Jane Eyre’s Struggle between Conscience and Passion
People can be held prisoner by their own feelings in an emotional box that confines them and controls them. Passion is the powerful, driving emotion that penetrates these feelings and compels one to break free of the box detaining them. In other words, passion is the motivation that drives one to take action against the shackles of their situation to create change in their life. All people have these passions, but what happens when these passions go against one’s conscience? A person’s conscience values things, like passions, as right or wrong, important or not important, or, significant or not significant. Thus, one’s conscience is like a barrier to one’s passions, and therefore, there is a constant struggle between the two. This internal struggle is prominent within Jane Eyre, the main character in Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre. Jane’s conscience tells her to marry the one she loves, but her passion for freedom and equality conflicts her and creates for her an internal struggle. In the final chapters of the novel, Jane’s conscience eventually defeats her passion for individualism, completing her internal journey and creating a victorious conclusion.
Jane grew up in the Victorian Era in England, and era in which women faced much inequality and prejudice. This is the box that confines Jane throughout most of the novel, and ignites her passion to break free of it and be an equal, individual woman. Jane expresses this on page 129 and 130 of the novel as she states, “Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to...
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