Jane Eyre

by: Charlotte Brontë

Genre

Main ideas Genre

Structurally, Jane Eyre most closely resembles a bildungsroman. The word “bildungsroman” literally means “novel of education” in German, and accordingly, this genre follows the education and maturation of its sensitive and philosophical protagonist. Jane Eyre follows Jane as she literally grows up, and also as she emotionally grows into herself and takes ownership of her ideas and philosophies. From the very beginning, Jane Eyre establishes that Jane’s life is profoundly shaped by her struggle against those with more power. Throughout most of the novel, Jane wrestles with her commitment to her own integrity and desire to satisfy her passions. By novel’s end, Jane finally finds freedom by coming to terms with all the conflicting elements of her life. As is typical of the bildungsroman genre, it is this acceptance that reveals Jane’s maturity.