Use Your Senses to Make Sense of Jane Eyre.
In her novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte establishes the reader with a first-hand account of a woman's triumph over hardships. The character of Jane Eyre is passionate and hungry for equality as an individual. She does, however, lack the most superficial yet very necessary qualities of femininity. Jane is frank and sincere but lacks in personal vanity. Bronte describes Jane as "small and plain and Quaker-like." Jane Eyre is a young woman who is completely unprotected by social position. She has no family and is without power or independent wealth. What she lacks in femininity she makes up for with passion and appetite. Throughout the novel, Jane faces many hardships that test her integrity and spirit. In the opening scenes with her aunt, for example Jane shows her true feelings:.
"People think you a good woman, but you are bad; hard-hearted. You are deceitful!" .
and "I am glad you are no relative of mine; I will never call you aunt again so long.
as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me.
how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say that the very thought of you.
makes me sick." (30).
In the novel, this series of excited outbursts by Jane surprises the reader. This is a blunt and skeptical little girl who can already see through the hypocrisy of her self-righteous elder. Bronte also projects Jane with rebellious undercurrents. As Jane speaks to the reader candidly, as a friend would, suddenly a few sentences later she refutes what she has just established. This leads the reader on a thought provoking journey always wondering if what seems to be actually is. The novel begins with a blunt statement: "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. The shrubbery is leafless; the winter sky overcast." The reader should not jump to the conclusion that Jane felt deprived of the walk because Jane immediately declares, " I was glad of it; I never liked long walks.