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Jane Eyre & Fanny Price

Self-Development:  The development is two-fold, one is social and external and the other is personal, internal and psychological. There are certain rules by which this Self-development is governed. They are the rules that govern the forces of Nature, course of history, development of organisations and organism as well as individual personality.

  1. All growth is really internal, a self-expression of one's ideas, emotions and physical skills.
  2. Even the growth of one's body, mind and emotion is the outer expression of the inner constitution of what we call Self.
  3. Between the individual and the collective, the latter is external and the former is the inner self.
  4. Still, there are times -maybe all the time - when the external overpowers the internal. Most people succumb to it and shape their inner self in the mould of the inexorable outer forces.
  5. All human progress is the resistance of the inner of the outer and the inner shaping the outer.
  6. Fanny and Jane Eyre are typical characters of this class, though each one takes a different course.
  7. The definition of the inner and outer can be broadly agreed upon without much difficulty. Still, it admits of inexhaustible variations.
  8. When the inner defies the outer, it takes refuge in values. The inner Jane took refuge in her conscience, in morality, ‘God's law', even while her outer being sympathized with Rochester in his torment and wanted to stay with him.  Taking refuge in values can be done in two ways - positive and negative. The positive way helps one grow in the strength of sweetness while the negative will harden the person sometimes leading to destruction. Jane is rigidly austere in her adhesion to morality and this results in destruction - Rochester loses his hand and eye.
  9.  In Fanny and Jane much is destroyed but that much belongs to the outer realms. Jane from the beginning refuses to part from what she knows as Truth and Goodness. The more she is determined, the greater is the opposition, rather oppression of persons.  Not only are the people whom Jane is under are oppressive, but life too is oppressive - Helen Burns is removed from her.
  10. The rule here is there are periods of oppression (or growth) when people and forces of life are in tune. There are other periods where the external circumstances become divided into people and life forces - one supporting and the other opposing.
  11. Human personality is a deciding factor in the final outcome of work. By this I mean the build of the person which includes the basic energy of the personality and its organisation that is character. Energy --> Force --> Power --> Results. Aspiration --> direction --> organisation --> skills. Human aspiration releases energy which when directed becomes the Force of personality. Human character is the organisation through which the Force passes, converting it into human power of achievement. This power yields tangible, usable results when skills are applied to it.
  12. At every decisive point, the person faces a CHOICE. Though it appears to be two opposites, in fact it is an innumerable choice.
  13. Jane's truthfulness and values are commendable, but the build of her personality - determined by her father, mother, uncle, resources, health, affection, patronage, etc. - was not big enough to marry Rochester as she found him.
  14. Rochester's loss of a hand and an eye, along with his house, honour and wife dwarfs his stature very much and that is what her personality deserves or is capable of comfortably handling. For Fanny, she was also of a different social level than the family she lived with, and in the end it is only after the family had come down in the social scale due to the scandal that Fanny marries her cousin.
  15. The choices at every stage are determined by a combination of values and strength of will.
  16. When a person is marginalized, surely she is dehumanized. Fanny was given no fire in her room. Her cousin took notice of it but did not do anything. Her uncle saw that and acted at once. Her value was not that of a person who was weak, but of one who was strong. Of course she could never ask for it, but the inner psychological TRUTH is she could not bring herself to ask for it, as it was infra dig to her. Her goodness was not strong enough to evoke an action from her cousin as he was merely kind. Her uncle was not merely kind in manners but humane, as when he refused to send her to London by the stage coach.
  17. Stronger characters, strong from inner values grow out of outer hardships. This growth is accompanied by a certain loss in the outer accomplishment.
  18. Human life exists in three successive layers.

i. What we know to be weak or social or even bad;

ii. Austere and good by austerity, discipline;

iii. Inherently good and strong, avoiding austerity, behaving rationally, not for the sake of rules.

The first (i) mostly suffer and are completely determined by external circumstances.

The second category of people (ii) are dry, sometimes hard through a code, never "err".

The third are always successful, inherently cheerful, will not live by a code, are naturally good and reasonable.

Jane is partly (i) and Fanny is partly (iii).

Jane's misfortunes can be partly traced to her rigid austerity.

Fanny's smooth sailing in comparison is partly due to her being of the third category.

story | by Dr. Radut