Passion in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

  • Length: 1216 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



Passion in Jane Eyre

 

      It is believed that we are born with a predestined personality.

Our spiritual individuality is just as much a product of our genetic makeup

as the color of our skin or our eyes.  With our soul firmly planted, we

can then build upon this basis as we are educated of the world. The social

climate and cultural atmosphere shape our personalities, however, it is the

people in our lives who have the greatest influence. Charlotte Bronte's

novel Jane Eyre  reveals this idea by the development of the protagonist.

Through a series of character foils, Bronte expresses her idea of self-

development and growth of the human spirit by contrasting passion with

reason. By my interpretation of the novel, Bronte suggests that in one's

life time, they will encounter a number of people and experiences that will

arouse enough emotion in them to have the power to change their direction

in life. St. John Rivers plays one of these life determining foils to Jane

Eyre. His confidence, devotion and reason intrigue Jane almost enough to

silence her inner passionate spirit, but it is the forces of nature that

prove to be stronger than human will.

 

      The life path of a Victorian woman was somewhat limited in it's

direction and expression of individuality. Jane Eyre strongly adheres to

the Victorian morality which was dominated by the Anglican party of the

Church of England in which passion and emotion were kept concealed.  Jane's

instinct for asserting herself was stifled at an early age  and could only

be expressed through defiance. The defiant declaration of independence from

Mrs. Reed , "You are deceitful",(v.i.37) gives Jane the power of freedom

and opens up a life of  "unhoped-for liberty",(v.i.37).

 

      Through the preceding years Jane develops into a highly educated,

well spoken and strong willed woman . She is taught to be patient and

thoughtful during her years in Lowood , and is introduced to the emotions

of the heart and spirit in meeting  Rochester.

 

      Bronte makes an emphasis on the spiritual and supernatural

atmosphere of Thornfield. The reference to the "Gytrash" and the mystical

atmosphere she illustrates of their first meeting in the woods (v.i.113)

could  suggest that she is playing upon natural imagery and allusions to

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Passion in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre." 123HelpMe.com. 20 May 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16649>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Reason and Passion in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre - Reason and Passion in Jane Eyre     In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses various characters to represent aspects of reason and passion, thereby establishing a tension between the two. In fact, it could be argued that these various characters are really aspects of her central character, Jane. From this it could be argued that the tension between these two aspects really takes place only within her mind. Bronte is able to enact this tension through her characters and thus show dramatically the journey of a woman striving for balance within her character....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
806 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: An Imaginative Journey - An ‘Imaginative journey takes us from reality and transfer us into unreal existence that not only entertains us, but helps us learn more about the world we live in’ this statement can be used to emphasizes the imaginative journey that Charlotte Bronte explores in the novel Jane Eyre. The imaginative journey that Bronte takes the readers on is explored through her thoughts of the concepts of supernatural, religion and passion. Through the gothic genre Bronte is seen ‘exploring the imaginative journey’ in the novel Jane Eyre....   [tags: religion, imagery, passion]
:: 1 Works Cited
671 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Essays - Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, is the story of a young girl as she struggles to grow into a woman in a time when marriage was often viewed as a matter of business rather than love. The novel follows Jane Eyre’s life as an orphan while she matures into an adult who must make difficult life decisions which will ultimately impact her happiness. She eventually finds herself a governess to a young french girl, in the house of a rich man named Edward Rochester. Jane and Rochester fall passionately in love, and proposes to Jane, but she leaves after realizing that he is already married to an insane creole woman....   [tags: passion versus rationale] 910 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Fire and Water Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" Essay - Fire is the process in which materials ignite and combine with oxygen to give off heat, light, and flames. Likewise, water is composed of H20 molecules and acts as a counter to fire by possessing the ability to extinguish it. However, in literary terms, fire is mostly related to passion while water usually represents reason and calmness. Both elements are considered unique because of the ability to destroy and give life. Water can be directly related to life since it is an essential element for survival and makes up most of a human’s body....   [tags: imagery, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre,] 667 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay - Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre 'Jane Eyre' was written in the mid-nineteenth century and is set during the Victorian period, at a time where a women's role in society was restrictive and repressive and class differences were distinct. A job as a governess was one of the only few respectable positions available to the educated but impoverished single women. Schools of the 19th century were strict, and they demanded much hard work and participation from the students, however, just the same, children of the time loved going to school....   [tags: Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre Essays] 1696 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
An Analysis of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essays - An Analysis of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is presented in the Victorian Period of England. It is a novel which tells the story of a child's maturation into adulthood. Jane's developing personality has been shaped by her rough childhood. She has been influenced by many people and experiences. As a woman of her time, Jane has had to deal with the strain of physical appearance. This has a great effect on her mental thinking and decision making. Jane Eyre's cognitive and physical attributes have been affected by her environment throughout her life....   [tags: Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1432 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essays - Fire Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Incomplete Works Cited The prevalence of fire imagery and it's multitude of metaphoric uses in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre expresses two things that could not be expressed openly in the Victorian Period, which are mainly passion and sexuality. Brontes writing was dictated by the morals of her society, but her ideas were not. Jane Eyre was written with the Victorian reader in mind. Bronte knew that if she were to write about these two things directly she would have to face possible rejection of her book....   [tags: Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre] 2653 words
(7.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Sympathy for Jane Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay - Sympathy for Jane Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre In the first two chapters of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte creates sympathy for Jane from the settings she uses like the red room, which comes up later in chapter two. Also with all the metaphors of Janes true feelings under the surface and the ways that the chapters are structured. Charlotte Bronte starts off the book straight to the point as if we just enter Janes mind at this moment in time, it is meant to draw the reader in and at once create the atmosphere of this time when we have joined her....   [tags: Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte Essays] 1757 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte Essay - Jane Eyre is a very strong character, true feminist whose behaviour and believes are only based on social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. She advocates equal rights for herself, therefore suffered a lot of hardships in her life. She contains a very strong feminist stance; and explores the dept at which she may act in the society to figure out her boundaries in a Victorian society. She embodies passion and does what is right for her. She is a very independent woman who is educated when women are under the authority of men....   [tags: Charlotte Bronte, Feminism, Character Analysi] 1662 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Passion and Practicality of Jane Eyre - Passion and Practicality of Jane Eyre        Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is a coming-of-age story about an unconventional woman's development within a society of strict rules and expectations. At pivotal moments in Jane's life, she makes choices which are influenced by her emotions and/or her reason. Through the results of those choices, Jane learns to balance passion and practicality to achieve true happiness.   Jane is a spirited woman, and her emotions give her a strength of character that is unusual for a female heroine of this period....   [tags: Jane Eyre Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1861 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]

Related Searches





express the idea that Jane and Rochester are a destined, yet mysterious

match of the souls.  " I knew ...you would do me good in some way... I saw

it in your eyes when I first beheld you," Rochester tells Jane. (v.i.152)

and the use of the repeated references to fire foreshadow and symbolize

their growing passion for each other. However, it is the symbolic

interpretation of the lightning striking the horse-chestnut tree in half

that hints that their love will not evolve without a crisis. (

v.ii.259)

 

      It is this crisis that throws Jane into the life of the Rivers

family . Moor House and the values of the Rivers are the mirror image of

Thornfield. Where Thornfield was mystical and romantic , Moor House has a

comfortable and domestic setting.  Jane's instant rapport with the "

spontaneous, genuine, genial compassion", of Mary, Diana and St. John allow

her to feel at ease and safe. The contrast between Rochester and St. John

play a major part in the development of Jane's self-fulfillment.

 

      It is in Jane's description of the two men that the reader gets the

most tangible picture of their contrasts. Bronte uses words such as "wild"

and "moody" to describe Rochester, whereas St. John is "compressed,

condensed and controlled", (v.iii.356). A disciplined and educated

missionary, he is focused on his one devotion and remains static through-

out the novel. His ambition drives him and does not believe in the

importance of revealing emotions. As Jane comes to know him , she senses

that ,like her, he seems to be not at peace.  They are both restless and

seeking the greater power that rules them; for St. John it is judgment, for

Jane it is passion.

 

      Jane's admiration of St. John is of his thirst for knowledge and

his unresting mind.  She has the utmost respect for him and his devotion,

and learns diligently and faithfully under him . However, it is in the

contrasts between them that we see the true nature of Jane.  St. John's

moral beliefs suggest that he fears his own sexuality and views female

sexuality as a threat to his purity of vision.(Diedrick 1993) This is

evident in his dealings with Rosamond Oliver, whom he clearly has feelings

for ," Does she like me?' he asked. 'Certainly', Jane replied. ' It is

pleasant to hear this... go on for another quarter of an hour."(v.iii.377 )

He does not give back a reply of his feelings and does not act with his

emotions. It is his reason that he calls upon and instead of asking

Rosamond to marry him, he knows that it is Jane who would be the more

appropriate wife to accompany him in his missionary work.  He attempts to

succeed where Brocklehurst failed and render Jane submissive; his selective

praise of her as "docile, diligent, disinterested, faithful, constant..."

(v.iii.355) expresses his desire to subdue her to his needs .(Diedrick

1993) If anything , St. John has taught Jane to act with reason so when he

proposes that she go to India with him as his wife, it is her better

judgment that tells her that , " he prizes me as a soldier would a good

weapon; and that is all." (v.iii 356)  She realizes that he could never

love her the way she needs to be loved.

 

      St. John represents a life of Christian servitude and moral

ambition.  Jane has only known of a life of serving others, and for a time,

the power of this identity had kept freedom a secret from her. Jane's

experience of a life of servitude is only , "what I knew of existence. And

now I felt that it was not enough: I tired of the routine... I desired

liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer...".(v.i.86)

It is the responsibilities of servitude that suffocate her and constrain

her. Her anger at St. John's demand that she sacrifice all her desires to

his missionary ambition enables her to see him clearly for the first time

and gives her the strength to refuse him.

 

        As St. John persisted in subduing Jane, Jane became weaker in her

fight. Just as Jane was about to succumb, it was as if destiny and nature

were stronger than human ambition. A "freshening gale" created by delirium

and passion blew in the opposite direction of the "counteracting breeze"

of judgment and brought with it the voice of Rochester's love. Jane's "

human affections and sympathies" took a "most powerful hold of her",

(v.iii. 360) and she knew without a doubt that she could not live if she

was forced to stifle her passionate heart. It is in her nature to love

wholly and because of the antagonistic relationship between Jane and St.

John that she was able to become aware of the intensity of her love for

Rochester and allow it to complete her soul. As the symbol of the split

horse-chestnut suggested, their love could be put through disaster, but

they are fundamentaly one at the roots.


Return to 123HelpMe.com