Conflicts in Jane Eyre

Topics: Love, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë Pages: 3 (907 words) Published: October 14, 2008
This novel presents a number of conflicts and struggles within Jane and between Jane and other characters, conflicts which must be resolved for her to achieve self-fulfillment and happiness.

The chief struggle is between Reason and feeling. As a child who is repressed and bullied and generally ill treated, Jane finds it hard to control her temper and her passionate nature rebels against her ill-treatment with all its force and fury. She is like a raw exposed nerve and her sense of justice is outraged by the injustice she sees meted out to her or to Helen, her martyr-like little friend in Lowood. Her time spent in Lowood makes her able to outwardly subdue her passionate nature and act more sensibly but she continues to feel everything in all its intensity. She must also learn to control her imagination, which may take the form of superstition, as when she is locked in the Red Room.

As an adult her conflict lies between her sense of right and wrong and her passionate love for Mr. Rochester. It is in a way again a struggle between Reason and feeling and between morality and temptation. He tempts her with his love and wants her to be with him even if it is as a mistress. It is hard for her but she resists. She fights her love for him when it threatens her code of morality. She cannot be his while he is married to his wife, even if it is just a marriage in name. In a dramatic scene resulting in Mr. Rochester’s declaration of love for her she declares they are “equals at the feet of God.” She would not stay with him to be treated as a person without any feelings, if he must marry Miss Ingram then she must leave him and not be implored by him to stay on at Thornfield for she being an equal has an equal right to feel and react.

Her struggle with St. John also arises from the same reason. At every step, Jane refuses to bow down to the wishes of others simply because it is desired of her to do so. She demands equality and respect at every step; what Bronte...
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