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Misguided religion threatens to oppress Jane throughout the book, and St. He also embodies masculine dominance, another force that threatens Jane like a “stringent yoke” over the course of the novel. John’s “warrior-march” and notes his assertion of his “masterhood.” Jane must escape such control in order to remain true to herself, for she realizes that her conventional manner of dealing with oppression—by retreating into herself, into the recesses of her imagination, into conversation with herself—cannot constitute a way of life.In her rejection of Rochester, Jane privileged principle over feeling; she is now aware of the negative effects such emotional repression can have.
In addition to instances of physical imprisonment, Jane must also escape the fetters of misguided religion (represented by Brocklehurst), of passion without principle (represented at first by Rochester), and of principle without passion (represented by St. Jane extends her feeling of entrapment to her fellow women, and these sentences constitute Brontë’s feminist manifesto. soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. ” Still indomitable was the reply: “I care for myself.It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.This passage appears in Chapter 12, in the midst of Jane’s description of her first few weeks at Thornfield. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity. Jane declares that she will “tell anybody who asks me questions this exact tale”—via authorship, Jane asserts her authority over and against her tyrannical aunt. She sees God as the giver of the laws by which she must live.
Reed that she feels her “soul begin to expand.” Lastly, the passage highlights the importance of storytelling as revenge and also as a means of empowerment. The passage also sheds light upon Jane’s understanding of religion.It is possible to see Bertha as a double for Jane, who embodies what Jane feels within—especially since the externalization of interior sentiment is a trait common to the Gothic novel. As his curate, his comrade, all would be right: I would cross oceans with him in that capacity; toil under Eastern suns, in Asian deserts with him in that office; admire and emulate his courage and devotion and vigour: accommodate quietly to his masterhood; smile undisturbed at his ineradicable ambition. There would be recesses in my mind which would be only mine, to which he never came; and sentiments growing there, fresh and sheltered, which his austerity could never blight, nor his measured warrior-march trample down: but as his wife—at his side always, and always restrained, and always checked—forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low, to compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry, though the imprisoned flame consumed vital after vital—this would be unendurable. Jane dramatizes the interior conflict involved in making her decision. It is an opportunity to perform good works and to be more than a governess, schoolteacher, or housewife—the roles traditionally open to women.The description of Jane’s blood running like “fire” constitutes one of many points in the book in which Jane is associated with flames. ” I said briefly; and I looked at his features, beautiful in their harmony, but strangely formidable in their still severity; at his brow, commanding, but not open; at his eyes, bright and deep and searching, but never soft; at his tall imposing figure; and fancied myself in idea his wife. Jane’s teaching jobs at Lowood, Thornfield, and Morton have all made her feel trapped, and she would not mind enduring hardships for a cause in which she truly believes. John’s principles—“ambition,” “austerity,” and arrogance—are not those that Jane upholds.Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind’s eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it—and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement . It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot.Feeling, too, must play a role in one’s life: a balance must be struck.