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Jane Eyre was written by a famous English writer, Charlotte Bronte in 1847. The novel revolves around a woman named Jane Eyre and is more of an autobiography of the protagonist. Charlotte Bronte narrates the life of Jane Eyre from her childhood to adulthood and writes a detailed account of her whole life and the events that take place in it.
The novel has 38 chapters and Bronte narrates the five important stages of Jane’s life starting from her childhood at Gateshead to her reunion with her lover, Mr. Rochester. Since the novel covers most part of the life of Jane Eyre, the reader witnesses the growth of the character and the gradual change in personality. The paper will discuss the three personality traits of the main character, Jane Eyre.
Autonomous and Resistant to Abuse
The reader knows that Jane Eyre would grow up to be a self sufficient and independent woman because she shows these traits from the very beginning. Jane Eyre appears to have great self esteem even though she is an orphan and has a lot of negative energy and criticism around her in the shape of her aunt and cousins.
It is clear that Jane’s aunt despises Jane and leaves no opportunity to abuse her or make her feel worthless. Her cousins are no better and are always troubling her. Even though Jane is defenseless and lone in front of her aunt and cousins, she does not give in to the abuse. She rises above the cruelty and voices her opinion when she calls her cousin a “wicked and cruel boy!” and says “You are like a murderer – you are like a slave-driver – you are like the Roman emperors!”.
Jane Eyre is independent from the very beginning of the novel and does not hesitate to say what is on her mind.
Freedom and Equality
An orphan child who does not receive much affection in the early years of life usually grows up to be rather timid and has a sense of inequality. However, Jane, even after having an abusive and affectionless childhood demands equality and freedom as an adult. She does not hesitate to fall in love with a man who is of a much higher status, Mr. Rochester.
She demands from him equal respect and is not willing to give up her freedom at any cost which is apparent when she refuses to be with Mr. Rochester and says “Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?…
I have as much soul as you, — and full as much heart!…it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both has passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal, — as we are!”(Bronte 2008, 291). These lines reflect her desire for equality and freedom in society.
Genuine and Loving
Even though Jane Eyre has been through a lot of abuse and troubles in her life and has always had trouble relating to people, her heart is still warm and her affection for people is genuine.
The hard realities of her life and miserable life experiences fail to fill her heart with hatred and she is still able to fall in love with Mr. Rochester. The purity of her love for him is evident in the end when she reunites with Mr. Rochester even after finding out about his condition.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Forgotten Books, 2008.
The Literature Network. “Charlotte Bronte.” The Literature Network. http://www.online-literature.com/brontec/ .
- The Literature Network. “Charlotte Bronte.” The Literature Network.
- Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Forgotten Books, 2008., p.9.
- , p.291.