Jane Eyre: a Quest for Maturity

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In the novel Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Brontë, Jane gradually matures until she is an independent woman. To achieve this state of autonomy, she must first make some life-changing decisions which mark major turning points in the story. Her first step to establishing herself as a self-sufficient woman occurs when she decides to leave Lowood, as she states, “I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer…” (page 72). Jane indicates in this plea that she undoubtedly desires freedom, since she had been living at the Lowood School for eight years. She therefore decides to find a job, which would liberate her from the school, satisfying her yearning for freedom. Jane’s actions of applying for a job by herself illustrate a significant amount of maturity, as she performs the task on her own, not needing any assistance, or even receiving a suggestion to do so. She additionally shows a brilliant amount of awareness of her financial and social situations, knowing that in order to fulfill her pursuit for freedom she must also have financial support through a job. Jane will soon after experience a great number of events after becoming a governess, eventually leaving Thornfield, the mansion in which she found her job. Soon after starting a new one, St. John, a local minister who had allowed her to live in his home for a while, visits Jane to tell her of the death of her uncle John Eyre. He explains about the vast fortune that she has inherited from him, along with her kinship with him and his sisters. Jane is appalled, yet without even much recollection, is determined to divide her inheritance with her cousins. In doing so, she undeniably establishes a large amount of maturity and selflessness in herself, showing how she is able to use her kindness even in situations with a magnitude of importance such as this. If she had not shared the money, it is possible that Jane could be considered to be taking a step back in her maturing process,...
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