“Well; I would rather die yonder than in a street, or on a frequented road,” I reflected. “And far better that crows and ravens — if any ravens there be in these regions — should pick my flesh from my bones, than that they should be prisoned in a workhouse coffin, and molder in a pauper’s grave.” (422)
Jane is on her own now. She has gone from Thornfield Hall, away from Mr. Rochester, after having found out that he is already married. She stays true to herself and to her own sense of morals, and come what may, leaves the relative safety and security of the known, but the unacceptable, to start anew. “Still indomitable was the reply — “I care for myself.” (408) Jane has no family, no references, and through bad luck, no money. The thin margin between Jane and destitution is vanished. Before the next intervention of fate, where Jane serendipitously ends up at the door of previously unknown relations, she experiences the indignities suffered by the homeless who are lower in society than livestock, for “Mother! She exclaimed; “there is a woman want me to give her these porridge!” “Well, lass” replied a voice within, “give it her if she’s a beggar. T’ pig doesn’t want it.” (421) Jane is facing an increasing possibility of her own demise, because there is no social safety net for the dispossessed and unconnected. She has concluded that the embrace of impartial Nature is a more dignified end than what society metes out to the impoverished.
How does our modern day society perpetuate the trauma of the destitute? On a lighter note, was there any particular significance to the raven in the Victorian age?
Brontë Charlotte, and Richard Nemesvari. Jane Eyre. Broadview Press, 2004, p. 408, 421, 422