Themes of Jane Eyre


Mind Map on Themes of Jane Eyre, created by blackfeather1128 on 11/07/2014.
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Themes of Jane Eyre
  1. LOVE
    1. Jane Erye felt a sense of being valued and belonging from her best friend, Helen Burns who stayed with her in Lowood.
      1. "......I know I should think well of myself; but that is not enough; if others don't love me, I rather die than live....." (Chapter 8, J.E to H.B)
        1. " gain some real affection from you, or Miss Temple, or any other whom I truly love, I would willingly submit to have the bone of my arm broken, or to let a bull toss me, or to stand behind a kicking horse, and let it dash if hoofs at my chest,"- (Chapter 8, J.E to H.B)
        2. Jane Erye had a feeling of love towards Edward Rochester, the head of Thornfield. Although their status is different, but yet they still loved each other very much. Even when Edward Rochester lost his sight and injured badly in the end, Jane Erye still not giving up of him and willing to marry with him. Finally, they lived happily together and had their own child.
          1. "......I am strangely glad to get back again to you; and wherever you are is my home-my only home." ( Chapter 22, J.E to E.R)
            1. "......I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine......To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company......We are precisely suited in character-perfect concord is the result." (Chapter 38, J.E)
              1. "......I will be you rneighbor, your nurse, your housekeeper. I find you lonely: I will be your companion-to read to you, to walk with you, to sit with you, to wait on you, to be eyes and hands to you. Cease to look so melancholy, my dear master,; you shall not be left desolate, so long as I live.' (Chapter 37, J.E to E.R)
            2. RELIGION
              1. Jane Erye is a girl who is sceptical of religion, but does believe in God. Her belief seems started when she is introduced to the New Testament by her good friend, Helen Burns. Jane Erye questioned Helen about Heaven and God as Helen lies dying of consumption. This religious footing seems to become Jane's righteous path of life.
                1. "Where is God? What is God?" "My Maker and yours, who will never destroy what He created. I rely implicitly on His power, and confide wholly in His goodness: I count the hours till that eventful one arrives which shall restore me to Him, reveal Him to me." (Chapter 9, J.E and H.B)
                  1. "You are sure, then, Helen, that there is such a place as heaven; and that our souls can get to it when we die?" (Chapter 9, J.E)
                  2. Mr. Broklehurst uses religion as an excuse to punish Jane Erye just because she dropped her slate accidentally. This action shows Mr. Broklehurst's cruelty towards Jane Erye.
                    1. "......You must be on your guard against her; you must shun her example: if necessary, exclude her from your sports, and shut her out from you converse. Teachers, you must watch her: keep your eyes on her movements, weigh well her words, scrutinise her actions, punish her body to save her soul;-" (Chapter 7, Brok. to students and techers in Lowwod)
                    2. When Jane discovered that Rochester had married with Bertha Mason before, she locked herself in the room and prayed to God for help.
                      1. "One idea only still throbbed lifelike within me- a remembrance of God: it begot an muttered prayer:-'Be not far from me, for trouble is near: there is none to help.'"(Chapter 26, J.E)
                      2. Again when Jane is trying to resist succumbing Rochester's passion and a dishonest marriage with him, she turned to God.
                        1. "Do as I do: trust in God and yourself. Believe in Heaven. Hope to meet again there."(Chapter 27, J.E to E.R)
                        2. John is willing to leave from England and go to India because his duty as a missionary to promote Christianity to people.
                          1. "-God had an errand for me; to bear which afar, to deliver it well, skill and strength, courage and eloquence, the best qualifications of soldier, statesman, and orator, were all needed: for these all centre in the good missionary." (Chapter 31, St. J.R)
                        3. SOCIAL CLASS
                          1. Jane was treated badly in Gateshead as she was in lowest class. She always being bullied by Reeds cousins, especially John Reed.
                            1. "You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mama says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentleman's children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mama's expense."(Chapter 1, John Reed to J.E)
                            2. When Jane found out Edward Rochester will be married with Miss Ingram, she insisted to leave Thornfield. Rochester ignored her wish and commanded her to stay in Thornfield, Jane felt angry because Rochester treated her as someone who would only listen to his orders, but not a free human being.
                              1. "-Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!-I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty, and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you."(Chapter 23, J.E to E.R)
                              2. When Jane worked as a governor of Adele Varens in Thornfield, she met with Rochester. During the conversation, Rochester always analysed Jane's word by using his own understanding. This made Jane felt angry towards Rochester, thinking that he was not respecting on her just because she was a woman who was had lower social position than Rochester.
                                1. "I don't think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience."
                              3. GENDER ROLES
                                1. In Victorian Age, women should behave and talk properly and politely. However, Jane dare to scold Mrs. Reed that she is a bad, hard-hearted, and deceitful woman.
                                  1. "Ere I had finished this reply, my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of freedom, of triumph, I ever felt. It seemed as if an invisible bond had burst, and that I had struggled out into unhoped-for liberty." (Chapter 4,J.E to Mrs. Reed)
                                  2. Women also should obey the men' words. However, Jane is brave to fight against the rule by expressing her opinion about the love relationship between St. John Rivers and Rosamond Oliver towards John.R. This shocked John. R. because Jane dares to speak out her opinion like a man should did.
                                    1. "Again the surprised expression crossed his face. He had not imagined that a woman would dare to speak so to a man. For me, I felt at home in this sort of discourse. I could never rest in communication with strong, discreet, and refined minds, whether male or female, till I had passed the outworks of conventional reserve, and crossed the threshold of confidence, and won a place by their heart's very hearthstone."(Chapter 32,St. John River and J.E)
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