Obituary for Jane Eyre

In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, the main protagonist Jane Eyre was shown as a young, fragile orphaned girl, who grew to become an independent, strong woman. Jane, after battling against sickness for months, has passed away a few days after leaving the country house of Thornfield. Jane Eyre lived with her Aunt Reed and cousins until she was ten years old. They tormented her and treated her like a slave.  She finally became fed-up with the Reeds when they locked her into the “Red Room,” where her Uncle Reed died, as a punishment for telling John Reed exactly what she thought of him. On page 9, Jane Eyre claims, “‘Wicked and cruel boy!’ I said. ‘You are like a murderer – you are like a slave-driver – you are like the Roman Emperors!’” This shows us that from early on, without any support or help, Jane rises against oppression, with a strong sense of righteousness. On page 13, Jane describes her feelings while she was locked in the Red Room: “What consternation of soul was mine that dreary afternoon! How all my brain was in tumult and all my heart in insurrection! In what darkness, what dense ignorance was the mental battle fought! I could not answer the ceaseless inward question—why I thus suffered; now, at the distance of—I will not say how many years, I see it.” This shows us that Jane is always analyzing everything that happens and figuring out why all of it is happening. She wasn’t just objecting about being locked into the Red Room just because it had a bad history, but also because she thinks that she shouldn’t be punished because she was defending herself. It’s not just the idea of being punished that she was objecting, but because the punishment didn’t have a good reason for it.

After being tormented by the Reeds, Jane Eyre was sent to Lowood Institute, a girls’ boarding school for orphans. At the age of eighteen, Jane applied for a job at a country house called Thornfield, as a governess.

Later on, she met Mr. Rochester, the owner of Thornfield. Over time, they started to fall for each other. Through all their ups and downs, Mr. Rochester finally proposes to Jane, to which Jane blissfully agreed to. But nothing always goes as planned.

At Jane and Mr. Rochester’s wedding, two strangers came, and one made a very astonishing announcement: “I have called it insuperable, and I speak advisedly… It simply consists in the existence of a previous marriage. Mr. Rochester has a wife now living.” (page 294) Jane, with a broken heart, and her keen sense of righteousness, refused to be his mistress and leaves Thornfield for good. Jane Eyre, now the young lady so different from others, with a sharp mind of her own and a strong sense of morality. It’s quite hard to believe that she was the same person as the fragile orphaned girl at Gateshead Hall. Rest in peace, Jane.

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