Comparison of Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' and the DH Lawrence's 'Horse Dealer's Daughter'

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Women as Outsiders: A Comparison Of Jane Eyre and "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" Women are often portrayed as a marginalized "other" or outsider in literature, reflecting the degree to which they are outside the traditional patriarchal concepts of authority and power as well as (for much of Western history) outside the practical and legal means of self-sufficiency and self-direction. As the times have shifted, the particular perspective and definition of women as outsiders has also changed, as can be seen in a comparison of the central figures in Charlotte Bronte's Victorian-era novel Jane Eyre and D. H. Lawrence's more modern short story "The Horse Dealer's Daughter." Interestingly, both heroines are seen as similarly detached from traditional power structures, yet the degree to which Jane distances herself through her morality actually gives her power, while the increasing amorality of the times leads Mabel (Lawrence's protagonist) down a path of deeper despair, self-directed though it may be. In Jane Eyre, the title female is an outcast almost everywhere she goes, from an orphan in the home of her uncle's family to the school at Lowood where she eventually finds a niche but where she does not truly belong and finally to Thornfield Hall, where she fits in all too well but finds that her familiarity is ultimately inappropriate. In all of her moves, Jane is driven largely by necessity the need for shelter, and then the need for work. She is also driven by her own moral

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