‘Above all, Jane Eyre is a love story’ – How far and in what ways do you agree with this view?
I feel that the novel Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is loosely a love story between the protagonist – Jane and Edward Rochester; therefore I agree with this statement to a small degree. During her time spent at Thornfield Hall, Jane finds herself to be unexpectedly “overwhelmed” by Mr Rochester, ignoring factors such as his wealth and social status, she falls for him helplessly. The reader realises Rochester’s sympathy and admiration for Jane before she does as he regularly asks for her company: “entertain me, Jane.” Rochester and Eyre’s relationship particularly blossoms after the ‘gypsy fortune teller’ visits all of the women staying at Thornfield Hall; including Blanche Ingram and Jane. Rochester is then able to confirm his conspiracy of Jane’s soft spot for him as the gypsy woman devises Eyre’s upset at the thought of Edward marrying Blanche.
I believe that the theme of ‘a love story’ is a small section of a more prominent theme of the novel: Family. The main quest in Jane Eyre is Jane's search for family, for a sense of belonging. On the contrary, this search is constantly tempered by Jane’s need for independence. She begins the novel as an unloved orphan who is almost obsessed with finding love as a way to establish her own identity and achieve happiness. Although she does not receive any parental love from Mrs Reed, Jane finds surrogate maternal figures throughout the rest of the novel. Bessie, Miss Temple, and even Mrs Fairfax care for Jane, giving her the love and guidance that she needs. Jane returns the favour by caring for Adèle and the students at her school. Still, Jane does not feel as though she has found her true family until she falls in love with Mr. Rochester at Thornfield; he becomes more of a kindred spirit to her than any of her biological relatives could be. However, she is unable to accept Mr. Rochester’s first marriage proposal because...
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