Can you explain the theme of loneliness in Jane Eyre, and the soliloquy in Chapter 26?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ever since she was a child, Jane believed her family was dead. She is treated as an outcast at her aunt's house, shuffled off to Lowood School where her one true friend dies, and then she seems to find a home at Thornfield, However, her expectations are crushed when she discovers Rochester is married and she runs away from Thornfield. Eventually, she ends up homeless, and penniless and says""My strength is quite failing me," I said in a soliloquy. "I feel I cannot go much farther. Shall I be an outcast again this night? Her answer is a prayer: "Oh, Providence! sustain me a little longer! Aid! -- direct me!" Providence does seem to work for her because she finally ends up at the home of St. John, who, unknown to everyone at the time, is her relative. Thus, the loneliness Jane has felt all her life at not having a family or a place to life, is lifted. She has dealt with loneliness well and is finally rewarded. Unfortunately, even though she now has what she has always dreamed of, she feels incomplete with Rochester. Thus, she returns to Thornfield, only to find Rochester a shrunken man. However, Jane's pluck and determination not to be lonely again overcome her circumstances and she is rewarded once again. Charlotte Bronte, the author, seems to be saying that loneliness is a battle that can be faced and overcome with faith and determination.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial