Jane Eyre and Little Women: Jane and Jo Comparison Essay

1591 Words Oct 1st, 1999 7 Pages
The novels Jane Eyre and Little Women are strikingly similar in many ways, and the characters Jane Eyre and Jo March are almost mirrors of each other. There are many similarities between Jane and Jo, and also some differences, as well. From childhood, although they find themselves in completely different situations, both girls experience many of the same trials in their younger years. Jane is an orphan who has no family to call her own, and lives with an aunt and cousins who despise and dislike her. She was left penniless by the death of her parents, and is reminded daily by her house mates that she is inferior to them because of her circumstance. Jo grows up in a loving home with three adoring sisters and a mother, however, she also feels …show more content…
After Laurie expresses his love to Jo and offers marriage, Jo rejects him, saying, "I don't see why I can't love you as you want me to. I've tried, but I can't change the feeling, and it would be a lie to say I do when I don't." (331) Jane, too, rejects a marriage proposal from St. John Rivers because of the lack of love, as well, when she says, "... if I am not formed for love, then it follows that I am not formed for marriage." (756) Both believe that marriage without love would be unthinkable, and decline possible wealth (in Jo's case) and opportunity (in Jane's), rather than to marry someone they do not love in a romantic way. As Jo puts it to Laurie, "I don't believe it's the right sort of love, and I'd rather not try it." (332) Jane's need for a true family, and for the love that she'd never experienced, keeps her from marrying into an unromantic relationship. Jo, however, having had a close knit family, turns down Laurie simply because she sees him as her brother, and not as a lover.
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<br>Another way in which Jane and Jo are alike is through their journeys away from the love of another person. Jo leaves Laurie behind while she goes away to the Kirke's to help him forget his love for her. After he proposes, Jo tells Laurie, " I never wanted to make you care for me so, and I went away to keep you from it if I could." (331) Jane, on the other hand, leaves Thornfield to try to become independent of Mr. Rochester, and to forget her love for him.

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