Throughout the classic novel, Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre progresses from a somewhat immature child to a well-rounded and mature woman. Nature plays a large role in the novel, as it symbolically portrays Jane's "education" and progression as a woman.
Nature is first used in the beginning, when Jane is speaking of her loneliness in the Reed household. She toils in the idea that she is separated from the rest of the family, and that she is not allowed to be an equal. No matter how hard she has tried to please, especially Mrs. Reed, she has been shunned because of her low social class. At this time, she begins to read a book. In it she reads of the "
haunts of a sea-fowl; of the solitary rocks and promontories' by them only inhabited (14)." In this case, Brontë is using nature as a parallel to Jane's situation. Both are alone, and both are miserable, as the isles are later described as "naked" and "melancholy." It is here that Jane first begins to gain strength, and character from the abuses she suffered at the hands of Mrs. Reed. Nature is used as imagery, and an accompaniment to the emotions of Jane Eyre. Nature is also used to give extra significance to Jane's feelings. From her early childhood, Jane never experienced love and caring from an adult character. In fact, she never had anyone enter her life as a mother, or parental figure. However, after a short time at Lowood Institute, she quickly distinguishes Miss Temple from all the other women she had previously known. Jane realizes that Miss Temple is more caring, and is much more sensitive than her previous "mother," Miss Reed. After she has been unjustly reprimanded by Mr. Brocklehurst, Jane begins to cry, and she is temporarily condoled by Helen Burns. However, Jane still feels a feeling "
of inexpressible sadness (82)." Then, Miss Temple enters the room, and "Some heavy clouds, swept from the sky by a rising wind, had left the moon bare; and her light
shone full both on us and on the...
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