Essay by petra_mHigh School, 12th grade May 2004

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Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronté, was a novel of a vast popularity in our days. The reason is due to the numerable themes it portrays. Jane Eyre is one of the few novels that involves broad themes withuniversal appeal. Bronté critiques the class differences in the Victorian age and puts an interest in Jane's struggle between her love and independence in a patriarchal society.

Jane is in a continuous quest for love, which is strongly tempered by her need for independence. Mr. Rochester is the first person to bring Jane's internal emotional conflict to life. When she becomes involved with Rochester, "she communicates clearly the various conflicting impulses that impel her too thought and action"(Thematic). Jane allows her feelings to have sway and then she tries to "rid her mind of fancies that Rochester might return her love" (Thematic). When she leaves Mr. Rochester, she chooses her independence over her love.

In the end "the marriage of Jane and Rochester furnishes both: passion and reason" as the final step to their relationship (Thematic). There is another person that reveals Jane's tormenting feelings. St. John is the second one to propose Jane. She refuses to marry him because "he discounts her value as a person " when she objects to his fanatic ideals(Thematic). After seeing his "hardness and despotism Jane realizes that he is no better than she" in any way(Thematic). In this case also, Jane "fights to preserve her own identity" in a male dominant society (Two).

Another theme exposed in the novel is differences between social classes. In the Reeds house, at Gateshead, she is suppressed because of her social condition. Jane is a poor girl with no status in the house of her aunt. Mrs. Reed constantly treats her with cruelty and intolerance.