How is the concept of belonging shown in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre?

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

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From the isolated and chilly reading topic of Jane at the very beginning of the novel, we receive many different impressions of how she is excluded and kept out in the cold and not allowed to belong. If we think about this for one moment, she is not allowed to belong to the Reed family, even though she is a relative. The Reverend Brocklehurst does his best to show Jane that she will never belong to the Lowood School, and even when Jane manages to find work there, she still has little in common with her companions and is glad to leave. Also, the social interaction between the visitors at Thornfield and Jane definitely indicates that she does not dwell in the same social circles and she continues to have her inferior social position stressed throughout these chapters. In many ways, then, we can read this novel as one characters search for a place to call home and where she can find her niche. She finds this in Moor House, briefly, finding true family who love and cherish her, but this journey is only complete when she returns to Rochester and they live together as equals in Ferndean Manor. Consider how Jane describes their relationship in the final chapter:

I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest—blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward’s society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do of the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result.

Jane finally finds somewhere where she belongs and where she is not excluded or treated as an inferior in any way by those in her society. The "perfect concord" she finds with Rochester is the result of this.

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