Jane Eyre Interview

Through Her Eyes

Thornfield - If there is one thing that Jane meant to impart through her autobiography, it is not to brag or boast about the how successful she became. Eyre states that she had written the autobiography as a way to teach young women to stand up for themselves. "I think to many young girls get labeled far too early," Eyre said. "I mean look at me, I started as nothing and am for the most part a self made woman."

Of course she owes her success to a handful of other people that imparted wisdom upon her. She also owes her success to the various obstacles that forced her to push herself beyond her limit. Many young girls are taught at a young age that movement through the social ladder is near impossible. "Staying at Gateshead, for a second I really did believe that I was a nobody and might remain that way forever. I knew if I was going to get any sort of an education that I had to take it upon myself. Therefore the passage saying, "I was endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner.' I wanted to impress Mrs. Reed and maybe show her that she was not wasting her time on me."

It was when Eyre was sentenced to the red room that she knew there would be no impressing Mrs. Reed. Eyre said that she seemed to lose it. Finally being able to leave the estate was like a breath of fresh air for Jane Eyre. "Had I not been sent out into the world to meet new people and encounter strange obstacles I might never have learned so much about the world. Miss Temple and Helen Burns were a gift to me showing me a different way of life that I could experience. After being cleared of the falsehood I was given a chance to really prove myself. Like in the book, 'I toiled hard, and my success was proportionate to my efforts.'"

Jane Eyre is currently largely successful but she was not always that way. What Jane did to break free from what was expected of her was simply stand up for herself. "As a child, I know it was largely emotional but I took that sort of self advocating rebel attitude and kept it with me," Eyre said. "I refined it and made it work better. I needed to overcome the illogical outburst and be able to demonstrate myself as a lady."

Even when Eyre finally made it to Thornfield she stuck up for herself and her image. She would not allow herself to break the law and be a second wife to Rochester. No matter how much she loved him she knew she had to say "At any rate, there is neither room nor claim for me, sir."

It is at this point in Eyre's life that we see how far she has come. She alone has brought herself up the ladder and she refuses to be tainted by the image of being one's mistress. No matter how hard this is for her she refuses to bow down and allow her image and identity to suffer at the hands of Bertha Mason. "This was one of the hardest things I had to do," Eyre said. "After going back to Gateshead and spending time there I realized how fond I had grown for Thornfield and Rochester. Being put in this position was unbearable but I knew it would give me the chance to go out in the world and prove that I deserved this love that I sought."

Jane Eyre said that she accredits every success in her life to herself. "I believe that every young boy and girl should be their greatest own advocate," Eyre said. "However, my advice really is meant for the young girls out there. It's easy for a man to climb the ladder but much, much harder for a lady to prove herself among her peers."

Eyre intended her story to be one of triumph for young girls that grew up the way she did. "All I really want is to inspire some young girl out there that is growing up just the way I was. I want my book to be like the one I read as a child. I want my book to reflect the interest the book I read had for me. 'Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting,' I want my words to be like those pictures so that young girls can dream about a fantastic world that is just beyond the reach. That way they'll have no choice but to push themselves."