Jane Eyre Essay: Refusal to Sacrifice Moral Principles

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Refusal to Sacrifice Moral Principles in Jane Eyre

The need to love and to be loved is a general characteristic basic to human nature. However, the moral principles and beliefs that govern this need are decided by the individual. In the novel Jane Eyre , author, Charlotte Brontë, vividly describes the various characters' personalities and beliefs. When the reader first meets the main character, Jane Eyre, an orphan of ten, she is living at Gateshead Hall in England with her Aunt Reed and three cousins, all of whom she greatly despises. Soon after, Jane is sent away to the Lowood Institution, a girls' school, where she lives for the next eight years. Jane then moves to Thornfield Hall to work as a governess for Mr. Rochester; they
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Jane then proceeds to tell Mrs. Reed, " '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' " (46). Jane never yields to her aunt, and she always tells Mrs. Reed exactly what she thinks and feels. Much of this impulsive, passionate behavior is caused from Jane knowing she is not loved and also from realizing that she will never be able to please Mrs. Reed.

After a ten year absence from Gateshead, Jane receives word that Mrs. Reed is ill and wishes to see her. Jane does not hesitate in returning to Gateshead, and the first words she asks Mrs. Reed are, " 'How are you dear aunt?' " (342). Although Jane had once pledged never to call her aunt again, she "thought it no sin to forget and break that vow now" (342). Because of her principles and beliefs, she corrects a wrong she feels she has made and only wishes that Mrs. Reed would love her.
However, Mrs. Reed treats Jane with bitterness, telling her she wishes Jane had died and that she has, " 'a very bad disposition. . .' " (355). Still, Jane tries to make peace with her aunt saying, " 'Love me, then, or hate me, as you will, you have my full and free forgiveness' " (355). Although Mrs. Reed refuses to love Jane, Jane does everything in her power to make peace with her aunt. This action is evidence of Jane's desire to love and to be loved, while never swaying from her personal values.

Jane's unwillingness to

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