Jane tends to feel more at home outside than inside because the natural world has provided her with more of a refuge than any human habitation.

Nick McCaffery
2/12/2013 11:17:46 pm

I would agree, but even further, being outside is an escape for Jane.
In chapter one, Jane enjoys sitting at the window and reading. Although Jane doesn't inherently love the outside, much like how she doesn't want to go on a walk at the beginning of chapter one, nevertheless, if she isn't being forced to uphold societal standards, Jane sees the outside as her retreat from society.

Tori Burris
2/12/2013 11:36:42 pm

I think yu could extend that and say it's her retreat from the world; as she uses the outdoors for her escape at Lowood to leave the sickness and cruelty within it's walls. She uses the outdoors to eat and frolick, but inevitably comes back indoors to misery and sadness.

Hunter H.
2/12/2013 11:38:17 pm

I agree. I think Jane uses the outdoors as an escape, such as Nick said, more so than being in the outdoors just because she can. In chapter one, Jane was content with sitting by the window and reading instead of walking in the snow because she was not being bothered. She had no need of going outside becasue nobody had been bothering her enough to cause her to want to leave.

Hunter H.
2/12/2013 11:43:53 pm

Tori,an argument could be made against that since when Helen was sick, Jane elected to stay indoors with her instead of being outside.

Mackenzie M.
2/13/2013 12:24:26 am

I agree with Tori actually. Jane only stayed inside with Helen on the last night of her life. On page 84 of the novel, Jane states, "But I, and the rest who continued well, enjoyed fully the beauties of the scene and season: they let us ramble in the wood like gipsies, from morning till night; we did what we liked, went where we liked; we lived better too." From this quote, I can concur that the outdoors, were infact, an escape for the girls who were healthy, including Jane.

Emily R.
2/13/2013 12:54:21 am

I agree with Tori and Mackenzie that the outdoors are a retreat or an escape because the night before Jane is supposed to marry Rochester and he is away she is restless and says "I hear the wind blowing: I will go out of doors and feel it" pg. 317. She feels trapped in the house without Rochester and must escape outside until he returns.

Nicholette Underwood
2/12/2013 11:57:38 pm

I agree with Nick that she likes nature for the seperation it offers her. I would also like to point out that her confidence in porportion to an average girl is on complete opposite ends of the spectrum depending on whether she is outside. Keep in mind that the situations that Jane encounters inside tend to be more confrontational in her experience. When Jane is walking from Thornfield to the town it becomes dark and she encounters a strange man ( Mr. Rochester). This would make the average young woman very wary and uncomfortable where she purposfully engages herself with the man.

maria k
2/13/2013 12:26:33 am

The home statement # 1.
jane does not have a phisical, stable home, but she does have an emotional home that is created by her relationships. this is because of her childhood experience with her family and their mistreatment of her. Home is a place where one feels safe with their family, and jane does not have that.

Rubab T
2/13/2013 09:56:36 am

Yes I do believe that Jan tends to feel more at home and comfortable outside. This shows in the book many times how she describes being outside and the out doors retreat an escape for her" I discovered, too, that a great pleasure, an enjoyment which the horizon only bounded, lay all outside the high and spike-guarded walls of our garden: this pleasure consisted in prospect of noble summits girdling a great hill-hollow, rich in verdure and shadow; in a bright beck, full of dark stones and sparkling eddies. How different had this scene looked when I viewed it laid out beneath the iron sky of winter, stiffened in frost, shrouded with snow!-- when mists as chill as death wandered to the impulse of east winds along those purple peaks, and rolled down "ing" and holm till they blended with the frozen fog of the beck! That beck itself was then a torrent, turbid and curbless: it tore asunder the wood, and sent a raving sound through the air, often thickened with wild rain or whirling sleet; and for the forest on its banks,"(Bronte). Jan was vary exited when winter was over and she could be able to go outside again. Jan does not like to be trapped inside,

Caitlin F
2/17/2013 11:37:35 am

agree: like everyone else, i think Jane likes the outdoors and uses it to escape whatever is pressuring her at the moment. in chapter 1, Jane is hiding by a window to read (books are also her escape); she is close to being outside although she does not want to be out in the dreary rain. at other times, she enjoys being outside whether she is taking a long walk to town to deliver a letter or just hanging out by a tree

Rachel W
2/19/2013 01:51:23 am

I agree as well. At one pont Jane turns to nature as her home because it never rejects her."I looked at the sky; it was pure: a kindly star twinkled just above the chasm ridge. The dew fell, but with propitious softness; no breeze whispered. Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast as I was."

Lydia F.
2/19/2013 05:31:05 am

Furthering the argument of the outside being an escape for Jane, when Ms. Fairfax is giving Jane a tour of Thornfield Fairfax takes her up to the balcony on the mansion. Jane then begins to describe the scenery and then states, " No feature in the scene was extraordinary, but all was pleasing" (119). Because the scenery was not extraordinary but still pleasing the reader can infer that just a simple grass field makes Jane feel joy. Even through her tour, Jane exclaims how beautiful the Thornfield mansion is, but never does she state how pleasing the furnishings of the house were to her.

Nick M.
2/26/2013 11:09:32 pm

I agree. This combined with many other sections of the book, where she describes the outside, show that Janes is happy simply by being outside. Despite the setting, or the weather, Jane is always pleased by the level of escapism that nature provides. It does not need to be extraordinary, because to Jane, it is already inherently pleasing.

Gold C.
2/19/2013 12:52:50 pm

I entirely agree. When she no longer had a home (no spoilers), she knew that "I have no relative but the universal mother, Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose" (pg. 372-373). After acknowledging Nature as her mother, she, as The Home Statement #2 implies, understands that "my mother would lodge me without money and without price" (pg. 373). This ultimately shows that nature is her refuge.

Lucia E.
2/23/2013 02:13:05 am

Spoiler Alert!!!!
I agree with Gold, when Jane is homeless she believes at the moment "[nature] seemed to me benign and good" and that is all (p. 373). Jane is looking for exception and love, and that men who only "anticipate mistrust , rejection , insult..."(p 373). Not at all the refuge that she needs.

Megan B
2/20/2013 08:49:03 am

I agree. Like Lydia F quotes "No feature in the scene was extraordinary, but all was pleasing" (119) Jane gets to relax. Nature isn't there to put her down. Nature is a stable factor in Jane's life, so therefore when we are secure with something we cling to it. Making sure every chance we get, we appreciate it. Jane's mannerisms do not matter when it comes to nature.

Nathan M.
2/25/2013 12:54:23 pm

As Jane is overlooking the property of Thornfield from the balcony, she defines it as, "No feature in the scene was extraordinary, but all was pleasing" (119). I don't think she necessarily feels more at home in nature she just needs there to be a place to escape to. Before she arrived at Thornfield, and aside from Helen and Miss Temple, the company of humans left her feeling alone and uncared for. Nature served as an escape from the cruel behavior that she was treated with, and thus serves to give help her to experience tranquility and reaquire hope.

Nathan M.
2/25/2013 12:55:16 pm


Nathan M.
2/25/2013 12:57:36 pm

Sorry for the "Oh Dear list" grammar

Ana E.
2/26/2013 10:02:18 am

I completely agree with Nathan. It's not that she views nature as her second home, it's just there when she needs a place to escape for awhile, or get her thoughts together.

Kelly A
2/27/2013 12:18:49 am

I agree with both Nathan and Ana. The fact that Jane disliked her so-called family so much caused her to feel isolated. The outdoors served as a distraction and helped her hope that she could get away and create a better life in the outside world.

Kyle W.
2/26/2013 11:14:45 pm

I agree, because in chapter 6, jane was sitting on the roof to get a sense of homecoming after getting back from Lowood and Thornfield.

Stephanie D.
2/26/2013 11:33:39 pm

I disagree, because she's able to develop relationships with people, as seen with Bessie, Helen, Miss Temple, Rochester, etc. These people gave her human refuge in different stages of her life and they all made her feel safe.

Caitlyn E.
2/27/2013 02:05:32 am

I agree with Stephanie. When Jane is homeless, she learns to love and respect Mother Nature but throughout the novel, she attaches herself to the people in her life more than any of her surroundings, inside or out. In chapter 22, she returns to Thornfield and tells Rochester that HE is her home.

Caitlin F
2/27/2013 03:33:08 am

but her thing with people she cherishes being where her home is (home is where the heart is) also adds to nature being her refuge. she likes to be around people she loves because she loves them, they give her company, they keep her away from her negative thoughts about herself... she likes to be outside because of the isolation away from all the people and problems of her world. yes, people make her feel like she belongs, but isnt it also healthy to be by oneself at times? too much judgement by all these different people...

Anna H
2/27/2013 12:43:37 am

I agree that the outdoors is an excape for Jane, especially when she is at Lowood. She is able to excape form the death and illness that is indoors. She spends all of her time outside and really only comes inside to sleep.

Caitlyn E.
2/27/2013 02:17:43 am

I also agree with this. I would say that the outdoors is an escape for Jane but not her home. We all probably have a place to get away and think (for example, mine is my car) and then we have our place of comfort. Jane's home is with her relationships and bonds, but the outdoors is her hideaway. She spends the most time outside in Chapter 9 because she is experiencing much distress with Helen's illness and has more desire to escape reality.

Tatiana C.
2/27/2013 11:25:59 am

I don't think that outdoors is really a home or an escape for Jane. It is more just someting she is fascinated by. When she goes outside she isn't deliberately escaping the indoors because she is just as comfortable being indoors as she is being outdoors. She just feels more freedom outdoors hence her greater sense of adventure. She is often in the same situations (rooms of the house) inside, but when she goes outside she explores and is more bold. She feels more independent. "They let us ramble in the wood like gipsies... we did what we liked, went where we liked." (Pg. 84) This also explains her willingness to talk to Rochester when he is a stranger to her on the road to Hay.

Rae G.
2/28/2013 10:12:14 am

I don't really agree, in the very start of the book she is talking about how she cannot go on a walk and she's glad. She does not want to go outside then and later she falls in love with the Moor House and wants to be there over everywhere else.

Callie T.
2/28/2013 12:34:46 pm

Although Jane enjoys the outdoors, I feel it's more of a facination to her than an escape. She is comfortable indoors; however, I think the outdoors merely fuels her sense of adventure. In Ch. 9, she spends a great amount of time outside while she is experiencing the distress of Helen's illness. But I think she uses it more as a place of comfort than an escape

Morgan S
2/28/2013 11:43:16 pm

Jane uses the outdoors as a refuge or a safehaven from the people in her life such as John Reed. In the first chapter, the first time the reader meets Jane, she is hiding from John behind a curtain in a window seat. She thinks to herself “I wished fervently he might not discover my hiding-place: nor would John Reed have found it out himself.” Since she was trapped in the realm that housed John Reed, the window was a close as she was able to come to safety from his wrath, if only for a few moments.

Karis P.
3/1/2013 05:18:20 am

I believe that Jane is fascinated with the outdoors, as some students have said, but she does not necessarily see it as more of a home to her. In chapter 9 when Hellen is sick, Jane spends a lot of time outside. I think Jane is trying to find an alternate home for a moment to get away from what is happening in her current home. Her safe haven is often found outside, but I do not think the outdoors in general is a home to her.

Victoria B.
3/1/2013 05:58:04 am

I somewhat agree because like Caitlin said, Jane respects nature but not in the sense that she has to take refuge in it because she has had people in her life that make a difference and makes it easier to go on (i.e. Ms. Temple). Another connection Jane has to nature, is the symbol of birds.The link between Jane and birds is most evident after she leaves Gateshead and moves to Lowood. Bronte foreshadows poor nutrition at the school through a hungry bird that Jane gives the rest of her breakfast. "My vacant attention soon found livelier attraction in the spectacle of a little hungry robin, which came and chirruped on the twigs of the leafless cherry-tree" (ch. 4). This description of a hungry bird makes the reader to understand Jane’s compassion for others, and her willingness to give.

Crissy T.
3/1/2013 08:36:51 am

I think Jane sees the outdoors more as a refuge than a home. After she leaves Thornfield, she does'nt seem to spend as much time outdoors as she did before she left. I think this is because she only enjoys nature when someone is there to enjoy it with her or to use it as an escape. While at Lowood, she spent much of her free time outside to escape the disease going through the school, but while at Thornfield she enjoyed the outdoors because Mr. Rochester shared her appeciation of nature. Her home is wherever the people she loves are. In chapter 22, she says to Mr. Rochester that wherever he is is her "only home."

Addi B
3/1/2013 11:11:11 am

I don't know if Jane feels completely safe outside but she does find an escape in nature in rough stressful times. After she leaves Thornfield she is on a long journey where she has no idea where she is going. She is scared of where she is going and she finds an escape in the night sky. On page 374 she says that the night sky is the place where you feel God presences "on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky." She finds herself feeling at home when she is in Gods presence and nature is one of the most beautiful creations of him. She feels that nature is the one place that she can be herself, think what she wants and nobody will say anything. The outdoors do tend to feel like a home to Jane.

M. Woodard
3/1/2013 12:09:14 pm

I agree. Its noted that Jane frequently looks out windows into the natural world and often wishes to be outside. However, she doesn't always want to be in the outside world; for example when Jane first arrives at Lowood, she walks up to the windows and looks outside at the cold winter night. Bronte goes into detail to explain that there was no other place Jane would rather be than at the school. Her need of explanation implies that Jane's window gazing is typically representative of her longing to be elsewhere.

Graham G.
3/1/2013 12:16:02 pm

There is one brief scene at Lowood, just before she meets Helen Burns, where Jane is enjoying the play-hour inside because of the bitter winter storm outside. In the moment, she seems to find a "welcome sense of liberty" in the din of the warm-glowing fire. However, she stops to peek through the blinds and listen to the "disconsolate moan of the wind outside." She then ponders the sadness this would have made her feel had she been at Lowood separated from kind parents.It "would have disturbed my peace! as it was, I derived from both [the inside and outside] a strange excitement, and reckless and feverish, I wished the wind to howl more wildly, the gloom to deepen to darkness, and the confusion to rise to clamour." This supports the claim that the outside world is a refuge to Jane because it shows that, even in nature's harshness, in its bitterest, gloomiest state; can provide distraction from her childhood problems. Inside, things are often too organized to get lost in them--to lose one's troubles in the four-walled, misery-conducting confines of the indoors. Here, indoors and out are working in tandem to ease Jane's mind for a little while.

Graham G.
3/1/2013 12:49:15 pm

Sorry to rant, but it is also my believe that the natural world adds a lot to the novel. Whether it was Bronte's intention or not to include this layer of detail, I think that the outdoors is almost like a character in itself. The description of the wind as "disconsolate" really got me thinking that the outside world is always prescribed the emotion that Jane happens to be feeling. In this moment she needs a distraction from the bleakness of her first days at Lowood, and the weather delivers. When she is feeling especially bad about her quittance of Thornfield, it starts pouring down rain. Bronte may be using pathetic fallacy to put Jane's feelings into more universally understood terms--human perceptions about the connotation of weather would be generally in better accordance than interpretations of a character's thoughts or actions. OR I'm crazy and the weather doesn't matter AT ALL. IDK

Brian H.
3/1/2013 12:28:30 pm

Jane does often seem to enjoy the outdoors. Many of the scenes most relevant to her character development as well as the plot occur outdoors. Even when she looks out the window at the beginning, she wishes to escape from the Reeds. She also first meets both Helen Burns and Mr. Rochester outside.

Amanda C.
3/1/2013 01:08:32 pm

"I have no relative but the universal mother, Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose." 373. This right after her flight from Rochester. I think when Jane has no one else to turn to, she turns to nature and many times she finds herself alone.

Rebecca P.
3/1/2013 01:27:54 pm

I believe the outdoors is an escape, a thinking place, a refugee, but not her home. She was always willing to walk where ever she had to go, usually to town. When she was at the Reed's house, she sat by the window because that was the closest she was able to get to the outside. Also, on page 373 she exclaims how she has "no relative but the universal mother, Nature" which shows how closely related she was to the outdoors. Nature is kind of like a sister: Nature will always be there when Jane needs her.

Alex Price
3/1/2013 02:07:20 pm

In my opinion I think Jane finds more comfort indoors. Starting at Gateshead Jane would always stare out windows looking outdoors but safely indoors. Then again Gateshead was similar to a prison especially the red room. So, I don't know. I changed my mind mid-post. I feel like she finds comfort in exploring the outdoors from the safety of the indoors, hence her taste in books (gullivers travels, history books, and bird books). Well.... bye.

Tyler E.
3/2/2013 07:30:01 am

I believe Jane prefers the outside rather inside because she can get away from her troubles and be free. Its her escape to shape her own future and start a life of her


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    Online Discussion

    Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil's advocate.  Respond to the statements, with textual support, that either agrees/disagrees, proves/disproves, or responds to a classmate's post.  Sentences and ideas gathered from www.shmoop.com.


    February 2013