What life lessons does Jane learn in "Jane Eyre"? How are they difficult lessons?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Jane Eyre," traces the development of a young woman as she struggles to attain her identity against forces working against her.  As an orphan she goes to live with her aunt, Mrs. Reed, who treats her cruelly.  Forbidden to sit by the warm fire, Charlotte must be seated at the window where she insulates herself against the cold with the curtains.  Blamed for her cousin's deeds, Charlotte is made to stay in her dead uncle's gloomy room.  At night Charlotte must sleep in a closet.  Eventually, Jane becomes ill and is then sent to an orphan asylum named Lowood.  Later, when her aunt is dying, the aunt confesses that she has deprived Jane from being adopted by her uncle and has deprived her of her inheritance.

At Lowood Mr. Brocklehurst, cruelly makes the girls survive on a meager diet and made to wear their hair short. When Jane drops a slate, she is made to stand on a stool for hours. After being at Lowood, Jane becomes a teacher there.  Thanks to a friendly teacher, Jane procures a position as governness to the daughter of the owner of Thornfield.  There Jane is moderately comfortable, but she wonders at the strange nature of Mr. Rochester who is rather abrupt with her at first.  Later, she is engaged to him, but learns he is already married. Sick and deprived after leaving Thornfield, Jane is rescued by cousins.  Reluctant to marry her passionness cousin, Jane returns to Rochester.