Discuss Jane's one real concern about venturing away from Lowood in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Jane must confront two situations that will affect her residence at Lowood. First, Miss Temple—Jane's friend and mentor—marries and moves away. Her departure makes Jane realize how much she not only depended upon Miss Temple, but to what extent Jane's attitudes and perceptions of the world she inhabits have come from Miss Temple.

From the day she left I was no longer the same: with her was gone every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowood in some degree a home to me. I had imbibed from her something of her nature and much of her habits...

When Miss Temple departs as bride to the Rev. Mr. Nasmyth, Jane realizes that she is not happy at Lowood. She wishes fervently to be free:

I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer...

Once Jane reconciles herself to the changes taking place around and within her, she grows concerned as to how she can alter her circumstances, for she knows little of the world outside of Lowood Institution. She comes to two realizations: first, if she can be of service at Lowood, certainly she could be of service somewhere else.

A new servitude! There is something in that...But Servitude! That must be matter of fact. Any one may serve: I have served here eight years; now all I want is to serve elsewhere...If I had only a brain active enough to ferret out the means of attaining it.

Once Jane comes to this conclusion, she can think of nothing else. She worries that she has no way to bring about such a change in her circumstances. She reasons that others might move to a new situation with the help of friends, but she has none. Her family—the Reeds—are really not family at all. They have not been in touch with her all of these years—never once have they visited her, and she has never left Lowood to return to Gateshead.

Feverishly, Jane ponders how this can be accomplished. How does the rest of the world, those in circumstances such as hers, achieve the goal she has set for herself? Like a blessing, a second realization comes to her:

A kind fairy, in my absence, had surely dropped the required suggestion on my pillow; for as I lay down it came quietly and naturally to my mind: “Those who want situations advertise; you must advertise in the—shire Herald.”

Once Jane considers the answer that has come to her—that she needs to apply for a job through the newspaper—she needs only to set the wheels in motion by placing an ad. Jane is determined enough that she takes the necessary steps to make her intention a reality.

This scheme I went over twice, thrice; it was then digested in my mind; I had it in a clear, practical form; I felt satisfied...

Even though she is uncertain, she follows through with her plan, and her determination changes her life.

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