Jane’s Journey Through Suffering in Jane Eyre In the book Jane Eyre by Charolette Bronte, Jane encounters many different settings and people. Jane is put through horrible suffering and refuses to give her abusers the satisfaction of viewing her inner anguish. Jane accomplishes this through stoicism. This occurs many times in the book throughout Jane’s life. Within Jane’s life, she travels through her childhood home Gateshead Hall, Lowood School, and finally Edward Rochester’s Thornfield. In each of these locations, Jane encounters obstacles which cause her suffering.
And each time Jane maintains a stoic appearance, she gains these valuable necessities: strength, faith, knowledge, wealth, or independence. Each of these accumulate and combine to form her personality. Jane’s most powerful strength of stoicism is obtained while at her childhood home, Gateshead Hall. Jane is adopted at a young age by her cruel aunt Mrs. Reed. Mrs.
Reed believes Jane is inferior to her own children and treats her with little respect and no love. She punishes Jane by locking her in a room when her own children tease Jane. Jane cries, but realizes it will do no good and attains the strength to stop. Through constant abuse similar to this, Jane becomes stoic. Jane’s ordeal is symbolized while she reads a book entitled Bewick’s History of British Birds. A passage from the book concerns a rock ‘standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray’ (3, Bronte).
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This rock, defying the stormy sea, symbolizes Jane’s own endurance against the oppression brought by the Reed family. This experience causes Jane’s strength and stoicism to flourish. In the chapters concerning Jane’s life at Lowood, Bronte displays a remorseful and intense mortification of Jane’s vitality. Mr. Brocklehurst, the founder and headmaster of Lowood school has a grim and hypocritical view of Jane. He publicly labels her a liar and leaps at all advantages to make Jane’s life worse.
To escape from retched reality, she relies on her love for literature. This love guides her to a new friend, Helen Burns, who also enjoys literature. Miss Temple, the one teacher who is kind to Jane, teaches her to draw. Jane gains the knowledge of art and is able to see the world from a different point of view. Jane and Helen become best friends and rely on each other for comfort.
Just when things begin to look bright for Jane, Helen dies of typhus and Miss Temple is scolded for being kindhearted to the students. Jane’s basis for optimism is diminished and she turns to God for help. Although she has lost almost everything sacred to her, Jane endures and gains faith and a new knowledge for the arts. When Jane’s life entangles with that of Rochester’s, the most traumatic turn of events occur. Jane becomes the governess of Thornfield, Rochester’s house, and is to educate Adele. One night by the fire, Rochester best summarizes Jane’s agonizing condition: ‘You are cold because you are alone: no contact strikes the fire from you that is in you.
You are sick, because the best of feelings, the highest and the sweetest given to man, keeps far away from you. You are silly, because suffer as you may, you will not beckon it to approach, nor will you stir one step to meet it where it awaits for you’ (199, Bronte).
Jane maintains a facade of stoicism and aloofness that prevents her from displaying to Rochester that his analysis is correct. Despite many conflicts, Jane becomes an pivotal part of Rochester’s life. They soon plan to marry. However the marriage is interrupted by a man named Richard Mason.
Richard Mason exposes to Jane that Rochester presently has a wife who is mentally ill. Torn by depression, Jane flees Thornfield and vows never to return. She feels she has been exploited and disgraced. This is possibly the most dreadful period in Jane’s life. All through her life she has always lived where care is provided. Now Jane is left with no home.
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Through this ordeal Jane gains independence. She must now take care of herself. Luckily she finds her way to the home of her cousins, the Rivers’. Jane then becomes dependant again, as the Rivers’ take care of her. While under their care, Jane is informed that she has inherited her wealthy uncle’s estate and money. Although Jane is still suffering the anguish of disgrace, she feels she must return to see Rochester.
Jane is afraid more hatred and sorrow will become her visit, and she will suffer even more. However the opposite occurs. Because of the suicide of Rochester’s crazy wife, Bertha Mason, he can now marry Jane. They then wed and have a child.
The child is a reward to Jane for her enduring life of sorrow and stoicism. Jane finally finds true happiness. Through these events at Thornfield, Jane gains independence, wealth, and is rewarded a child. Jane is seen, in Charolette Bronte’s Jane Eyre, as a stoic character who endures through the worst of oppression. She shows no feelings of hurtfulness, when she is abused.
Although her sorrow is detrimental, she gains from her experience many traits and things. She obtains strength, knowledge, independence, and money. Finally at the end of the novel, she is rewarded with a child, who will experience the happiness that Jane could not enjoy.