Jane Eyre: A Relevant Modern Classic

Essay by ryan_simsCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2014

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Ryan Sims Dr. Vivone English 101­505 19 September 2014

Jane Eyre: A Relevant Modern Classic

In Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, the main character, Jane Eyre, struggles with self esteem, self

confidence, and independence the entire course of the book. The novel, despite being written so long

ago, can serve as a source of inspiration for anyone looking to learn to stand up for themselves. While

at its publication in 1847, it was massively popular and well­received, Jane Eyre has grown even more

powerful in its message and even more relevant in today's society. The overarching story that takes

place of Jane's coming of age, and story of growth, may resonate stronger than ever with women and

girls of today's rapidly changing world.

The novel starts with Jane very young, as an orphan, cruelly cast aside and mistreated by her

aunt, who was forced to adopt her, and her cousins of the same age. Jane's levels of confidence,

independence, and self­esteem are arguably zero here. Almost everyone that she is in contact with treats

her poorly and with no respect whatsoever. This is the starting point for Jane and her story, "rock

bottom" as some call it. This feeling of hopelessness and despair, this "rock bottom" can be related to

by almost anyone at any age. What was true back then is still true today, people can be cruel. This

cruelty can have an effect on us and how people think of us can all too often become what we think of

ourselves. This starting point of hopelessness is how many readers will first relate to Jane and her story.

After a long upbring of this, Jane moves away from her Aunt and to a boarding school, where the rules

are strict and the living conditions are poor.