Jane’s character

In chapter 27, Jane makes the difficult decision of leaving both Mr. Rochester and the comfortable life she lived as a governess at his estate. To stay and live with him, the way they wanted together, goes against her morals and values. Jane’s reply to Mr. Rochester, where she explains to him her reasoning on why she can not stay with him, is one that uses a lot of religious metaphors and reasoning. She states, “I care for myself… If at my individual convenience I might break them (laws given by God), what would be their worth?“(331). This scene may appear to show Jane’s religious devotion but it could also arguably be about the strength of Jane’s character.  Throughout the novel, we see Jane’s character thought the ways she stands up for herself. While Jane still may love and forgive Mr. Rochester for the deception surrounding his status as a bachelor, that does not mean that she is okay with continuing their relationship and with everything going back to normal. The decision she makes to leave Mr. Rochester without a plan or money exemplifies this. She could have taken gifts from Mr. Rochester and sold them but she chose not to, emphasizing her choice of righteousness. Jane chooses to “flee temptation”(314) instead of continuing to pursue a relationship with Mr. Rochester in a marriage all but in name. The recognition that to do so would be morally incorrect, shows her mental strength and character. Jane’s individualism and trust in herself that she can make it on her own show her mental strength. In a world where women were almost always forced to be dependent on others, Jane’s desire for her independence and righteousness is both admirable and strong.

One thought on “Jane’s character”

  1. I think Jane’s journey can be read as finding a place for herself in this world. After finding out that Rochester has a living wife, there was simply no place for her to be at Thornfield. I love what you said about it was such a world “where women were almost always forced to be dependent on others”; Jane did not consider Rochester’s mistress or a “tag along” of his a place for her to be; she pursues a career of her own, financial and emotional independence.

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