Jane Eyre Emotion vs Intellect

Posted by admin on February 12, 2018 in Articles

In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, many characters are used to depict the conflict between emotion and intellect. An individual relying heavily on their passionate nature generally lives their life frivolously and perhaps dangerously. Contrastingly, and individual who chooses to live their life strictly based on intellect and logic oftentimes becomes cold and listless. To avoid one extreme or the other, an individual must find a “happy medium” between emotion and intellect. The events depicted in this novel help Charlotte Bronte highlight the theme that a life of love that also has a serious purpose can be obtained through learning how to balance one’s emotions and intellect. Many mentors during Jane Eyre’s childhood made an effort to influence her mind set towards either passion or logic. A prime example of this is Mr.Brocklehurst. As the master at Lowood, Mr.Brocklehurst made an effort to diminish Jane’s emotional strength, leaving her passionless. He does this in order to get Jane to live her life strictly based on intellect and logic. Mr.Brocklehurst, living by intellect and logic himself, fails miserably. His downfall reveals the theme that Bronte is trying to display. The reader can infer from Mr.Brocklehurst’s intellectual and unemotional nature that intellect alone will not make you successful. Helen Burns takes a different route than Mr.Brocklehurst in mentoring Jane. Through her own example, Helen tries to teach Jane to redirect her negative emotions and passions to forgiveness. Helen’s example inspires Jane to visit her Aunt on her deathbed and offer forgiveness. While Helen’s method is successful in this aspect, it also has some flaws. Forgiveness is important; however, it does not help the individual in obtaining determination. The crimes committed against an individual helps him or her build their character and determination to be something more than what they currently are. Jane moves forward from Gateshead and perseus her…