A discussion of Jane Eyre’s passage from childhood to adulthood.
Jane Eyre When a caterpillar hatches from its mother’s egg, it enters this world as an innocent, pure creature. As time passes by, it unwraps its cocoon and goes through metamorphosis. Once the caterpillar grows into a fully developed butterfly, it has lost its innocence and purity forever. Jane was an inexperienced caterpillar but her stay at Lowood and her challenging time at Thornfield with Mr. Rochester has changed her into an independent, matured butterfly. When Jane was young, she taught herself to be virtuous. Her aunt’s criticisms and punishments has made Jane realize that she wasn’t treated as part of the family. Her development of determination and self-reliance become more superior each day she spent at Gateshead. Jane states: “…I hate to live here.” This quote proves that Jane hated Gateshead and she was determined to find a better place. The place Jane found was the Lowood Institution for orphans. It was not a better place but it helped Jane stand on her own feet. Through the help of Helen Burns, Jane has learned to love, forget hatred and live her life in happiness. Helen states: “Life appears too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.” These words shows that Helen is more mature and experienced than Jane. Jane observes: “Miss Temple is full of goodness…” Miss Temple was another great influence in Jane’s life, she treated Jane as if she were her own daughter. We realize now that Jane was no longer alone. She had friends to love her and guide her to the next step in life. Jane had not only gained more experience and confidence, she also achieved a great education during her eight years at Lowood. Jane’s next destination was Thornfield where she was to become the governess of Adele, an orphan just like her. Adele’s presence reminded Jane of her old self and her awful childhood at Gateshead. Jane taught Adele good virtues and the vicissitude of life. She wanted Adele to have a better childhood than she did. Jane was happy at Thornfield mainly because of Mr. Rochester’s love. The following quotation states that Jane has fallen in love. “…I have learnt to love Mr. Rochester, I could not unlove him now…” It is obvious from these words that Jane had lost her innocence. She was no longer Jane Eyre, she was soon to be happily married to the man she loves. You might think that all Jane’s pains would come to an end but they have just started. Mr. Rochester was not the honest man Jane had thought he was, he had another wife living at Thornfield. Jane’s feelings were crushed, her hopes and dreams shattered in front of her own eyes. Her miseries had led her back to where she started. I believe that Jane had gained more than she had lost. The strength she had gained from the breakup was more valuable than the actual love she had experienced. It is clear now that Jane has matured and grown from a frail young girl to an experienced adult. The obstacles she encountered during her stay at Lowood and Thornfield has made her stronger both physically and emotionally. Helen, Miss Temple, and Mr. Rochester will always remain in Jane’s heart. As Jane grows older, she will look back at these memories and reminisce her indescribable feelings.