The Role Of Fate In Jane Eyre

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The Role Of Fate In Jane Eyre Essay, Research Paper In Charlotte Bronte?s novel, Jane Eyre, the battle between free will and fate is predominant throughout. As with all aspects of life, decisions must be made; there is often a fine line between a choice made by free will versus a choice influenced by fate. Fate is defined as ?the principle or determining cause or will by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do? by the Merriam Webster Dictionary; this can also be taken to imply that all lifelong events are predestined. In Jane Eyre, fateful interventions that occur in Jane?s life are seen to disrupt the ideologies of her free will, thus filling her search for happiness with struggles. It is obvious that Jane Eyre is a

strong-willed individual who is capable of making rational decisions. An orphaned child with nobody to fend for her except herself, Jane?s strive for a respectable position in life, fairness, and independence are what keeps her alive and allows her to does eventually become the success she desires to be. By the end of the novel, Jane appears to have achieved everything she sought out to achieve in life, and more. However, the underlying question of whether her decisions in life were due to her own free will and strength of character or due to fate continues to exist. One can easily acknowledge that many of Jane?s decisions in the novel were due to her own strength of character, but it can also be argued that fate is the reason behind every action in the novel. The first instance

of fate acting on Jane?s life was the death of her parents. This led to the necessity of Jane being adopted by her Uncle Reed, whose untimely death left Jane to the care of her Aunt, a Nanny and three selfish cousins. These are both the consequences of fate acting against Jane?s behalf, but it is ultimately Jane?s own free will that allows her to fight for herself, and survive the abuse and maltreatment at Gateshead. By her own free will, Jane stands up for herself, and is consequently sent away to Lowood school, where she is faced with a completely new set of challenges. At Lowood, Jane appears to settle in nicely with the rest of the school community, but fate intervenes to create yet another life challenge for her. Upon accidentally dropping her slate during Mr. Brocklehurst?s

visit to Lowood, he openly admonishes her in front of the entire school, telling them they ?should be on guard against her; you must shun her example ? necessary, avoid her company? Teachers, you must watch her? punish her body to save her soul, if, indeed, such salvation be possible, for? this girl is a liar!? (98). This is undoubtedly a mortifying experience for a new student at any school, and Jane is plagued with the need to redeem herself to all her new schoolmates and teachers; fate has not worked to her benefit in this matter. However, this situation is soon rectified after an inquiry into the matter, and Jane is liberated from all Brocklehurst?s accusations. From then on Jane continues to be the astute student, eventually rising to the rank of teacher at Lowood, sound in

both mind and body. By her own free will, Jane makes the decision to leave Lowood. It is fate that Mrs. Fairfax responds to her advertisement as a governess, which opens an new chapter of Jane?s life. If Jane had not accepted the position at Thornfield as governess to Adele Varens she would never have met Edward Rochester, the man with whom she falls in love. It is also fate that allows Jane to first meet Rochester, after he and his horse have an accident and he is left with a sprained ankle. Jane subsequently saves Rochester?s life though, for she is the one who douses the fire in his bed, set by his estranged wife, while he is sound asleep. Could this finally be fate acting to Jane?s benefit? Falling in love can be considered an act of Jane?s free will, but it is still