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In Jane Eyre, explore the journeys in Jane's life and their effects on her and others....

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McKatie | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2013 at 4:19 AM via web

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In Jane Eyre, explore the journeys in Jane's life and their effects on her and others.

I have to talk about this topic for 2 minutes in class tomorrow and I'm not completely sure on what to say. I was planing to take it in the direction of Jane's life goal being to find a family and be loved and state how she progresses from being surrounded by neglect to achieving her goal at the age of 20. But I'm also not sure about the effect on others. Just a few examples to give me an idea is fine, thank you.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 6, 2013 at 6:37 AM (Answer #1)

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The only problem with your idea at present is the way in which Jane's journeys at times clearly take her away from her goal of finding a family and being loved. For example, take her flight from Thornfield after she discovers the truth of Mrs Rochester, which is a journey that leads her to penury, want, and isolation, even though eventually she finds by complete coincidence her own family and a home. It seems more likely to argue that the journeys that Jane makes show her true character and help her to discover things about herself. In the same way, it is clear that the impact of these journeys on others is also important, as it reveals certain truths about other characters as well. Note for example the journey that Jane makes to go back to visit her dying aunt, Mrs Reed. This journey is important through the way in which she is able to lay certain ghosts to rest through facing her dying aunt and discovering more of the truth of what happened in her childhood. Yet also note what Jane experiences as she returns to Thornfield and sees Mr Rochester again:

Well, he is not a ghost; yet every nerve I have is unstrung: for a moment I am beyond my own master. What does it mean? I did not think I should tremble in this way when I saw him--or lose my voice or the power of motion in his presence.

It is an old saying that "absence makes the heart grow fonder"; Jane, in returning after a period of absence, shows that she is deeply in love with Rochester, even if she is not necessarily as aware of this fact as the reader clearly is. In the same way, the absence of Jane has driven Mr Rochester to act on his own feelings, as he is clearly working to prepare for his own marriage to Jane, even though he is fooling her to make her think this marriage is to somebody else. Journeys therefore are important in this novel through what they show first and foremost about Jane herself, but also in how they help the reader to gain more understanding into other characters as well.  

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