3.2 Analysis of the Results of the Comparisons
In the comparison of the similarities and differences we can see that almost everything in Jane Eyre has its original in Charlotte’s life but there are also some distinct differences. So, Jane cannot be Charlotte, or at least they are not identical. Because Jane Eyre is an autobiographical novel, there sure are many similarities, so the analysis mainly focuses on the differences. Then, why there are differences between Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre?
3.2.1 The Need for Literature Creative Work
First, Jane Eyre is an autobiographical novel, not Charlotte’s autobiography. Writing a novel needn’t to be as seriously as writing an autobiography. For example the conditions in Lowood School in Jane Eyre are much worse than its original, Clergy Daughters’ School.
Second, in order to make a novel more readable, the character more distinctive, and the theme more striking, etc. miracles are often used. Because of this in Jane Eyre, a poor, obscure, plain, and little woman marries a wealthy mature man; a pathetic orphan finds nice relatives; a poor governess gets a large inheritance.
3.2.2 The Result of Charlotte’s Psychological Compensation
Literature is the aspiration of the author. Albert Mordell puts it this way:
His present and past, pleasurable and painful have gone into the making of it, and it records his secret aspirations and most intimate feelings; it is the outcropping of his struggles and disappointments. It is the outlet of his emotions, freely flowing forth even though he has sought to stem. (1966: 293)
Jane Eyre is an autobiographical novel, and the original of Jane is Charlotte, so Charlotte not only puts many of her experiences but also her feelings, desires into it. And when Charlotte faces with problems that she cannot handle she gets comfort by compensating Jane for Jane’s inability.
Charlotte could not change her obscure, plain, and little physical appearance so she makes compensation for Jane’s physical appearance by giving her a large amount of knowledge and a noble personality, which helps Jane win Mr. Rochester’s respect and love.
Charlotte could not stand the discrimination and great pressure when she works as a governess so she makes compensation for Jane by letting her teach the well-behaved Adele Varens at the stress-free and harmonious Thornfield Hall.
During the time when Charlotte writes Jane Eyre, her brother brings great pains to her family, which plus her miss of her died sisters and makes her compensate for Jane’s lonelyness by finding her congenial relatives at the harmonious Moor House.
Charlotte’s family is not rich, thus she has to do works that she doesn’t like to support the family. So Charlotte makes compensation for Jane’s poverty by offering her a large sum of inheritance, which relieves Jane’s worry about making a living. What’s more important is that the inheritance helps Jane cross the rigid social hierarchy barrier and get equal economic status to Mr. Rochester.
Charlotte could never get over the moral barrier throughout her affection for Mr. Heger that he has already had a wife. So when Jane is in the same difficult situation, Charlotte compensates Jane again. She clears the barrier by letting Mr. Rochester’s mad and crazy wife burn to death. At last, lovers become family dependants.
From the above analysis we know that almost everything in Jane Eyre has its origin in Charlotte’s life, and the main differences between Charlotte and Jane’s lives, to a large extent, are the results of Charlotte’s psychological compensation. Due to the restrictions of the time, Charlotte could not realize some of her goals in life, but she could experience the very life she hopes through the identity of Jane Eyre. So, in this sense Jane Eyre is Charlotte Bronte herself in Charlotte Bronte’s ideal life.