Jane as child and adult is the outsider who searches for family and place. She can also be seen as the Other.
It has been suggested that at least part of the appeal of Jane Eyre comes from its fulfilling common fantasies and wishes. According to this theory, we feel that we are orphans, that the family we are living with is not our real family; we want to punish the parents (and other authority figures) who thwarted childhood desires by saying "no" to us; we desire wealth and the perfect mate. Jane Eyre fulfills these desires and dreams, and it justifies the punishment of cruel authority figures like Aunt Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst, who deserve what they get. Think about this theory as you read the novel and decide whether you agree with it.