A Comparison of Jane Eyre vs. Mary Wollstonecraft Essay

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Jane Eyre vs. Mary Wollstonecraft

There is no doubt that Charlotte Bronte knew the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, and she knew them well. Although Wollstonecraft's ideas were written a hundred years beforehand, many women did not read her work because it was not easily attainable. Many women were not educated to read this piece of literature and many men deemed it unimportant to their education. Bronte's works were cleverly disguised in women's entertainment, the novel. The main themes both women discuss are education, love and marriage.

First, Wollstonecraft discusses education of women as secondary to men. They learn a little bit of sewing, how to dress, how to sing and speak a little of a language. She criticizes
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The way she is educated make her mind confounded to the principal's men think women ought to be. Through her education, she has learned how to sing, play the piano, memorize quotes from books and present herself in an appealing way to men. She is not taught anything beyond this. Blanche does not win the heart of Mr. Rochester because she cannot entertain his mind.

The next issue both women present are the way women are treated in relationships. Wollstonecraft warns that women are victims of men's lust. She goes on saying that since men cannot see women for anything but beauty, when the "flower" dies, the man cannot see anything else the woman is good for. This can lead to a very bitter life for women and men. Bronte shows the dichotomy of Jane and Bertha. Jane is the weed, who never was a flower. Since Rochester admired her for what her insides were--her roots, the love would never die. On the flip side, Bertha was known for her beauty. When it died, there was nothing left. Bertha became bitter and one might say it contributed to her insanity. Thus, beauty was proved not to be an indicator of lasting love in Bronte's story.

Finally, Wollstonecraft admonishes that in a marriage, couples should not continue to be passionate, but should enter a relationship of friendship instead. By doing this, the marriage would tend to be more stable and last longer. This is portrayed in Mr. Rochester and Jane. When Jane and Rochester do marry, the
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