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Written during the Victorian Age, in which women were repressed in their individuality by their subservience to their husbands, Jane Eyre is daring in its exploration of its main character. A dynamic character of remarkable fortitude and individuality, Jane serves as a marvelous model for emulation as the issue of female independence is central to Charlotte Bronte's novel and character Jane.
Even as a child, Jane is assertive, always making her own choices. She rejects the sacredness of dull authority such as Mrs. Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst; she insists upon governing her own behavior based upon the sustaining of her own integrity. This is why she leaves Mr. Rochester when she learns of his attempt at bigomy, and she will not live with St. John Rivers because she knows that he would stultify her spirit. Unlike the stereotypical Victorian woman, Jane prizes her spirit and imagination and will neither relinquish or compromise them. Jane Eyre is yet today a character that all young women would do well to emulate.
There is a great analysis of Jane's character at the link below, here on eNotes. Jane is a pretty modern woman for being created during the Victorian era. She is independent and intelligent and a woman of high standards and principles. She has integrity. Rochester finds this out when he disguises himself as a fortune teller and asks Jane what she thinks of him. Unknown to Jane that it is Rochester in disguise at first, she anwers very frankly.
She flees from Rochester, even though she loves him, because when she finds out he is married, he wants her to become his mistress. She has high morals as well, so she refuses to do this. Fearing that she might succumb, she runs away. She also later refuses to marry St. John because she knows that he really does not love her and she does not want to merely be his companion in ministry.
Check out the analysis here on eNotes.
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