This isn't a full review, but I've been writing several essays on Jane Eyre recently for English Literature and thought I might as well upload one.. B...moreThis isn't a full review, but I've been writing several essays on Jane Eyre recently for English Literature and thought I might as well upload one.. Be gentle, I know it's not superb :')
Independence is one of the major themes of the novel Jane Eyre, and the protagonist's independence is made clear from the beginning of the novel. In the first chapter, Brontë describes Jane, as a child, as being able to find her own entertainment by 'reading' on her own, and it is made clear that she is not dependant on her Aunt Reed or her cousins in order to remain entertained. This shows that even from such a young age, Jane was already partially independent from those around her.
However, this portrayal of the young girl also reflects the way in which Brontë closely linked Jane's quest for independence with her emotions. At Gateshead, Jane had perhaps attained independence, but it was only due to her sense of exclusion that she was able to do so. And as the story progresses, and Jane grows up, this is still very much the case. It is not, however, until Helen Burns tells Jane that she relies 'too much on the love of human beings' that the protagonist realises that gaining independence means that she must depend solely on herself and no one else. Meaning, therefore, that Jane would have to sacrifice her independence in order to gain any happiness stemming from dependence on another person.
I believe that this realization is what pushes Jane to branch out, such as through the way in which she is able to secure herself a position at Thornfield, working for Rochester, without the help of anyone else. Brontë uses Thornfield, and it's prisoners, Bertha, as a metaphor for Jane's need for independence and is therefore able to portray her struggle for it through this setting. Brontë uses the character of Bertha Mason to represent Jane's need for independence and the barrier it creates within her relationship with Rochester; after Jane accepts Rochester's proposal, it becomes clear in several passages that she is terrified that in marrying him she will become imprisoned by her dependence on him, such as when she admits to the reader that the feeling she felt when Rochester called her 'Jane Rochester' was 'almost fear'. This links to the way in which Bertha is imprisoned by Rochester at Thornfield.
However, once Jane learns that the Rivers siblings are, in fact, her cousins and that she has a family, she no longer feels the need for independence that previously ruled her life and is ready to claim her happiness with Rochester once and for all. Brontë presents the death of this need through the death of Bertha Mason and the burning of Thornfield, showing how Jane makes the decision to sacrifice her independence in order to gain love and a family.
However, whilst Jane technically surrendered her independence when marrying Rochester, in the sense that she is no longer alone, I believe that Jane maintains part of her independence, as she does not sacrifice her former self, and that she remains the same person, still 'a free human being with an independent will' despite having married, and allowed herself to be dependent on someone other than herself.
In fact, in the thirty eighth chapter, the conclusion, Jane describes her relationship with Rochester, stating that 'to be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company'. I believe this indicates that she has not become any less 'free', independent, by marrying Rochester, but has been able to maintain her independence whilst gaining his 'company' also. Showing that her decision to give up her quest for independence and to instead choose happiness, she was able to gain her thing she had been searching for the whole time.
Furthermore, the discovery that the Rivers siblings are in fact Jane own cousins greatly contributes to Jane's happiness at the end of the novel. However, in the same way that she is forced to when marrying Rochester, Jane must sacrifice her solitude when accepting Saint John, Many and Diana as her family. However, the independence Jane gains through the money she inherits, from her deceased uncle John Eyre, counterbalances the loss of this part of her independence. Her fraction of the inheritance allows Jane to become Rochester's equal, enabling her to marry him without sacrificing her independence, as shown when she tells him that she is 'an independent women now', due to her uncle having left her 'five thousand pounds'.
In actual fact, Saint John tells Jane that her 'own fortune will keep you independent of the Society's aid', which I believe portrays how, by the end of the novel Jane has in fact gained more independence than she previously possessed, as she is no longer reliant on others in terms of financial support. Therefore, I believe this shows how despite gaining happiness towards the end of the novel, through gaining a family, Jane did not have to truly sacrifice her independence as she no longer had to rely on anyone, she simply chose to.
Just met Kit Berry and she was super-sweet so bought the first two books in this series and am actually really looking fo...moreQuick pre-read review guys (:
Just met Kit Berry and she was super-sweet so bought the first two books in this series and am actually really looking forward to reading them..! I'll upload some pictures later of her dedication to me--her handwriting is seriously cute not to mention she added these pretty little stars..
EDIT* __________________________________13/01/2013 Found the picture!
A breath of fresh air. I loved how unlike the normal and same-y YA angel novel --such as Hush Hush-- Immortal City was! I normally, for me, YA angel b...moreA breath of fresh air. I loved how unlike the normal and same-y YA angel novel --such as Hush Hush-- Immortal City was! I normally, for me, YA angel books are a BIG no-no because I just can't get into them and I always find the main characters arrogant or pathetic.. This was different. I liked the new approach to angels in society and didn't --overly-- dislike the characters..