The Novel Jane Eyre

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The novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte displays experiences that occurred in her own life. Despite having to deal with oppressive gender and social roles, the protagonist Jane exemplifies Feminism and Empowerment in a time period where equality didn’t exist. During the Victorian era, social class was as much of a determining factor as gender in shaping who you were, how others would view you, and what type of lifestyle you lived. This made life as a woman unfair compared to the type of freedoms men had. Women didn’t have the right to legally vote, sue, own any property, and were stereotyped to act a certain way. Although there are still many challenges women have to overcome in today’s world, the gender ideologies back then compared to now are completely different.

To begin, back in a time where women were defined physically and intellectually as the ‘weaker’ gender, Jane Eyre represented what it meant to be a confident woman. Throughout the book, Jane displayed her dignity and self-worth as she had no choice but to face the inequality in her life. As an illustration, when Jane and Mr. Rochester had planned on getting married, Mr. Rochester was seeking to make Jane do everything his way before their marriage. Telling her what she needs to wear and attempting to make Jane wear jewelry. “I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me—for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.” (Brontë 396) Jane wasn’t going to accept following the stereotypical gender role of how the majority of women in Victorian society were supposed to behave and follow the orders of men. Being independent or speaking out weren’t two types of characteristics women in this time usually possessed. Maybe even if a woman did have these qualities within them, they might’ve been afraid of the consequences for not following a stereotype. However, potential consequences didn’t stop Jane, she had the characteristics of a woman in today’s modern society. A woman that doesn’t need to be told how to act, follow a certain stereotype, or be controlled by men.


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The Novel Jane Eyre. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-novel-jane-eyre/

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