Jane Eyre

No Net Ensnares Me

At first glance, Charlotte Bronte’s <i>Jane Eyre</i> seems to be a novel promoting tameness, preaching moderation and balance. This is shown through Jane’s metamorphosis from a wild, passionate youth to a woman whose passion is tempered by logic. However, in Jane’s inner psyche, the exact opposite holds true. Jane starts out as a child who longs for freedom, but she is too timid to seize it. All of her external actions, though they seem like courageous outbursts of passion, actually stem from this deep-seated want for liberation, which she is too afraid to express completely. It is only when her fears capsize that her wild side can be the victor. This revolution, this reformist and feminist attitude, is my definition of “wild.” Radical and unconventional, Jane breaks free of class and sex-oriented barriers like a bird soaring from its cage. She appears tamer and more sober externally, but in her mind, the wildness that is freedom and defiance reigns supreme.

At the beginning of the novel, young Jane explicitly states that freedom is not worth sacrificing for. The germs for future contumacy are definitely present in her psyche, but the passion to attain liberty at all costs is dormant and undeveloped. When Mr. Lloyd,...

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