What are Jane's feelings as she returns to Thornfield in Jane Eyre?

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

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The answer to this question can be found in Chapter Thirty-Six, when Jane leaves Moor House, which had been a sanctuary for her, to return to Thornfield Hall and a very uncertain future, knowing nothing of what has transpired with her former master and lover, Edward Rochester. It is clear however, that in spite of this uncertainty, Jane is exultant to be returning. Note the simile that is used to describe her feelings as she leaves Moor House:

Once more on the road to Thornfield, I felt like the messenger-pigeon flying home.

Clearly the way that Jane identifies herself with a messenger-pigeon indicates her own sense of identifying with Thornfield Hall, and, much more importantly, its owner. In addition, note how her walk back to Thornfield Hall is described:

There was the stile before me--the very fields through which I had hurried, blind, deaf, distracted, with a revengeful fury tracking and scourging me, on the morning I fled from Thornfield: ere I knew what course I had resolved to take, I was in the midst of them. How fast I walked! How I ran sometimes! How I looked forward to catch the first view of the well-known woods! With what feelings I welcomed single trees I knew, and familiar glimpes of meadow and hill between them!

The sense of excitement and aniticpation is obvious through the repeated exclamations that describe her joy of returning, compared to the way in which she was forced to flee Thornfield so long ago.

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