In Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre, the main character faces many struggles. One ofthe struggles she faces is the temptation to run away with the man she loves andbe his mistress or to marry a man who offers her the contrary where it would bea legal and highly respectable marriage but with no genuine love. Jane Eyrereturns to Rochester because she values love and passion more than reason andwhen she hears his mysterious voice calling for her, she is also sure thatRochester and her share a spiritual link. Jane must decide between two men whohave similar characteristics but are offering her almost exact oppositerelationships. Jane must decide between reason and passion which is on of themain themes in the novel. The characteristics of the two men, who propose toJane, conjure and symbolize the themes in Jane Eyre.
Although, Rochester and St. John offer Jane entirely different relationships both men are noticeably selfishand disregard Janes feelings to some degree. Both men are strong-willed,powerful, and stubborn about their ways of thinking and living. This isespecially seen in St. John as Jane describes her cousin as being as stiffabout urging his point as possible. They believe that want they do is in thebest interest of Jane and use unfair methods to tempt Jane into going againsther own morals.
Rochester tries to convince Jane to run away with him by usingthe tragic story of his marriage to Bertha Mason. His story makes Jane feelsympathetic and only makes her work more difficult. Rochester turns toemotional blackmail when Jane still resists him. He tries to use her affectiontowards him to his advantage by accusing her of pushing him back on lust fora passion vice for an occupation.
He questions her on whether it isbetter to drive a fellow-creature to despair than to transgress a mere humanlaw? St. John, on the other hand, is far more convinced that he knows whatis truly best for Jane. His plan for her is moral and appeals to her loyalty andidealism about God. He claims her not for pleasure but for hisSovereign service.
But Jane must refuse him too because of her strongbelief in that there must be love between two people for them to unite inmarriage. St. John does not understand Janes passionate nature, for himpassion is an earthly emotion which must be put aside so that God can be served. He, himself, sacrifices his love for Rosamond Oliver because he thinks she wouldnot make a good missionarys wife whereas Jane would but he does not trulylove her.
St. John uses his own ways to try to manipulate Jane but he does alsotry to use her affection towards him to his advantage. Unlike Rochester, St. John uses religious arguments to try to convince Jane to marry him.
He tells herthat her rejection is not of him but of God. He believes it is the cause toGod he advocates and it is under His standard that he enlists Jane. ButJane states that she could never marry a man who is as cold as an icebergand has no more of a husbands heart. She scorns the counterfeitsentiment he offers to her and scorns his idea of love. When hisforceful attempts fail, he changes to a gentle tone which almost wins over Janebut in her confusion and sadness is when she hears Rochesters voice call outfor her.
Rochesters voice is speaking in pain and woe, wildly, eerily,urgently which sends Jane heading back to Thornfield. This time, it is notJanes conscience but her passion and love for Rochester which convinces herto not marry St. John. Jane returns to Thornfield stronger morally andspiritually than before and finds that Rochester has changed for the better. Both characters have changed through the novel after suffering through hardshipswhich indicates they should be together.
Jane gradually matures through thewhole novel but the most significant stage is after she leaves Thornfield. Shelearns her hunger and her need for shelter are her problems. Unlike herexperiences at Gateshead and Lowood, Jane handles herself in a much moredignified manner when she arrives at the Moor House. Jane proves the housekeeperwrong by answering in a civil manner when the housekeeper believes Jane is abeggar.
Jane learns to accept responsibility for herself and her actions. Rochester changes after the fire and he now turns to God and has begun to saybrief prayers. Jane, in refusing Rochester, has satisfied her conscience inobeying the law given by God: sanctioned by man. And in refusing St. John, she has satisfied her instinctive feeling that a loveless marriage is ablasphemy.
Without violating her beliefs, Jane has won her struggle. Her wishfor love and satisfaction comes true when she is with Rochester. They have ahappy marriage because they are able to achieve a balance between passion andreason.English Essays