This post contains spoilers for chapters 1-9 of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. We should be through chapter 11 by Saturday.
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I’ve been reading the Lowood chapters and watching how much Jane learns and grows while she’s there, especially through the influences of Helen Burns and Miss Temple. I realized that Jane’s growth arc so far has a lot of similarities with a Jedi-in-training.
(Yes, I am a huge Star Wars nerd, but if you didn’t know that about me already, then it is good that we are having this talk.)
Without further ado, let’s look at the parallels between Jane’s upbringing through age ten of her life (and through chapter 9 of the book) and a Jedi Pawadan’s training during the Old Republic.
Jane leaves her family at a young age, just like a potential Padawan would.
All right, so most Padawans are taken from their families as babies or toddlers, but I mean, if starting his Jedi training a little older worked for Anakin, it should be okay that Jane is older, too, right?
In Jane’s case, she has zero regrets about leaving her home with the Reeds and while her thoughts may dwell with her “mother” Mrs. Reed, they are thoughts of blame, not fear for Mrs. Reed’s safety. She doesn’t have a lot of emotional entanglements, which Jedi frown upon.
Jane grows up in an austere educational institution where practicality and quiet are valued.
Jane objects to way the students are constantly harangued for their behavior, and how unimportant the needs of the body are considered by those in charge. Young Jedi Padawans live and learn at the Jedi Temple and have to learn to value the galaxy at large over their own feelings and needs.
Jane has to pass a few tests at Lowood, just like the Initiate Trials of a potential Padawan.
Jane doesn’t know anyone at Lowood when she first arrives. She has to defend herself against older bullies. She has to defend her reputation when Mr. Brocklehurst tries to turn everyone against her. She’s behind in academics and has to struggle to catch up. Jedi Padawans have to pass their own test when they join the Jedi order called the Initiate Trials. This is to prove that they’re worth training to use the Force.
Jane has a lot of Feelings that she has to master or let go of.
Helen Burns is constantly calling Jane to the floor for being disproportionately angry, vengeful, or self-pitying. Due to her influence, Jane tries to at least suppress some of her darker emotions. Of course, as we all know, letting go of one’s fear and anger, but also stretching out with one’s feelings, are very important for the Jedi order. Padawans are trained in serenity and calm.
Jane admires kind older girls like Helen Burns and teachers like Miss Temple, just as a Padawan emulates Jedi Knights and Masters.
Jane immediately gravitates to the forbearance and kindness of Helen Burns, another “Padawan” in training, although she’s older than Jane. Jane also admires Miss Temple, the superintendent and a compassionate, educated woman. If Miss Temple is Jane’s Jedi Master, does that make Brocklehurst Yoda? I’m just asking. Jedi Padawans have to learn from Knights and Masters, and eventually are trained under one particular master who chooses to mentor them. Miss Temple is Jane’s mentor Jedi Master.
I can’t wait for Jane to build her lightsaber and complete the Jedi Trials.
What do you all think? Can you think of other ways Jane is emulating the Jedi Way?
All of that being said, I would still like someone to write me a Jedi AU fanfic of Jane Eyre.