Period of Adolescence – Cherishing Friendship and Knowledge As the titular of the novel advances in age, the surroundings and aspirations are changed as well. The period of adolescence opens a new path in Jane Eyre’s life. This path covers her desires, questions, seek for friendship and knowledge. During the novel, Jane meets many characters and befriends many of them.
Friendship occupies a crucial role In Jane’s life, due to it she carves her personality and develop herself mentally and spiritually. An role as important as friendship is occupied by education, that considerably influence Jane’s behavior and turns her into a well-read and intelligent person. At institution where Jane is sent to, she is blessed with a best friend, called Helen. Even if, their friendship is a short-lived one, it is based on goodness. Helen teaches Jane love, Christian values and forgiveness. According to Aristotle view, a friendship based on goodness requires that people involved in it to be morally good and seek goodness not only for themselves, but for others as well.
As long as their friendship is based on goodness, it will always be strong and lasts for their lifetime. Helen’s loyal supporting motivates Jane to endure all difficulties she meets with, and her intellectual accomplishments inspire Jane to study more and more. This period in Jane’s life is based on mutual affection and goodness. Another person in which Jane finds a good friend and a substitute mother is Miss Temple. Throughout the novel the relationship between children and adults are represented like unpleasant one, but the relationship between Jane and Miss Temple represents an exception. This character offers Jane the love she has lacked in her childhood. The two sympathize each other with support and love.
Besides Miss Temple’s compassionately and protective treatment, Jane is encouraged to study hard and to be completely contented at the institution. In Miss temple’s figure, students see a generous superintendent who offers them food and treats them well, but for Jane she embodies a mother and a friend at the same time. Her kindheartedness, love and guidance inspires her to become one of the best students at Lowood. Jane is provide with humanity, calmness and kindness, in this order she becomes composed and serene. Jane benefits largely from her substitute mother.
An other form of friendship which is based on goodness, understanding and love is established between protagonist and her cousins, Mary and Diana. To Jane her cousin, who accepted welcomed her so warmly, are the family she has craved for her whole life. From early childhood Jane was striving to achieve love and friendship, and now she finds it in River’s family. The time she spends at their house is the most beautiful one, she finally fulfills her aspirations through the kindness of Marry and love of Diana.
They three share the same features, all of them are well-educated governesses, devoted to art and literature. This constitutes the bond that ties them together. During adolescence Jane excels in her studying. She is conscious of the fact that education has an important role for her future, she is endowed with the necessary wits and intelligence to pursue her aspirations by working hard in school.
Her friendship, especially with Helen Burns and Miss Temple took a serious influence on Jane’s education. It is expressed in Jane’s thoughts:”They conversed of things I had never heard of; of nations and times past; of countries far away: of secrets of nature discovered or guessed at: they spoke of books: how many they had read! What stores of knowledge they possessed! (pg 105)”. This fact determines her to gain as much knowledge as possible and to succeed in obtaining a decent education and becoming a governess.