“Jane, be still; don’t struggle so, like a wild, frantic bird that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.”

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 23. Mr. Rochester does not want Jane to leave him after she declares that she is because he is “as good as a married man.” He uses a nature simile to compare her to a desperate wild bird tearing its own feathers. However, the strong-willed and determined Jane rejects this imagery. She exerts her independence as a woman by declaring that she is no caged bird and is leaving to go to Ireland. Jane is very much a free woman and a revolutionary ahead of her time. She rejects the patriarchy of a Victorian society that treats women as subservient to men.