How is Jane Eyre's arrival at Thornfield is an important milestone in her journey from innocence to experience?

Expert Answers
amymc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jane's arrival at Thornfield Hall marks the end of her needing to rely on others for care and the beginning of her earning her own way.  Initially, she must rely on the so-called "care" of her Aunt Reed and the abuse from Mr. Brocklehurst at the orphanage.  After years of suffering, Jane strikes out on her own to begin work as a governess and to fend for herself.  This leap into independence is one way that Jane moves from innocence to experience.

Another way that Jane makes this thematic move is her awareness of her feelings for Mr. Rochester.  Despite his aloof manner, she is falling for him and becomes jealous of a rival suitor.   She has, in a sense, been awakened as a passionate woman rather than a girl.

Finally, Jane learns what it is to care for and even forgive others.  She learns her Aunt Reed is ill and takes steps towards forgiving her for her terrible abuse.   This action helps her ultimately forgive Mr. Rochester.

Read the study guide:
Jane Eyre

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question