The Importance Of Freedom In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the heroine is portrayed as a neglected individual who desperately wishes to learn the skill of escaping the imprisonment of the troubled mind. Literary critic Nina Baym claims that Jane’s goal is to assert her dominance rather than to gain independence. However, in several parts of the novel, Jane is vocal about her desire to make it on her own without the assistance of money, love, or affection. She would rather be freed of any restraints that may hold her hostage than dominate the life of another. To exemplify this claim, Jane states “I desired liberty; for liberty, I gasped; for liberty, I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing” (pg. 102, Bronte.) The word…show more content…
She will simply find joy through the recognition of her own positive attributes. This alone is a step towards independence because Jane was taught to feel as though she was not worthy of happiness for much of her life. Abandoning the mindset of unworthiness is a successful method of releasing herself from the grasp of Mrs. Reed. Jane is no longer dependent on negative assertions- Thus, exemplifying her freedom. Furthermore, Jane says “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself” (Chapter 27, Bronte.) This statement greatly represents the growth that Jane has undergone. She no longer dreads the solitude that once haunted her because she respects herself enough to realize that she did not deserve to experience such great dismay. Through independence and self-recognition, Jane has discovered the importance of loving oneself. Without the reliance on the thoughts of others, the once extremely troubled girl found bliss through a lack of outside control. In regards to her relationship with Mr. Rochester, Jane understands that she must leave him behind to maintain her own well-being. She does not allow the wealth or proclaimed love from Rochester to skew her decisions and she does not linger to dominate the life of her lover. Instead, she moves forward to continue her endless pursuit of happiness and independence.
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