Love, Marriage, and Behavior in Jane Eyre
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Love is an intense feeling of deep affection and usually emotional connection with the other person. It may apply to different kinds of regard, but the strongest one appears as romantic feeling between male and female. Love and marriage go hand in hand with each other. Love is usually the driving force of any successful marriage, when two people decide to be united in a consensual relationship documented by law. In the majority of societies and cultures, when two people fall in love, the feeling to get married strengthens. Nevertheless, it was not accepted at all times. Moreover, arranged marriages are still practiced nowadays (Hendrick & Hendrick 785).
The conflict of Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre is founded on the Victorian community and its attitude to love and marriage, women and their behavior. In this way, Charlotte Bronte reflected her opposition to the British ideology of the Victorian era. Jane Eyre gives more insight into this problem. Should marriage focus on the feelings rather than a position in society? That is the question put by author.
Love and Marriage in Jane Eyre
There are a number of themes in the book. Love, marriage, and independence are the dominant ones. When women’s liberation was impossible, relationships between men and women were unequal in the male dominated world of Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is the main heroine, who narrates her story from the age of ten till twenty-two. From the early childhood, her life was not easy being. Still, the author depicts the main heroine as a strong personality and a woman of will. Despite her strong wish to be independent, Jane Eyre serves for valuable, belonging and romantic love. She is ready to hurt herself in order to achieve love. Nevertheless, Jane Eyre is not just a woman, who is falling in love, but it is also a person with her own principles and original way of thinking. During her life, she is searching for her place in the world meeting with new people, gaining new experience and overcoming a considerable number of obstacles.
Love and Marriage for Rochester and People of That Time
Women’s marriage was the memorial for their independence in the Victorian epoch. Marriage was arranged by the families at that time. It was based on money and social class, on the contrary to love (Soames). Like others, Edward married Bertha and his marriage failed within a couple of months. Instead of providing care for Bertha, Edward uses his power and money to lock her up with Grace Pool. Through Mr. Edward Rochester, the author illustrates the subject of class in the society. He brings to show the typical marriage setting of the time. Paradoxically, a girl from a poor family stole his heart, and Mr. Rochester married with Jane despite the public opinion. That is how the author tends to highlight that money cannot buy love and true affection.
Love and Marriage for Jane Eyre
On the wedding day, Jane finds out that Mr. Rochester has been already married to a mad lady. Though she understands that he does not have any feelings to his wife, and he was forced to marry her, Jane does not accept his invitation to live in France with him as his wife and leaves Edward. Jane’s dream to be with her beloved cannot be realized, because of her desire to live a pure life.
Jane disagrees to marry St. John too, as she had no emotional feelings towards this person. If to look at this relationship more closely, it becomes clear that St. John is one of the key figures on the life path of Jane Eyre. He gave her everything that enabled her to have a happy life, full of love and passion, just as she wanted it to be. If not her cousin, she will not end up with her soul mate.
Jane’s marriage with Rochester is considered more than just an independent action. Jane blindly fell in love with Rochester and stays with him after he lost his eyesight and hand in the fire (Bronte).
Charlotte’s Opinion about Love and Marriage
Jane Eyre is an autobiographical story that is based on the life experience of Charlotte Bronte. However, she gave herself space both for creativity and coverage of important issues. The author’s goal was to share the main lesson of life rather than tell the autobiographical events. The conclusion is quite clear – to follow one’s heart and never give up when facing hardships.
Standard of behavior for Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre stands out as a person practicing justice, human dignity, and morality. She comes along many men proposing her, but she is on the way of finding her true love. Miss Eyre believes that it is better be alone than with somebody, whom does not love. Jane does not care about appearance of the man she chose as well as his wealth. Love for her means to care about that person without thinking of own well-being. She is faithful to her feelings, because of the inner world and pure love. Jane has gone through a lot of obstacles and challenges in her life, which made her immensely brave, strong, persistent, emotional, sensitive, and faithful at the same time.
Interview about Jane Eyre
What is love for Jane Eyre? The marriage of Rochester and Bertha was autonomy and did not include love, but Jane thinks quite differently: "Whenever I marry," she continued, after a pause which none interrupted, "I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me. I will suffer no competitor near the throne; I shall exact an undivided homage: his devotions shall not be shared between me and the shape he sees in his mirror”(Bronte 128).
Can the marriage remain a frigid compromising to the emotional independence? Jane’s considerations are described in this way: “Can I receive from him the bridal ring, endure all the forms of love (which I doubt not he would scrupulously observe) and know that the spirit was quite absent? Can I bear the consciousness that every endearment he bestows is a sacrifice made on principle? As a sister, I might accompany him....” (Bronte 203).
Can Jane stay with a disabled man, whom she loves? On the question whether she will accompany Mr. Rochester’s life Jane replays: “Do you think I feared him in his blind ferocity?—If you do, you little know me. A soft hope blessed with my sorrow that soon I should dare to drop a kiss on that brow of rock, and on those lips so sternly sealed beneath it: but not yet” (Radish).
To conclude, the protagonist is not typical character for a woman of that time. She sets an example of honesty, faithfulness, and pure love. Despite all problems and difficulties, Jane saved her innocent soul and heart. It is established that the ways of human behavior in the field of love and marriage today are the same, as they were years ago. Although there are many books about personal relationships, this is a unique one. The novel gives a picture of the complicated problems in spiritual and social life of those British Empire. Thus, it was written to provoke contradictory reactions.
It is quite easy to perceive, why Jane Eyre is considered a classic masterpiece even now, centuries after its publication. The question of love in marriage is an issue of interest at all times. Charlotte Bronte has found the feeling of love being valid and perceptible. Obviously, arranged marriages or other ones should be based on love and concern first of all things, but only with further dedication and efforts to sustain the marriage.