From an early age, the orphaned Jane is forced to fend for herself and become independent. She is disliked by her aunt Reed, sent off to a charity school, and enters adult life with no fortune or family to back her up. She knows that she will have to earn her own living and make her own way in the world.
Jane supports herself by becoming a governess. While many women in her time and place took on governess jobs, most considered it a comedown for a lady to have to work for a living. Jane, however, is glad to have the opportunity to earn her own way and finds life at Thornfield better than what she had experienced before. Her spirit does rebel, however, at the stifling monotony of a woman's narrow life in a home.
Jane leaves the job and Rochester to maintain her dignity and moral principles when he wants her to commit bigamy, another show of independence. She takes a job at the Morton School for the daughters of poor cottagers, and while she does see this as a come down in the world...
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