Jane Eyre: Good vs. Evil
If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. (Bront. 54)
Jane does not agree with Helens belief that turning the cheek is the right thing to do, and will get you into heaven. Jane is so used to growing up in an environment when she had to speak up for herself whenever someone wronged her. But now she is shown another way to respond to an argument, but she is unfamiliar with it. Jane listen to Helens point, but it is virtually impossible for her to understand how Helen has the kindness not start an argument with Miss. Scatcherd. Therefore she will always result back in what she knows, fighting for what she thinks is right and not telling people run her over.
I somewhat agree with both Janes and Helens perspective of how to carry yourself during a disagreement. For me I know when it is time to stop an argument and turn cheek because the discussion is going nowhere, and at the same time I know when I have to stick up for myself. Sometimes letting someone think they have won an argument is the best thing to do, so it does not cause a big feud that could result in losing a loved one. But also when you look at Janes perspective, you dont want to be peoples doormat. When you let someone take advantage of you once, they are going to think it is okay to do that over again because you were fine with it the first time.
I had once vowed that I would never call her aunt again: I thought it no sin to forget and break that vow now. (Bront. 217)
After Jane had left her whole family at Gateshead to go to school, she promised herself never to call Mrs.Reed her Aunt again. She had suffered an awful childhood because of the way Mrs.Reed treated her, making Jane never want to go back to her home. But after the years passed, giving her time to rethink her relationship to her Aunt, she realized that her anger had faded away. There is no doubt that Jane hated Mrs.Reed throughout her childhood years, but as soon as she experienced the real world and grew as a person she cut the ties of hatred that had towards her Aunt for so many years.
I believe the transition from anger to neautraitly that Jane experienced towards Mrs. Reed is something that all humans go through. Once you have been hurt by someone you immediately feel anger towards them and do not want to be around them, just like Jane wanted to leave Gateshead. But once you have the time and space to recover from what happened or what was said you being to think if holding a grudge against them is really worth it. Letting go of a grudge is not through the path of forgiveness, but rather loving yourself. If you find out how to love yourself, then you focus on making yourself a better person and you realize that hold grudges will only tie you down from being truly happy.
Fearful and ghastly discoloured face red eyes and fearful blacked inflation of the lineaments also lips swelled and dark. She looks to Jane like the foul German spectre, the vampire (Bront.326)
When exploring foils in class Bertha Mason and Jane Eyre catch my attention. These two women both feel like they do not fit into the society that they live in. Bertha is physically oppressed while Jane is mentally restrained. These two characters have many contrasting traits that prove to the reader that Bertha and Jane are completely different, but it is more important to focus on their comparable situations at Thornfield. Bertha is literally trapped in the attic while Jane feels figuratively tied down to Thornfield. When Jane is feeling stressed out and does not know what to do, she goes up onto the attic floor and paces back and forth, which is how Bertha spends her day. These two characters are connected in so many ways other than being Rochesters wife and soon to be wife.
This relation between Bertha and Jane shows that it is not only external characteristics that make one person resemble the other, but also internal. Without analysing the internal conflict that these women were going through, we would have never notice their similarities. This situation can also be applied to real life. Most of the time when things arent going the way you like, people think they are alone. But that is not entirely true, which is what we see in Jane Eyre. Jane and Bertha do not fit into the social norms of the society that they are a part of, therefore making them feel lonely.
“You are my little friend, are you not?” “I like to serve you, sir, and to obey you in all that is right.” (Bront. 139)
Jane and Rochester share this unconditional love for one another, but they are truly never going to be equals. Society prevents them from being on the same level because of their different social statuses. Rochester tries every hard to make him and Jane equal by respecting her point in a conversation, but at the same time social norms kick in and he wants to doll up his soon to be wife. Rochester tries to contain Jane in a small box, which all the other women in the British society are experiencing as well. Jane is not okay with the way she is being treated, so she begins to keep this conflict to herself. She internally bottles everything up, until she cant take it anymore.
Social norms like this are still applied to our day and age. Even though we try not to label people when we first meet them, it is virtually impossible for the human brain not to. We are wired to put everyone into a specific category and then to have a tight knit box about the rules those people have to follow. Although these boxes women are put into have been expanding over time, they are not nearly the same size the men have. Jane Eyre is a perfect example of the daily struggle women experience, except she is wise beyond her years. Social class is another societal problem we still encounter today. Treating someone different from the rest just because of their amount of income has been an issue for decades, and has not greatly improved at all.
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