Jane Eyre is in search of something more. She became an orphan at a young age, lived with a family that treated her more like someone off the street, and had an internal issue with how to be due to the situations she lived through throughout her life. Jane Eyre has a lot in common with Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God. Throughout both novels, there’s an internal conflict with both Jane and Janie on what type of freedom they aspire to, how to be with someone while still belonging to themselves- both emotionally and physically, and how to have that sense of home.
In both novels, the main characters end up as orphans but still grow up with integrity and self-value. While Janie had a grandmother who cared for her, Jane didn’t. Jane went on with her life and grew up with abuse and neglect from her family. While for many other people, this life experience could’ve changed them for the worse, for both of these characters, it helped build the thick shells and self-value that we see throughout the story. Jane and Janie both struggle to know what type of freedom they both want; we see that in the way that Janie marries many men and isn’t content and how Jane marries Rochester believing he is her same kindred spirit.
As the story continues, we discover that Rochester has previously been married to Bertha Mason. This shakes up Jane and makes her question how she wants to remain involved with Rochester. She has the choice of either staying with him and betraying her integrity, leaving England with him, or leaving him altogether for her sake. She knows Rochester is deeply sorry for depriving her of this truth, but in her heart, she states she truly forgives him. She understands that he loves her, but she also doesn’t want to continue living a life of neglect.
As the same as Janie, she goes through multiple marriages seeking something more out of them. She seemed in true love knowing that it was out there for her, which was something that wasn’t being given to her. Therefore she continuously left those marriages, knowing she deserved to belong to herself and have that shot at real love.
As a child who became an orphan at a young age and was abused by her Aunt Reed and cousins, Jane struggles to feel part of a home, not only in the sense of four walls but in relationships with others. The story goes along, and we see how, eventually, her home is not a where but a whom. Jane goes back to Thornfield after having been staying at Gateshead for a month. At this, she becomes anxious because she anticipates running into Rochester, who will soon be married to Blanche, as Rochester and Jane come across each other.
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