The Final Step to Maturity


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The bildungsroman Jane Eyre details the maturation both psychologically and morally of a girl in Victorian era Britain. Morally, Jane evolves from being vengeful and angry to being balanced and moral. Moreover, In the beginning of the novel Jane Eyre is kept in the lowest position of power by her aunt and cousin, however as the story progresses she finds her independence and learns to assert herself. A pivotal moment in Jane’s journey to maturity is when she gets married to Edward Rochester at the end of the novel. Her marriage is important because it is the first time she becomes equal to or more powerful than someone else.

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Throughout the novel Jane is kept in a position of lesser power. At the very start of the book Jane is oppressed by her aunt, who punishes her when she tries to think for herself or be independent. Once again at the Lowood School Mr. Brocklehurst intimidates and belittles Jane and even further in the novel St. John attempts to pressure Jane into marrying him. Moreover, the first time Jane attempted to marry Edward Rochester, Jane is still less powerful as she was dependant on him. However, when Jane returns to Rochester after the fire they are equals. Jane having made friends and gaining her own money is now independent and doesn’t need to rely on Rochester and can now marry him as an equal.

Additionally, Jane’s wedding also exhibits her moral maturity. When Jane was young and living with her aunt she had a very vengeful attitude and believed that being abused was better than being poor. As she grows up she learns from peers that being loved is better than being in a higher social class and that respect can be earned however does not lose the fierce aspect of her personality. When Jane attempts to marry Rochester for the first time she didn’t know he was already married, however when Jane realizes this she refuses to wed him or become his mistress. Jane only accepts marrying him once he becomes single again. Furthermore, Jane marries him only when she can provide for herself and he loses his hand and his sight, proving she wanted to marry him out of love.

At the beginning of the novel Jane is a very angry and mistreated girl. Throughout the novel Jane is dependant on other characters and put in subordinate positions. However, when Jane marries Rochester they are equals because Jane is independant. Jane also morally developed as she doesn’t become Rochester’s mistress, and only marries him once he is single. She also doesn’t marry him until she is self sufficient insuring that she is marrying him only for love.

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