Emotional and Moral Development in Jane Eyre

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Emotional and Moral Development in Jane Eyre
Throughout the course of her life, Charlotte Bronte's character Jane in Jane Eyre is forced to confront herself as she struggles to balance her desire for self-sufficiency with her desire for emotional honesty. From her childhood struggles at Gateshead, to her final contentment with Mr. Rochester, Jane undergoes a transformation of moral and emotional development. One of the most important lessons Jane learns throughout her life is to rule her heart with her will. Every hardship and experience Jane goes through in her life develops her into the person she is at the end of the novel.

At Gateshead, as a child, Jane was abused, both emotionally and physically. She was taught to serve and be obedient at all costs, or else a punishment would follow. Anything that would bring a punishment or abuse upon her, she would regard as morally wrong. As her time at Gateshead continued, she grew in her moral stability. Finally, when Jane leaves Gateshead for Lowood, she has grown enough emotionally and morally to stand up to her abusive aunt and tell her that her aunt is the deceitful one and Jane no longer believes that she is in the wrong.

Once at Lowood, Jane develops even more emotionally and morally. Instead of her values depending on what would bring her punishment, she developed into defining what is right by what was accepted by the social norms and standards. To function correctly in the school, Jane obeyed rules to succeed. Throughout her time at Lowood, she grew as a person and grew to be emotionally and morally stable through her Christian beliefs, and then as a teacher, she led students with her morality.

During her time at Thornfield is when Jane grew the most emotionally and morally. Jane falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and they are to be married. But, when Jane discovers that Mr. Rochester is already married, she has to make an emotional and moral decision of whether or not to continue her engagement to...
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