Above All, Jane Eyre Is a Love Story

In: English and Literature

Submitted By liedwards
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‘Above all, Jane Eyre is a love story’
How far do you agree and in what ways do you agree with this view? There is no doubt that the theme of love is prevalent throughout Jane Eyre. However, Bronte seems to place more emphasis on Jane establishing her true identity and creating herself as an individual in a society that presents many obstacles on her way to achieve this. Jane Eyre is a journey of selfhood, and love is used more as a challenge to this quest that Jane eventually masters. Jane doesn’t find romantic love until she meets Mr Rochester. However, from their very first meeting it is clear that the central issue is the differences between their positions in society. Jane is ‘disposed to obey’ Mr Rochester even before she discovers that he is her employer. At the same time, although Mr Rochester and Jane may not be equals in society, they are, as Gilbert and Gubar point out, ‘spiritual equals’, who ‘see beyond each other’s disguise’. Despite this, there is a long passage of time that ensues before they can officially express their love for each other. This allows Bronte to focus on the problems that this unconventional love between master and governess poses; Jane directly refers to herself as a ‘blind puppy’ and further reminds herself: ‘He is not of your order; keep to your caste’. This is where Bronte moves away from a love story towards the predicaments that Jane experiences because of her place in society. At least Jane does not fool herself – she knows that unless she acquires the social and financial position of a figure such as Blanche Ingram, a relationship with Mr Rochester is quite impossible. Bronte explores the relationship between Mr Rochester and Blanche Ingram to demonstrate the privileges that Blanche automatically acquires because of her rank in society and the injustice that this poses. There is certainly no feeling of mutual love…...

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