This paper shall briefly describe and analyze my understanding of Jane Eyre's personality, and her perceptions about some of the characters in the Charlote Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre. In order to create a clear image, a brief description of Jane's background as a child, coupled with her personal experiences relevant to the paper's subject shall be highlighted.In the novel, Jane Eyre is portrayed as an independent lady, who makes her own decisions guided by her moral principles, self discipline and conscience. As a child, Jane grows up in isolation, due to the alienation orchestrated by her own relatives, particularly her aunt, Eliza Reed and cousin, John Reed. This kind of maltreatment and hatred is seen when her aunt takes her to boarding school, in order to get rid of her. Having been born an orphan, Jane found herself under the care of the Reed family, and thus had to develop coping mechanisms to enable her face life's future challenges. It may be argued that Jane's personality and individual perception about life is as a result of the difficulties she experiences at various levels of life, ranging from childhood to adulthood.The relationship and interactions between Jane and many other characters in the novel also influences her feelings and actions towards such individuals. Just like any other lady, Jane Eyre's physical appearance greatly influences her lifestyle in terms of decision making and psychological set. In several occasions, Jane is seen struggling to fight for the truth, for she believes that only the truth can set one free. To illustrate this fact, Jane would rather get punished by her aunt and cousins, than take responsibility for any false accusations leveled against her at any given point. At one point, Jane clearly points out to her aunt that she is human, with feelings and appreciation for kindness as seen in the excerpt derived from chapter four ''....You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness?'', from this, I see Jane struggling to stand up for her rights in regard to justice and fairness in various matters touching on life (Bronte 45).
As a principled woman with an independent mind, Jane is a firm lady who uses her wisdom and self pride in making personal decisions. She for instance turns down St. John River's proposal to marry her since she has no feelings for him. In addition, she breaks her engagement to Mr. Rochester despite the strong love bond that had existed between them. This action is triggered by her discovery of Mr. Rochester's previous relationship with Bertha Mason, which she interprets as a potential sign of cheating or being kept as a concubine, and in turn soiling her public image and reputation. With time, Jane changes her decision against marrying Mr. Rochester when she finds him to poses the ideal qualities for a marriage partner such as love, respect, equality and freedom.
Jane Eyre perceives Bessie Lee as a friendly and caring individual. Bessie in this case is Jane's only source of inspiration and hope. She occasionally asks Mrs. Reed to soften her stand and constant harassment of Jane. With this gesture of kindness, Eyre learns to appreciate Bessie more than her own relatives from the Reed family. In this novel, Jane perceives Helen Burns as a religious woman with a very strong faith in God. She tries to live a righteous life, avoiding every form of ungodly lifestyle. Through her interaction with Helen Burns, Jane Eyre gets to know more about God, religion and living a righteous life characterized by forgiveness, kindness and love for one another.Miss. Blanche Ingram is portrayed as an extremely wealthy and greedy man, she is sensitive about social class and this attitude influences her choice of friends. She unfairly regards Jane Eyre as a poor lady only interested in having a share of Edward Rochester's fortune. Miss. Blanche's relationship with Jane's fiancé, Edward Rochester does not make Jane jealous since she perceives herself to be more superior and better than Miss. Blanche in most aspects. Jane Eyre is later proved right when Miss. Blanche breaks her engagement to Edward Rochester she finds out that Edward was only worth 30 percent of his perceived fortune.