Charlotte Bronte’s Description Of Maturity As Illustrated In Her Book “Jane Eyre”

Adulthood is a concept that has been around for a long time. It emphasizes individualism, freedom and independence. Artists use adulthood as a symbol of independence and strength. Adolescence, on the other hand, is used by artists of all ages to represent the journey towards adulthood.

In the manga Choukakou by Xia da, a princess from the Tang Dynasty who is ignorant and seeking vengeance makes the following observation: “You’ve known the world only through a keyhole all your life.” You are wishing to go beyond what is visible to the things that should be noticed, but you lack confidence to take it further – to create a new destiny. I still see in you a burning desire to achieve more, a promise that is unknown and unforgotten. Take the reigns back and start anew. Doing so will allow you to have the view of which you’ve longed for and begged but never been allowed. Remember: Never will a girl become a king or queen who stays in her home and lives only on dreams.

Choukakou suggests that growing up in this case is more than just a physical change. It’s about a personal transformation, a journey of self-discovery and a path to success. Charlotte Bronte, like Xia D’s Choukakou uses similar themes to illustrate the protagonist’s mental and physical growth through lessons learned throughout the novel. Jane Eyre was an orphan raised by the Reeds. She endured humiliation and misery at the hands her aunt and cousins. In her youth, because of her inexperience and lack of knowledge about the world beyond Gateshead Hall, Jane Eyre’s wish to escape the Reeds and their cruel ways becomes a longing to become an adult and gain the power and independence she has never known. Jane believes she will avoid the struggles of being a kid who is unable to do anything by quickly growing up.

Bronte used Jane’s experiences to propel her towards adulthood. She strategically used John Reed’s hatred as a kid, Helen Burns’ friendship during the hardest part of Jane’s life, and Edward Rochesters’ love when she was physically mature. Bronte demonstrates that the experience of each successive character will help to shape Jane throughout her lifetime. This emphasizes that the process of growing up requires more than physical growth.

John Reed is Jane’s cruel cousin. He bullies her despite the fact that he’s four years younger than Jane. Inadvertently, this fosters Jane’s morality and her insurgent attitude to all things she considers unfair. John Reed, Jane’s malevolent cousin, bullies her despite being four years older than her. This inadvertently fosters Jane’s sense of morality and her rebellious, insurgent attitude towards all that she deems as injustice against her. Jane narrates her traumatization by this treatment, which was not accompanied by any help from her family or servants: “He punished and bullied me, not once, twice, or even three times per week. He did it continuously. Every nerve in my body trembled when he approached. The terror he caused me at times was so overwhelming that I couldn’t even speak against it.

Jane’s earliest impressions of John cause her fear due to his bullying. He bullied her constantly because she was poor, living in Gateshead and not being his original home. Jane had no choice but to endure in silence. John Reed is the patriarch of the Reed Family and looks down at Jane’s orphan status and upbringing because of his wealth, social class and his mother’s strong bias against Jane. John’s bullying is not mature enough for his age, but he uses physical blows, as well as immature psychological jeers, to make her lose her spirit and pride. Jane fears John’s terrorizing her for no apparent reason, to the point that “every ounce of nerve [she] possessed fear[s]” him. Jane also fears Mrs. Reed because she is afraid to offend John. Mrs. Reed does not reprimand John because she hates Jane, who took up her husband’s time while he was alive. She treats Jane with contempt and doesn’t tell him to stop. Jane Reed has no one to turn to in Gateshead as she is constantly harassed and abused by John Reed. Jane is able to learn from this early injustice and experience cruelty. Jane cannot find a solution or a reason for it. Jane grows up in Gateshead without any allies. Jane is punished unfairly by Mrs. Reed after she finally rebels. Jane rebels against the Reeds and their injustices. . . In my desperation I decided to do anything to save myself.

Jane describes herself in the book as a’rebel slave’ who, out of “desperation”, must “go any length” to rebel. She believes that she is a captive, under the Reeds family at Gateshead. Although she may be their ward technically, she doesn’t live as one, under their “penalties”, and so must rebel. Her desperation stems from her knowledge that she will be unable to escape Gateshead and live peacefully there. Jane’s belief is that she will be punished for her actions, regardless of whether or not she rebels. Jane is also punished for small, insignificant actions by Mrs. Reed while her own son does not receive any punishment. This demonstrates the shared hatred between Jane, Mrs. Reed and her family. Jane rebels against the punishments she receives. Jane is convinced that justice must be done and that it cannot go unpunished.

Jane, through her past experience of bullying, learns to make a decision and take the consequences. She is taught the importance to have a choice, as opposed not having one. Jane’s growing up in the novel comes from her choice and new found morality. It is something that a child shouldn’t worry about, but nonetheless, it was Jane’s very first moment of freedom.

Jane is friends with Helen Burns. Helen Burns teaches Jane to have patience and tolerance in her life. Helen Burns endures all punishments and daily struggles with dignity. Jane feels the harshness of Lowood and misses Gateshead’s comforts, despite the Reeds’ cruel treatment. Jane has a friend, Helen Burns. At Gateshead she did not.

Jane is surprised to learn that Helen and Jane have very different personalities. She also has very different perspectives. Helen’s pious convictions mirror Jane before she rebelled in Gateshead. They are to suffer through pain without complaining. Jane can’t understand at first why Helen endures such a blatant amount of pain without lashing out. Or why Helen is tolerant to her punishments when she has done nothing to merit them. Helen is completely opposite to Jane. Jane wants her sense justice displayed by rebelling against injustices in an indignant and rebellious way, while Helen just enjoys her punishments. Helen claims that punishments will be “her fate to bear”, meaning that she must accept whatever punishments she receives in order to reach Heaven with a clean soul. Helen implies that it is not worth suffering in Hell after death for rebelling while she is mortal. Jane often tells Helen that she is right, but Jane always responds by stating her own opinion on how evilness can be countered. Helen tells Jane repeatedly that it is not worth it to rebel against higher authority. But Jane’s attitude toward injustice, engrained in her Gateshead days, prevents Jane from ever changing or listening to Helen.

Jane gradually converts, though, to Helen’s philosophy over time. It starts when Mr. Brocklehurst accuses Jane as a liar, and makes her stand on a stool in public humiliation. Jane takes Helen’s words unconsciously and doesn’t lash out at the injustice as she did in Gateshead. She does not lash out at the injustice like she did in Gateshead, but instead stands quietly on the stool, as a young girl passes by and gives a reassuring gaze. This ray gave me an incredible sensation! The new sensation swept me away! As if a victim had been passed by a hero or martyr and gained strength from the passage, it was similar. I lifted my head and stood firm on the stool as the hysteria rose” (124).

Jane is finally able to see that staying quiet and not rebelling will bring her more satisfaction than retaliating against those who have wronged. She was not as vulnerable to John Reed at Gateshead because she simply endured her punishment. But at Lowood, by doing so in silence, just as Helen had told her, she earned the respect of the other girls. At that point, she describes her self as a’martyr’ who has given strength and courage to a slave or victim through her actions. She also says that a new, wonderful feeling has come over her. Jane chooses a more peaceful, benevolent path of patience and benevolence instead of rebelling and defying Brocklehurst as she would have if it was John Reed. Jane’s new-found tolerance and patience allow her to see Helen’s way of punishing, and she enjoys it. Rather than lash out, which would have likely resulted in more punishment for Jane, she chooses to endure the humiliation and embarrassment silently. This earns her the respect of other Lowood girls who are also angry with Mr. Brocklehurst. Jane discovers, through this experience, that even though injustice still needs to be addressed, tolerance and patient are just as satisfying in their ability to satisfy her desire for justice, but in a slightly different way.

Jane and Helen both have ways of dealing with injustice. Helen’s is more passive than Jane’s, which has an offensive, aggressive effect. Jane decides that she will follow the peaceful path instead of rebelling. Jane was convinced that opposing injustice and resisting it would be the best course of action when she first arrived in Lowood. However, after becoming friends with Helen Burns, Jane realized that tolerance and patience were equally important to her morality. Jane’s growth and maturity is shown by her incorporation of tolerance and patience into her personality. Jane, who was once a rebellious child, has now matured into an adult and is tolerant. Jane’s ability to adapt and grow into adulthood is a testament to the fact that not only does physical growth, but mental development are required.

Jane is a young girl who has just left Lowood to work as a governess in Thornfield. Edward Fairfax Rochester is her employer. Despite the age gap, the gruffness of his personality, and the fact that he lacks beauty, Jane begins to feel envy for him and openly loves him, despite past relationships. Jane is attracted to Mr. Rochester’s personality despite the fact that he is more than twice her age. Jane, who is not confident in her ability to attract and woo Rochester, watches and denies the feelings of infatuation. Jane, however, is intrigued by the news that Miss Ingram will marry Mr. Rochester and their compatibility. When she learns about this, Jane attempts to gather more information. Jane is the first character in the novel to be jealous about love. She is also unsure of how she should feel because she has never experienced love before. Most of Jane’s relationships were loveless while she was at Gateshead or Lowood. The exceptions included Bessie and Helen Burns. She is in love with Mr. Rochester, but she doesn’t recognize it yet due to her lack of experience.

In order to avoid being accused of jealousy because she doesn’t know what love is like, Jane hides her feelings. Jane is shocked by this new and strange feeling. She attempts to “bring with a stricter hand” logic and common sense, thinking it to be an irrational reaction. Her jealousy rises when she finds out about Miss Ingram, Mr. Rochester and their relationship. However, she does not pay attention to it. Jane ignores her hurt feelings because she is ignorant.

Jane is forced to confront these feelings internally before realizing them externally despite the threat of Miss Ingram. She must confront her feelings within before she can face them externally. Miss Ingram threatens Jane, but she learns how to do so despite this. . . I couldn’t unlove him. I knew he was going to marry her soon. I saw in her daily a prideful confidence in his intentions. I watched him hourly courting a woman who, while careless in their approach and preferring to be found than sought, was nonetheless irresistible in the very carelessness of it. Jane has finally realized that she is in love with Mr. Rochester. But by this time he appears to be showing an interest for Miss Ingram.

Jane realizes that she still loves him and cannot let go of that love, even if his wife is more beautiful than Jane or the woman that he weds hates Jane. Jane cannot get over her feelings for Rochester even though she watches him court Miss Ingram. It is an experience that Jane finds envious and foreign. Jane is attracted to Mr. Rochester because of his carelessness, nonchalance and lack of concern for her. She finds this feature “irresistible”. Jane tells her reader that, despite not being the center of attention, she is attracted to Mr. Rochester’s “style of courtship” because it is careless and nonchalant. She finds this feature to be “irresistible”. This contrasts with her relationships in Gateshead and Lowood, where she had no affection for him without Bessie Lee, and Lowood was equally hostile and desolate, except for Helen Burns and Miss Temple. Jane would not be able to experience the pleasures and pains of loving someone, as well as the ugly side of jealousy. Jane, an 18-year-old adult, has now experienced the joy of being loved and without knowing it, in contrast to having never known love before arriving at Thornfield.

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre relates the story about Jane Eyre. Jane is an orphaned girl who lives with her horrible relatives. Jane’s life begins in misery and sorrow, as she develops loveless relationships. Jane’s immaturity makes her associate her suffering as a child, who is incapable of doing anything. Jane is not aware of what being an adult really means. Jane encounters characters along her journey to adulthood who help shape her future and show her the reality of being an adult. Jane gains a moral sense, learns patience, tolerance, passiveness and the feelings of love, jealousy and lovelorn from these characters. Jane’s first friend Helen Burns and her violent cousin John Reed have the most impact on her. Edward Fairfax Rochester is her true love. Bronte uses the characters in Jane’s life to teach her important lessons and impart knowledge that will help her grow and become an adult. She shows that growing up requires not only physical changes but also the opportunity to experience life and its many facets to shape one’s future and mindset. What started as a dream of a child to be free of torment turned into a journey to self-enlightenment and overall happiness.


  • isabelowen

    Isabel is a 30-year-old educational blogger and student. She has been writing about education for over 10 years and has written for a variety of different platforms. She is currently a student at the University of Utah.



Isabel is a 30-year-old educational blogger and student. She has been writing about education for over 10 years and has written for a variety of different platforms. She is currently a student at the University of Utah.

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