Passion and Responsibility In the novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses Jane Eyre as her base to find out how a character confronts the demands of a private passion that conflicts with her responsibilities... Mistreated abused and deprived of a normal childhood, Jane Eyre creates an enemy early in her childhood with her Aunt Mrs. Reed. Just as Mrs. Reeds life is coming to an end, she writes to Jane asking her for forgiveness, and one last visit from her. "Will you have the goodness to send me the address of my niece, Jane Eyre, and to tell me how she is. It is my intention to write shortly and desire her to come to see me at Madeira...
I wish to adopt her during my life, and bequeath her at my death whatever I may have to leave". (252) Regretting many things in her life, Jane is put into a situation in which the answer lies in deterring to redress the wrong or to keep the past where it belongs and do what Jane believes is ethical and morally right. Obligations arise as Jane is forced to stay with Mrs. Reed. With out being nurtured, Jane receives unnecessary abuse and still feels as if she is yet to find "home". Frustration slowly builds up in Jane's mind and she awaits the perfect chance to let it all out, "You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity" (33) With the anger and anguish built up inside of Jane, she finally finds a chance to move out, leaving behind a broken relationship with her aunt Mrs. Reed. Jane works towards living a better life, a more worthwhile life leaving what happened in the past, where it belongs.
As Mrs. Reed becomes ill, she wishes to see Jane one last time before she passes away. This triggers the moral side of the Character Jane Eyre, and she is stumped on a decision she was to make, not realizing that her decisions will show her true character. Whether it is because of the obligation, out of love, pity or kindness, Jane believes she visit Mrs. Reed and fulfill her last wishes. "Forgive me for my passionate language; I was a child then; eight, nine years have passed since that day".
(253) Putting the hardships behind her Jane gives her full apologies to Mrs. Reed, "love me, or hate me, as you will, you have my full and free forgiveness: ask now God's and be at peace". Showing her true character, and her true qualities she takes the initial step to living a more joyful life. Not only did this make her realize the value of a relationship but it also strengthened Jane giving her the ability to make such decisions later on in her life. In Jane Eyre, the constant theme of the "classic war between a passion and responsibility" always appears, with a strong set of morals Jane is able to decide what is right: to fulfill the last wishes of Mrs. Reed, and the Wrong: to dwell on something that happened 9 yeas ago missing the true meaning of the relationship. Through each and every obstacle Jane Eyre is facing she learns that life is all about mistakes, and it is the mistakes and the experience that build a persons character. There is no need for regret, because at one point in time, whatever her action was, it was exactly what she wanted at that point.
Whatever happens happens forgiveness will always be an option that will forever remain open.