A famous novel written by Charlotte Brontë, “Jane Eyre,” shows an enormous amount of relevance to the Victorian era, while establishing the Victorian respect for high standards of decorum and moral conduct. The main character, Jane Eyre, proves by the results of her moral choices that in Victorian society, women who wanted to gain various rewards would need to obtain patience to wait for these rewards to come. Jane’s firmness to refuse the offer from Mr. Rochester to become his mistress, the integrity and compassion for her family that she shows in her decision to split her inheritance with the Rivers (her cousins), and the unconditional love she feels for Mr. Rochester (that leads her back to him in the end) – all these issues exemplify the idea mentioned above.
On the day Jane is about to become Mr. Rochester’s bride, she is at the apex of her hopes and dreams. Yet, as they approach the altar, she once again is thrusted toward the deepest point of despair, when the fact that Mr. Rochester already possessed a bride is ultimately exposed. Overwhelmed with emotions, Jane is torn between her passion for Mr. Rochester and her own moral conscience. She comes to the conclusion that she must leave Thornfield at once. Jane confronts Mr. Rochester with her plans to leave Thornfield, and his passion quickly transforms into aggression. Jane, fearing Mr. Rochester would lose respect for her and not desiring to be forced to live a sinful, degraded life as his mistress, slips away from Thornfield that very night. Although the thought of leaving her beloved Mr. Rochester wrenches at her heart, her faith envelops her and pushes her onward. Leaving Thornfield with only a parcel, which she accidentally forgets in the coach, makes her constrained to begging. Jane, almost at the point of facing death, knocks on the Rivers door in order to beg for a little food and some shelter for the night. Refused by the housekeeper, Jane stands out in the rain when all of a sudden, St. John returns to the house and overrules the housekeeper’s decision. Jane is provided with a room for the night and promptly falls asleep. In a few days, she recovers her full health and is offered a job by St. John. Some time later, she learns that the Rivers are in fact her cousins and is thrilled to learn that she indeed has a family even though she has been told all her life she lacked one.
Along with the news of Jane being related to the Rivers, she is also informed that her uncle, John Eyre of Madeira, has passed away and left her a wealthy inheritance. As Jane feels heavy hearted with the word of her only uncle’s death, St. John continues to inform her that John Eyre has left an inheritance of twenty thousand pounds to her. Jane’s sadness quickly turns into joy as she starts shouting off ways she will be able to split her inheritance into four ways. “Five thousand pounds, each for Diana, Mary, St. John, and myself,” she suggests. St. John misunderstands her excitement about her uncle’s death, and Jane explains how fortunate she is to receive a family and be able to repay kindness with kindness.
Soon after the announcement of Jane’s inheritance, St. John proposes the idea that Jane should marry him and travel with him as his wife and helper. Against St. John’s wishes, Jane refuses to marry him but suggests that she may travel with him as his sister. She implies the thought that if she even dies in India, St. John is not going to care since he doesn’t hold true feelings of love for her. Disgusted with the thought, St. John rejects her offer because of the concept of a thirty-year-old man traveling with an unmarried nineteen-year-old girl was unheard-of.
On the morning of St. John’s departure, Jane announces to her cousins that she intends to leave Cambridge for at least four days so that she can ease a concern she has over a friend. Finding Thornfield crumbled to ashes, she returns to the local inn, where Mr. Rochester’s old butler informs her of the previous events and the whereabouts of Mr. Rochester. Immediately, Jane begins a chase, offering her driver double rate, if he can deliver her to Ferndean before the dark. There, she is once again reunited with her beloved Mr. Rochester. Skeptical of Jane’s real intentions for coming back, Mr. Rochester pushes the girl away, but strong-willed Jane replies that she is still truly and unconditionally in love with that man. Rochester apologizes for leading Jane to think that she would have been forced into a sinful marriage. What is more, he claims that he intends to lead a pure life and has established a much closer relationship with God. Ten years later, Jane tells us that her marriage is a very happy one and that they are very happy together. Two years later, Mr. Rochester gained full sight and was able to see his first child born. She also notes that she has kept in contact with the Rivers and Adele, who has even stopped by for a visit.
In conclusion, the novel “Jane Eyre” is an appropriate example of the idea that in the Victorian era women must always be patient to receive what they most want in life. Jane’s decisions to refuse Mr. Rochester’s offer to become his mistress, her choice to split her inheritance with her cousins, and her unconditional love for Mr. Rochester – all these events led her to finding a real family that she has always lacked but wanted. Moreover, the main character becomes wealthy and marries the one she longed for. The novel proves the old saying – “All good things come to those who wait.”
One of the reasons why the book is world-famous is that it was pretty unusual for the society of the 19th century, especially for the ladies of the time. Even though contemporary readers may have not the slightest idea of the sex of the author, the book closely associated with the feelings and thoughts that a young woman may have. And, as we all know, the famous Brontë sisters did like to discuss and portray the misfortunes and trials of growing up in a man’s world.
All in all, the story of Jane Eyre represents a constant internal monologue of the main character and her reflections about the norms of social behavior, the morals of the Victorian epoch, as well as her own experiences and aspirations. Without a doubt, all the points of view and ideas of the protagonist tend to reflect the viewpoints of the author of the book, Charlotte Brontë, herself.
In general, “Jane Eyre” is a book that every person should read at some point. Taking into consideration all of the experiences that struggles that Charlotte Brontë describes in her work, the book would probably be more appreciated by an individual, who has already got through everything that the main character of the book has. The reader definitely won’t want to put this literary masterpiece down due to the number of unforeseen and touching events that take place throughout the plot.