Annotated Bibliography: Jane Eyre
In Sexton’s article “Jane Eyre: Jane’s Spiritual Coming of Age,” Sexton argues that Jane’s true journey through the novel is her spiritual journey. Sexton explores the multiple situations throughout Jane’s life that slowly evolve into her becoming a more spiritual individual. The Jane that is at the beginning of the novel, imagining Mrs. Reed rising from a grave is not the same Jane at the end of the novel, who has a revelation of her love of God and his protection over her through nature. Throughout Jane’s time in the boarding school, her spiritual growth begins, as well as her personal growth. This change, Sexton argues, is because of the friend she meets as well as one of the teachers: Helen Burns and Miss Temple. Both have traits that follow Jane through the rest of the novel. However the emergence of Rochester seems to pull Jane away from her spiritual journey, almost as if it was a road block. After Bertha is discovered Jane is brought back to reality and must go back to the path of her journey. Continuing on brings her to St. John Rivers, who as pious as he may be, he taints her growth in a way. Her purpose no longer is growing for herself, it is to please him. His proposal to Jane brings her to one of the most pivotal moments, when she prays and hears Rochester’s name calling to her and it is at this point that Jane has reached spiritual maturity according to Sexton. Overall the argument is that each major character that Jane comes in contact with has either aided or hindered her spiritual growth. It is only after accepting the love she has for not only God but Rochester as well that she peaks as spiritually mature.