In Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte and directed by Cary Fukunaga, the theme of home and homelessness is observed through the whole story. Its main character is a girl who comes from an orphanage and searches for a place that can become her real home. This quest lasts for years and is associated with numerous issues, Jane faces, as she acknowledges what home is for her. Even though technically she is homeless for a very short period of the film, the feeling of homelessness does not release her and exists metaphorically before and after it. While Jane is looking for a building full of people who support her to call it her home, her real home is a person she loves.
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The first scene, which is shown to the viewers when the film starts, depicts Jane Eyre leaving home. In this way, the director creates an atmosphere of not-belonging and solitude, so the public emphasizes the girl who has no place to go and comfort herself. She is standing at the empty crossroad, having no idea where to go and seems to choose a direction by chance. Jane is frustrated; she wonders in the middle of nowhere under the rain (Fukunaga).
Her emotions are supported by the gloomy and rainy weather, which makes the picture even more moving and influencing. There is no doubt that Jane is a lost child who requires support and assistance. Fortunately, she manages to reach a place that eventually changes her life in the future. Still, at this very moment, Jane appears as a miserable creature that will die on a street if no one rescues it. Her homelessness is undeniable in this scene, it even aligns with a real world.
Having no destination, Jane does not try to hide from the raindrops. They seem to serve as a rationale for crying. The girl has just lost her home, but she does not want to admit that this is the reason why she feels so bad because she was the one who decided to go away. Thus, she seems to try to blame the weather as if she cries because of the rain. In addition to that, raindrops and teardrops mix, which makes it difficult to understand what is happening.
There is a possibility that Jane cries and is emotionally exhausted when she meets people. However, the weather allows her to keep this fact in secret. It allows others to see that she is physically homeless but not mentally, which also means that metaphorical home is more significant for her because of its absence and the fact that others are aware of it make her extremely vulnerable.
When Jane comes to Thornfield Hall, she is welcomed by Mrs. Fairfax, Adèle, and Mr. Rochester (Fukunaga). With the course of time, she falls in love with this man and realizes that this place is just her workplace but believes that they will be able to turn it into their mutual home. The girl seems to become more mature, as she is not looking for an ideal place anymore and is ready to work hard to build her future. However, when it turns out that Mr. Rochester is already married, Jane becomes really homeless. She loses a man who could become her family and a place where she could live with him.
Being lost and powerless, Jane finds a shelter when she enters Moor House. Her broken heart is somehow healed by the Rivers sisters and their brother (Fukunaga). She realizes that she still has an opportunity to improve her life and have a home. This family treats Jane with love and respect, they are interested in her and want to help her to overcome the issues she is facing. With the course of time, Jane speaks of the Rivers sisters as of her own ones.
Soon, she finds out that they are her real cousins, which is a moment of confluence. The home she created and the home she was looking for became one and the same place. Jane obtained a family that cared for her and a building that made her feel safe. However, even in this situation, she does not feel totally satisfied.
When Jane receives a proposal to marry St. John Rivers, she also obtains an opportunity to change her life for better and to fill the gap she was living with since her childhood. At this moment, she obtains an opportunity to get her own house, real sisters, a husband, and children with the course of time. She may have an extended family, which she wanted to have all these time. She will not be homeless anymore due to this change. Jane also gets an appropriate job, which allows her to feel needed and to be sure that even if she will be able to continue living. What is more, St. John Rivers offers her his love, which is critical for the future happiness.
All these points together form a concept of home that appeals to Jane that is why she is expected to accept the proposal. However, she realizes that her initial ideas regarding a perfect home have altered under the influence of her experiences. She has no desire to build a home, which she does not really want. Finally, Jane realizes what she wants and what love means to her.
As St. John Rivers offers her to marry him, Jane understands that she is still in love with Mr. Rochester. This scene reveals that even obtaining a real home, Jane cannot forget that she had an opportunity to build an ideal one that met all her wishes. She is not homeless already, but it does not mean that she is happy. It is a critical moment because the main character realizes that while she was searching for a home all her life, the fact that she has found it does not make her satisfied.
Before meeting Mr. Rochester, she was happy to have any place that served her both mental and physical home, but after their relationships, she realized that she wants to find her home in him. Her homelessness is not an absence of kind people and safe building already, it is an absence of Mr. Rochester in her life. Fortunately, at the end of the movie, she meets him, which means that she receives one more chance to become happy and make her dreams come true.
However, Jane finds out that Mr. Rochester is not the same already. He is not able to see, and his hands are not capable of maintaining difficult tasks, but it is not important for Jane. Such an attitude proves that her feelings are true and have nothing in common with the desire to avoid an ordinary homelessness. She does not care even about the fact that the building in which Mr. Rochester used to live has burned down. Finally, Jane realizes that her home is not even a combination of various things and people that make her feel comfortable. She finds her home in Mr. Rochester.
Fukunaga, Cary. Jane Eyer. BBC Films, 2011.