How does Bronte show the reader Jane’s resilience to events that occur in the novel
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When describing someone as ‘resolute’, it is to say that the person has the ability to cope with pressures they are put under and still end up coming out of the situation as a stronger person. Jane’s character is a perfect example of this. She has to cope in many difficult positions she faces, and ends up as the heroine of the novel. Jane’s growing understanding of the world is shown frequently throughout the novel. As a child, she tends to believe she can say and do as she pleases, but as the novel progresses and Jane’s character matures, her understanding of the world develops.
Bronte wishes the reader to admire Jane for always being optimistic and the unique strength of character she displays. It is important to note how Jane is treated by her relatives as her temper plays a vital part in the way she copes during her childhood. In her early life, Jane regularly comes in contact with John Reed, a rude, nasty bully. Jane does not at all like John, and is not afraid of showing this. Jane proves this by standing up for herself after he’d struck her with a book saying, “Wicked and cruel boy! ” She feels very intimidated by him, and retaliates on only one occasion when she was pushed to the limit.
This is one of the first times that we can obviously see Jane’s true character; courageous, passionate and strong feelings about justice and morality. At Gateshead it becomes clear that Jane is self-willed and is rebellious. For instance, when Jane stands up to her aunt by saying; “You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness, but I cannot live so: and you have no pity”. Here Jane makes her first declaration of independence. In the Victorian time it was considered “deceitful” for a child to speak out.
This points out to the reader that Jane no longer wants to be considered as a secondary member of the Reed household. Jane wants more than anything at this time to be loved and she feels she will not have it because of all the things Mrs. Reed told Mr. Brockelhurst. She again displays her temper by saying, “I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you but I declare I do not love you… ” This quotation shows how Jane’s resilience and heroic nature are used to show Jane’s aggressiveness. The phrases “I declare” and “I do not” show how powerful her statement is.
She aims to get her view across and does so with the strong words she states. At Lowood, Jane first experiences friendship, but this is jeopardized by a false accusation made by Mr Brockelhurst. Having been sent to a strict, cruel school, Jane’s spirit is not broken and remains strong, this can be shown when her headmaster labels her a liar and asks if she knows how to avoid going to hell, she replies: “Keep well and not die, sir”. This quote reveals how Jane is becoming resilient. The key word, “sir”, points out to the reader that Jane still remains polite to Mr Brockelhurst, due to Jane wishing to stay on good terms with him.
It is this side of Jane that Bronte aims to get across to the reader regularly during the novel. Jane’s courage and fortitude are demonstrated regularly while Jane is in awkward situations, evidence of this can be seen when she: “Mastered the rising hysteria, lifted up [her] head, and took a firm stand on the stool. ” The purpose of this quote is to emphasise Jane’s growing heroic nature and strength. The phrases “lifted my head” and “firm stand”, convey an impression of pride and intrepidity. The eye contact Jane obtains from her friend is what gives her the bravery to “stand on the stool” in front of the whole class and still feel proud.
This is the first time in Jane’s life that people have shown faith in her. Mr. Brockelhurst is used by Bronte to reveal Jane’s character in more depth. He describes Jane to be an agent of ‘The Evil One’, this causes Jane’s anger to rise but instead of shouting back she is able to “steady the palsy of [her] nerves” and control her frustration. This shows that Jane has a better understanding of the world and has learnt not to talk back to her elders, Mrs Reed. The phrase “steady” emphasises how Jane has thought about her actions beforehand, instead of just launching straight into her argument without thinking it over.
This points out to the reader how Jane’s character has developed to cope with her occasional outbursts. Jane’s independent spirit and sense of what is right and wrong is displayed regularly during the novel. Jane receives news that her cousin John Reed, the child that bullied her, has died and suicide is suspected. As well as this, her aunt has suffered a stroke and wishes to see Jane. She visits Mrs Reed because Jane is an alturistic person and would prefer to be on good terms with her before she dies. This points out to the reader how strong Jane’s religious beliefs have become.
Jane arrives as a confident young woman and shows growth and development from the child who left Gateshead just a few years earlier. Mrs Reed has asked to see Jane because of the guilt she had held since moving Jane to Lowood. She reveals that she has broken her promise to her late husband by not bringing Jane up as one of her own, and she has also lied to Jane’s uncle John Eyre saying that Jane had died at Lowood. Jane being the resilient person she is, responds in the manor you’d expect and says, ” My disposition is not so bad as you think: I am passionate, but not vindictive”
This quote explains to us, how even after Mrs Reed has deprived Jane of a fortune and a comfortable life, Jane still finds it in her heart to forgive Mrs Reed. She tells her aunt how she is “passionate” and doesn’t hold grudges. This shows that Jane has grown as a character to love her enemies and forgive them for the mistakes they make. When Jane Eyre learns on her wedding day that her true love, Mr Rochester, already has a wife, she is faced with a conflict between her love for this man and her moral duty to God.
Bronte allows the reader to feel Jane’s despair following the discovery of Bertha Mason, when she says: my nerves vibrated to those low-spoken words as they had never vibrated to thunder” The significance of this is that Jane doesn’t immediately blame Rochester, she stops and thinks and eventually realises there are two sides to consider. Rochester could have been forced into the marriage, and so should be given the chance to explain himself. Any other woman in those circumstances would have been furious, but due to Jane’s heroic nature she manages to control herself. Bronte shows the reader how strongly felt Jane sees Rochester’s actions to be, when she leaves Thornfield to save Rochester’s soul.
Jane impresses the reader here because she sticks by her faith and morals. She doesn’t want Rochester to go to hell so she leaves him. This is an important stage in the novel because we see Jane give up her happiness to do the right thing for Mr Rochester. Even though Rochester begs Jane to stay she still remains composed and walks out on him, feeling she has done the correct thing. Jane builds up her strength to leave Thornfield gradually, evidence of this can be seen when she says: “Real affection, it seemed he could not have for me”
From this, the reader can understand how Jane’s trust in Rochester has been severely damaged. She no longer believes Rochester truly loves her and this is shown when Jane says the phrases “real affection” and “it seemed” in the quote. If Rochester truly loved Jane he’d have told her about Bertha from the beginning. This is the first time we see Jane put herself first as an adult and not someone else’s well being. At Moor House, Jane discovers she is related to Rivers as a cousin. Jane is overwhelmed with joy and is told that her late Uncle John has left her £20,000.
This makes Jane feel financially independent which she has longed to have. St John wishes to marry Jane so that can both work in India together. Jane deals with St John’s proposal cleverly, offering to go with him as a helper rather than a wife, knowing that this would not suit St John. Jane uses strong words to get her point across. For example: “My dear cousin, abandon your scheme of marriage – forget it” This quote emphasises how Jane clearly shows her feelings about the marriage. She uses the powerful words such as “abandon” and “forget” to show how determined she is about the matter.
Although she seems to be coming on very strongly, the phrase “dear” shows Jane’s politeness towards Rivers. This is vital if Jane is to stay on good terms with him. Jane’s religious beliefs are habitually shown during the novel. When Jane is explaining to Rivers why she doesn’t wish to go to India with him as his wife, she says: “Oh! I will give my heart to god” From this we can see that Jane wants to be loyal to god and do her duty. If she married Rivers and went to India with him she would lose her soul in the eyes of God.
This was the last thing she wanted so she kindly declined St John’s offer. It is true Jane has a passionate side to her nature, the main point during the novel where this is showed, is when Jane hears Rochester’s voice in her mind call, “Jane, Jane, Jane”. She instantly runs outside and realises how much it is Rochester she loves and wants to be with. Jane realises what a mistake she made when she left after the Bertha Mason incident. She leaves Moor House and makes her way to Thornfield Hall. Jane arrives to find that a fire has destroyed part of the building.
Rochester sadly lost his sight and now is living at Ferndean. Jane travels on and eventually reaches Rochester. She confronts him by saying, “Pilot knows me, and John and Mary know I am here. I came only this evening” Rochester replies in shock by saying, “Great God! – what delusion has come over me? What sweet madness has seized me? ” This quote shows how Rochester can’t quite believe that Jane has returned to be with him. He can’t understand why she has come back to a crippled man. The words “Great” and “delusion” emphasise how surprised he is to hear Jane’s voice.
She tells Rochester that she is financially independent with £5000. Jane offers Rochester her hand in marriage and he accepts. Jane heroic nature is what causes her to go return to her true love and she realises Rochester is the man she wants to live the rest of her life with. Over the course of the novel, Jane’s character develops from a rebellious child to a wife, devoted to her much older husband. She learns to accept, let things go, and to forgive. Jane’s resilience proves to be an important factor in the manor she copes when under pressure.
During Jane’s childhood she lashes out at John after he’d badly tormented her. She got the blame, but still argued her case. Development is only shown later on in the novel when Jane visits Mrs Reed. She is told of how she could have been rich and lived a comfortable life. Jane, instead of having an outburst, forgave Mrs Reed because she wished for her to go to heaven and not hell. Her courage and bravery, shown throughout the novel, demonstrates Jane as a heroic character. In the end Jane came out the winner and rightfully deserving her happy life with Rochester.