Jane Eyre

Eyre on the Side of Caution: Two Literary Heroines Face Life’s Challenges 11th Grade

In life, different variables affect an individual’s growth. These variables can include any aspect of a person’s life, ranging from family influence to personal passions. In the novels Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea, the authors use certain themes to shape the lives of their female protagonists. Charlotte Bronte’s wide scope of Jane Eyre’s life journey creates a comprehensive emotional picture of Jane’s spiritual growth. Likewise, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys expounds on a mysterious character from Jane Eyre, Antoinette Cosway, Mr. Rochester’s wife. As Jane and Antoinette mature, friendship, education, spirituality, and romantic love affect their growth and outlook on life.

As a child, Jane’s friendships help her remain optimistic and ambitious as she faces countless challenges. At Gateshead Hall, Jane identifies the maid, Bessie, as her only friend amidst her malicious family members. Although Bessie cannot defend Jane from this injustice, she shows Jane patience and love. Bessie’s friendship teaches Jane to value friends as a source of hope. This mindset sticks with Jane as she journeys on to Lowood, Thornfield Hall, Moor House, and, lastly, Ferndean. At the beginning of her time at Lowood, Jane finds solidarity in a...

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