Demonstration of Logic and Emotions in Jane Eyre

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In a few months my life will be changing completely. I will no longer be surrounded by the same people I’ve grown up with and I will no longer have the same support by my side to give me the push that I need from time to time. Instead, I will be surrounded by complete strangers, have to make choices and decisions myself and create my own sense of direction. My mom has always told me that when it comes to decision making to “think with your heart but take a piece of your brain with you”. The balance between logic and emotion is crucial when making choices and it’s something that I’m slowly starting to learn. Through the novel Jane Eyre, Bronte demonstrates through characters a reminder to find your balance between logic and emotions.

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In Jane Eyre, St John is one of the best characters to demonstrate logic vs. emotions. St John is a character that has no balance between the two and he serves as a good reminder to allow yourself to feel and not be so cold but still have a sense of logic with you as you go along. St John chooses to follow reason rather than his emotions. He gives up on Rosamond who was the one woman that he could settle down with and truly love because he didn’t want to give into temptation “...that while I love Rosamond Oliver so wildly...regret.”(178 Bronte). Through St Johns word choice it is evident that he knows how he feels about Rosamond but he restrains himself. With words such as “love” “passion” and “beautiful” St John reveals his feelings which is very different from what he makes himself seem. He puts up a cold act throughout the novel but when it comes to Rosamond we see a barrier go down, she’s his weakness and she makes him vulnerable. Yet with this emotion St John restrains from Rosamond. His restraint towards her is all based upon logic and he believes that logically, in the end Rosamond would not serve well as a typical wife no matter the feelings he holds for her. Towards the end of the novel St John proposes to Jane and tries to convince her to say yes “...we must be married- I repeat it: there is no other way; and undoubtedly enough of love would follow upon marriage to render the union right even in your eyes.” (224 Bronte). In this passage St John repeats that the two should get married. This emphasizes his need to get married rather than a want. He approaches marriage with no love. Instead, he finds logical reasons to marry Jane and how they would benefit him. He recognizes that Jane would be an acceptable wife especially in the eyes of society in which he will gain acceptance. I, like St John have looked at many choices through “pros” and “cons” and have picked based off of whether it gave me the best advantage or not. While St John is trying to gain approval from society I on the other hand wait for the same approval from my family. As the oldest of 4 there’s a constant voice telling me to make rational choices knowing that there’s three people looking up at me wanting to see what my next move is. Through St John I was able to see not only some of myself but society as a whole. He puts a limit to his emotions and focuses on reason. Today, this is not uncommon. Logic is usually overvalued and it’s because it’s the easiest route to take. Making a choice based off of logic makes sense because it is rational, organized and safe. But what St John made me realize was that logic isn’t always the answer. Not feeding into your emotions will create a barrier and hold you back from experiencing many new things and taking risks. Without those risks there are no challenges that can be faced which puts a restriction on new opportunities.

Another character that best demonstrates logic vs. emotions through the novel is none other than Jane Eyre herself. Through Jane Eyre, Jane struggles to find the perfect balance between Logic vs. Emotions. While Jane is having her fortune read by who we later find out is Rochester she says “...’Reason sits frim and holds the reins...decision.” (260 Bronte). In this passage words such as; “reins”, “wild chasms” and “heathens” in order to depict emotions like an animal. Jane, like most of society defines emotions as distracting, chaotic and can cause your actions to be irrational and messy. It’s why logic seems like the best choice. It feels more rational and there’s a better idea of how it will turn out in the end. Jane doesn’t give into Rochester the first time because of her logic. It isn’t easy though, she has a constant character vs. self battle struggling to take control of her emotions. This doubt is something that I have struggled with many times. It’s a constant back and forth discussion with myself where I am unsure about my emotions so I put them aside for the time being and focus on the facts and what makes sense. Similarly, Jane stands firm in her truth and does what makes sense to her. She doesn’t want to lose sight of who she is and she knows that in marrying Rochester she will become someone that she can’t recognize. As a rational decision she decides to not give in. Jane tried to go off of her logic but as the novel approaches the end Jane starts to realize how emotions do play a factor and are good to take into consideration. She was able to gain her independence and a sense of security with her newfound wealth but there was one thing she longed for. What she longed for was Rochester “I still again and again met Mr Rochester...loved by him.” (169 Bronte). In this passage the use of the senses such as; sight, feeling and hearing help highlight Janes wants. No matter what Jane did she realized that nothing filled her entirely like how Rochester filled her. Once Jane gained her own stability she was finally able to give into her emotions which conveyed a balance between logic vs. emotions. She had already followed her beliefs and allowed herself to reach her goals but it was time to allow herself to feel which is another freedom. During my college admissions process I thought I had a firm idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do during my time there. What I realized during this process though is that my emotions towards that school mattered. When visiting the campus it didn’t feel like home and it was more intimidating than what I perceived it to be. From taking my emotions into consideration I was able to choose a school that not only will challenge me but one that gives me the sense of comfort that I need. A home away from home. Jane reminded me to stay true to myself and not only follow what I think is rational to me but to make sure it fills my needs so that I’m satisfied.

Change is scary and can allow you to lose a sense of direction. With so much change this is still yet to come in my life the novel Jane Eyre serves as a good reminder to make choices not only taking logic into consideration but emotions as well. Charlotte Bronte uses two strong characters; Jane and St John to convey this message. With St John we were introduced to a character who had no balance between the two and his only focus was logic. This imbalance caused him to become cold and hard. St John has taught me to go beyond logic. With logic comes acceptance but by closing yourself off and not allowing yourself to feel can create a sense of entrapment. There is no exploring or taking risks and without that there is no learning beyond the rational. Jane on the other hand was able to learn the balance between allowing herself to feel but also think her choices through logically. From Jane I have learned to first stay true to myself, get comfortable and when the time comes I can take the leap of making a true gut choice. In the end, any choice that you make can and will affect you. The future depends on our choices and taking both an emotional and logical viewpoint is crucial for not only the short term but the long term.

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