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It is believed that we are born with a predestined personality. Our spiritualIndividuality is just as much a product of our genetic makeup as the color of our skin orour eyes. With our soul firmly planted, we can then build upon this basis as we areEducated of the world. The social climate and cultural atmosphere shape ourPersonalities, however, it is the people in our lives who have the greatest influence. Charlotte Bronte s novel Jane Eyre reveals this idea by the development of theprotagonist. Through a series of character foils, Bronte expresses her idea ofself-development and growth of the human spirit by contrasting passion with reason. Bymy interpretation of the novel, Bronte suggests that in one s life time, they will encountera number of people and experiences that will arouse enough emotion in them to have thepower to change their direction in life. St. John Rivers plays one of these life determiningfoils to Jane Eyre. His confidence, devotion and reason intrigue Jane almost enough tosilence her inner passionate spirit, but it is the forces of nature that prove to be strongerthan human will. The life path of a Victorian woman was somewhat limited in it s direction and expression of individuality. Jane Eyre strongly adheres to the Victorian morality whichwas dominated by the Anglican party of the Church of England in which passion andemotion was kept concealed. Jane s instinct for asserting herself was stifled at an earlyage could only be expressed through defiance. The defiant declaration ofindependence from Mrs. Reed, You are deceitful ,(v.i.37) gives Jane the power offreedom and opens up a life of unhoped-for liberty ,(v.i.37). Through the preceding years Jane develops into a highly educated, well spokenand strong willed woman. She is taught to be patient and thoughtful during her years inLowood, and is introduced to the emotions of the heart and spirit in meeting Rochester.Bronte makes an emphasis on the spiritual and supernatural atmosphere of Thornfield. The reference to the Gytrash and the mystical atmosphere she illustrates oftheir first meeting in the woods (v.i.113) could suggest that she is playing upon naturalimagery and allusions to express the idea that Jane and Rochester are a destined, yetmysterious match of the souls. I knew …you would do me good in some way… I saw itin your eyes when I first beheld you, Rochester tells Jane. (v.i.152) and the use of therepeated references to fire foreshadow and symbolize their growing passion for eachother. However, it is the symbolic interpretation of the lightning striking theHorse-chestnut tree in half that hints that their love will not evolve without a crisis. ( v.ii.259) It is this crisis that throws Jane into the life of the Rivers family. Moor House andthe values of the Rivers are the mirror image of Thornfield. Where Thornfield was mystical and romantic, Moor House has a comfortable and domestic setting. Jane sinstant rapport with the spontaneous, genuine, genial compassion , of Mary, Diana andSt. John allows her to feel at ease and safe. The contrast between Rochester and St. Johnplay a major part in the development of Jane s self-fulfillment. It is in Jane s description of the two men that the reader gets the most tangiblepicture of their contrasts. Bronte uses words such as wild and moody to describe

Rochester, whereas St. John is compressed, condensed and controlled , (v.iii.356).A disciplined and…

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