Throughout the course of history, social hierarchies have existed across the globe, spanning from prince to pauper or business tycoon to lowly scrivener. Authors, in turn, have written works regarding social class, often examining the negative effects of societal structure on personal growth. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre takes place in Victorian England, in the age of industry and genesis of industrial capitalism. The novel’s protagonist, Jane, first lives a life of neglect, then a life in poverty, and eventually finds her happy ending. Through Jane’s personal experiences and interactions with fellow characters, Brontë analyzes the effects of social class. Professor Chris Vanden Bossche’s article analysis “What Did ‘Jane Eyre’ Do? Ideology, Agency, Class and the Novel” examines social inclusion and monetary pressures placed on the central characters during this pivotal era of English history. Through the Marxist lens, Jane Eyre can be understood in terms of complexity and character motives. Vanden Bossche effectively argues that external forces, like money and people, both motivate and repress Jane into choosing her own path. Thus, a more developed explanation is made for Jane’s various behaviors regarding social inclusion and societal rebellion.
The class of Jane also reflects how people who are considered lower are treated worse than the rich. Those who tend to be rich see themselves as much better and deserving of greater things. A character in the story named John Reed would always treat the protagonist, Jane Eyre, like she was garbage because of the fact that she was orphaned and had no wealth to her name. “You have no business to take our books; you are a dependant, mama says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen's children like us”. John had a part in his family’s wealth and saw himself as above attempting to assure everyone knew how important he was. Meanwhile, Jane being of lower class is much more humble and appreciative of the good things in life. Learning to live happily and patiently as a humble citizen making sure to never be snobby like her relatives. Jane makes sure to see the beauty inside of people rather than superficial, beautiful appearances. “The refreshing meal, the brilliant fire, the presence and kindness of her beloved instructress, or, perhaps, more than all these, something in her own unique mind, had roused her powers within her. They woke, they kindled: first, they glowed in the bright tint of her cheek, which till this hour I had never seen but pale and bloodless; then they
The Victorian Era was known for its propriety, and for its social standards that could be as strict as the caste system in India. Citizens in England of low social regard faced many prejudices and limitations that could be almost insurmountable to overcome. Much like the caste system, people considered to be the dregs of society were often alienated and had little room for opportunity. In Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, the main character, Jane, suffers social prejudice because she is a simple governess, revealing much about the social stigmas about the working class during the Victorian Era. Jane’s social status limits her not only from being with the one she loves, but also hinders her endeavor to achieve true autonomy.
Based on the ideas of Karl Marx, this theoretical approach asks us to consider how a literary work reflects the socioeconomic conditions of the time in which it was written. What does the text tell us about contemporary social classes and how does it reflect classism? Jane Eyre depicts the strict, hierarchical class system in England that required everyone to maintain carefully circumscribed class positions. Primarily through the character of Jane, it also accents the cracks in this system, the places where class differences were melding in Victorian England. For example, the novel questions the role of the governess: Should she be considered upper class, based on her superior education, or lower class,
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë depicts the rigid social structure and clear division between the upper and lower classes of Victorian society, in which wealth and status determined one’s beliefs, career, and treatment from those surrounding them. Those of the upper class did not typically converse or involve themselves with those viewed as beneath them; however, Jane Eyre fights the separation between the classes to which she has fallen victim at both Gateshead and Lowood school. Her refusal to conform to the hierarchy eventually leads to the meddling between the Victorian-era elite and peasant class, as seen through Jane Eyre’s romantic relationship with Edward Rochester, an upperclassman and
Jane Eyre, often interpreted as a bildungsroman, or a coming-of-age story, goes further than the traditional “happy ending,” commonly represented by getting married. Instead, the novel continues beyond this romantic expectation to tell full the story of Jane’s life, revealing her continual dissatisfaction with conventional expectations of her social era; as a result, many literary critics have taken it upon themselves to interpret this novel as a critique of the rigid class system present in 19th century Victorian society. One literary critic in particular, Chris R. Vanden Bossche, analyzes Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre through a Marxist lens, asserting the importance of class structure and social ideology as historical context and attributing this to the shaping of the novel as a whole. This approach of analysis properly addresses Brontë’s purposeful contrast of submission and rebellion used to emphasize Jane’s determined will for recognition as an equal individual.
In the novel Jane Eyre, the author Charlotte Bronte displays the main character Jane as someone who goes against the grain in societal values, roles, and constructions. In Terry Eagleton's essay "Jane Eyre's Power Struggles", he sees internal conflict within the book as she attempts to sort out social class barriers and gender role conflicts. As Jane goes through life she has many challenges starting at a young age with both her parents being dead and raised in a house where she is not loved or wanted, Jane is sent away to a school for poor orphan girls. The book was written in a the Victorian time period where one's status in society was determined by what class they were born into. Going astray from the norm, Jane opposes the caste system
“I am no bird and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will” (Bronte, Jane Eyre 293). In the Victorian time period Charlotte Bronte lived the unequal life as a woman, like many others. The only difference is Bronte did not believe in living in inequality, and she wrote about her hardships in her literature. In her book, Jane Eyre, the reader can see many similarities in her main character’s life and her own. Jane Eyre has many ways of showing how Victorian women were expected to be and act, included in the life of Jane. Bronte also continues her portrayal of the inequality of women and the decision of love versus autonomy through two of her poems, “Life” and “The Wife’s Will.” Charlotte Bronte displays the inequality in life of women in the Victorian era by taking her life and revitalizing it into themes of her works, by providing a journey of discovery of love or autonomy.
Jane Eyre was born an orphan and raised under the hands of a heartless Aunt. Aunt Reed stressed to Jane that she was privileged to live so well without any
Class becomes viewed in both a negative and a positive spectrum throughout the book. The factors Jane criticizes and fears most are struggles and hardships which she must endure later on in her life. She learns how to employ strategies to fit in with the class structure she is currently participating
Jane’s approach could be considered romantic and embodies conventional feminist concepts; she remains headstrong and stubborn in the face of injustice. The representation of Jane as a strong, independent woman upholds the belief that woman can achieve their goals. Jane does precisely this; she marries Rochester, becomes a part of a family as well as gains financial independence. The way in which Bronte represents Jane is emphasized through her narrative stance. The reader is presented with a firm and rebellious character, her diction is simple and assertive. She addresses the reader directly and is able to identify and challenge the problems she faces with determination. Furthermore Jane is able to identify and comment on how she feels woman are subjugated by their society; she denounces that “woman are supposed to be very calm generally: but woman feel just as men feel […]” (Bronte
Jane Eyre, a novel by Charlotte Brontë, contains several notable themes and messages sent to its readers. Jane Eyre is a coming of age novel that is a story of a girl's quest for equality and happiness. A common theme that recurs throughout the novel is the importance of independence.Charlotte Brontë utilizes several techniques to convey this message, incorporating her personal experiences, as well as including symbolism and motifs. Charlotte Bronte subjects Jane to several conflicts that occur because of Jane’s desire for independence and freedom, such as love, religion, and gender inequality.
Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte explore social class in a number of different ways throughout their novels Pride and the Prejudice and Jane Eyre. They do this through the use of stylistic devices which in turn appeals to their different audiences. Both Jane and Charlotte are notable writers for their remarkable texts. Jane Austen is known for playing a revolutionary role in the generation of English female literature, which was counteracted by this piece- and Charlotte Bronte also developed her feminist thoughts, which have been displayed throughout her novels. By analysing social class in Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre this essay will compare these two women writers’ texts and display how social class is presented
“Little Girls with dreams become women with vision” (unknown). This quote expresses Jane’s entire life in the novel Jane Eyre written by the author Charlotte Brontë. The main character that is discussed in this book is Jane Eyre and she is trying to find herself despite being recognized as less than everyone else solely based on her gender and her poor place in nineteenth-century’s social class. Gender inequality is world wide problem with no end, dating back to the civil rights period to the present day. Mrs. Reed, John Reed, Mr Brocklehurst and Ms. Blanche Ingram, as well as many others are a prime example for this issue. For the reason being that they allow others’ mainly her son to not only treat her with disrespect but also torment Jane as well.