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Jane Eyre

A Woman of Unknown Strength There are several themes in the novel Jane Eyre; however, the most recurring theme is that of Jane's quest for independence, acceptance and love from the people who she encounters in her life. Throughout her life, put into situations beyond her control, she relies upon her inner strength to face these challenges effectively. Anger is the symbol Bront uses as the catalyst in Jane's acquirement of inner strength. Although her display of anger overwhelms her and others as a child, it becomes her ally as she matures. The development of Jane's inner strength is the important element to secure her independence. Orphaned as a child, Jane resides at Gateshead with her Aunt Reed and cousins. Viewed as a destitute interloper and passionately willful child, she believes she must endure the rejection and mistreatment from the Reed family. After suffering physical abuse inflicted by her cousin John, Jane responds with a passionate anger that is foreign to her. Punished for her angry outburst without regard to the purpose, she is locked in the red-room until she is able to conduct herself in an appropriate manner. While locked in the red-room, Jane contemplates the injustice of her situation, she recalls the promise her Aunt Reed made to her dying husband, that she would care for Jane as her own child. Jane then remembers "what [she] had heard of dead men, troubled in their graves by the violation of their last wishes, revisiting the earth to punish the perjured and avenge the oppressed." (479) At that moment, Jane observes a ray of light within the red-room that she deems to be the apparition of her deceased Uncle Reed. Frightened, she begs her Aunt Reed to punish her in another way; refusing Jane the mercy she pleads for, the continued rejection of her protector heightens her anger.Jane desires more than anything to leave Gateshead and be free from the abuse inflicted by the Reed family. Jan...

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