Jane Eyre: Temptations against Self
During the mid-nineteenth century, the English writer Charlotte Bronte published Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell. Jane Eyre is a novel of the bildungsroman genre, meaning that is follows a character through the stages of their life. This novel follows the emotions and experiences of its protagonist as she develops into adulthood. On her journey, she finds love in the master of the fictitious Thornfield Hall as well as her true identity. Jane Eyre’s strong sense of morality and equality become the backbone of her definition of self as well as the fight between love and passion. The introduction of love becomes a temptation and develops into an internal battle. The bildungsroman nature of this novel allows the battle to be broken down into the stages defined by the author. Therefore, the first stage is that of Jane Eyre’s time at Thornfield Hall and her courtship with Mr. Rochester. This is the point in which she must chose between herself and her love. Edward Rochester is Jane’s greatest temptation and the largest obstacle to her identity, the battle is most ardently viewed in three separate stages within her time at Thornfield Hall: the inequality of the courtship between Jane and Mr. Rochester, the lead up to the their nuptials and the moral choice after the revelation of Bertha Mason. Jane’s story is one of the search for love from another. This love is not just in the romantic sense, but in the sense of belonging and being valued as well. In order to gain love, Jane must learn how to love and be loved without sacrificing her sense of self in the process. Therefore, love is the greatest quest in Jane Eyre as well as the greatest temptation to a life without morality and equality.
During Jane’s first few months at Thornfield, her position of governess and her growing love interest for her master become a temptation to her identity and her reverence for equality. Edward Rochester is an established man and Jane’s...
Cited: Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Ed. RIchard J. Davis. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. , 2001.
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