entered high school, which was a new environment, I still was disappointed with my circumstances. Like Jane, as I have grown older, I have become more mature and understand myself better now. I now greatly enjoy school and no longer feel confined in a school setting. I know what I want to do with the rest of my life and feel that my education has let me achieve this realization. Being able to connect my life with Jane’s, helped me greatly understand the conflicts and challenges that Jane faced as I was able to relate her life to mine.
Bronte’s book has given me new insight on the advancements of female to male equality and has inspired me to become as much of an independent woman as I can be. Although the society I live in has advanced greatly from the Victorian era and today women are mostly considered equal to men, there are still those who view women as inferior to men and firmly believe in a patriarchal society. In the novel, Jane’s rational and personal emotions are emphasized when she states, “It is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that [women] ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex” (Bronte, pg. 210). This shows Jane’s character development in where as an adult, Jane follows her own feelings and does not let any issues affect her. With these thoughts, Jane ultimately accomplishes her goals, as she becomes an independent woman living happily with a family. After reading about how Jane Eyre envisioned the society she wished she lived in and comparing it to the current advancements in social equality, it gave me a motivated realization that nothing should stop me from becoming an independent adult that is independent of a man. As well, although Jane is not a confident feminist at all times, she always possesses an immense integrity and a determination to succeed, which has inspired me to make morally correct decisions in my life just as she did. In the novel, Jane profitably becomes a happy and independent woman, which is that I aspire to become. By changing the way I view myself, I was able to learn more about my strength, independence and attitude towards others.
As Jane has grown internally to disregard the sexism in her world, I have become able to relate my own knowledge and experiences to fully realize my potential as a woman. Charlotte Bronte’s accurate representation of an everyday woman in the Victorian era has allowed me to have an in depth depiction of life for a growing women. This book provides not only an enthralling story, but an excellent judge of character for anybody in search of self exploration. Jane Eyre is a classic novel that introduced me to a memorable character in a story that gets more exceptional with each page.
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