The belief that women should have equal economic, political and social rights which were offered to men was known as feminism. Feminism has been a prominent and controversial topic in writing for over two centuries, with the view articulating in the “19th century meaning that women were inherently equal to men and deserved equal rights and opportunities.” (Gustafson, 1) Many women throughout time have stood forward towards women’s rights. Jane Eyre was written and published during the Victorian Era. The novel was written by Charlotte Brontë, but published under the pseudonym Currer Bell. Pseudonyms were used frequently by women at this point in time, as they were believed to be inferior to men. The works of female authors were not as …show more content…
Bronte’s Jane Eyre gave a voice to women in the Victorian era. Bronte embedded her feminist ideas into her novel, Jane Eyre. Her belief in marrying for love was a head of her time. Bronte used Jane to explore the depth at which women could act in society. Her ideas on women being more educated brought on thoughts of equality of a different level.
Bronte’s Feminist Ideas Bronte’s feminist ideas radiated throughout her novel Jane Eyre. There were many strong and clear examples of these ideas in Bronte’s protagonist, Jane, her personality, actions, thoughts and beliefs. From the beginning of the book, Jane’s strong personality and her lack of following social expectations were quiet clear. “Women of the Victorian era were not part of a man’s world, as they were considered below them.”(VanTassel-Baska, 4) The class divisions between a man and a woman were very distinctive. Jane however ignored this. When Jane first met Rochester, the whole scene presented a feminist portrait of Jane. A women walking alone in that era should never address a man, but Jane went out of her way to help Rochester stating that “if you are hurt, I can help” (Bronte, 98), Jane even let him place a hand on her shoulder. Jane believed that “women were supposed to be very calm generally, but women felt just as men felt” (Bronte, 116), which showed her perseverance and persistence in being independent and proving that men should be equal to that of women. This was of
Women in the Victorian era were supposed to be passive, pure, and idle; were not to be well educated; and were expected to marry. Throughout Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre learns the realities of these social expectations and directly and indirectly speaks against them.
In its simplest form, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre tells the story of a young woman, Jane Eyre, who grows up poor, makes the decision to be independent, does so, and, eventually, marries rich. The novel follows her from her childhood to her reunion with the love of her life and she, throughout it, deals with classism and sexism and exhibits her own form of feminism. By the end, it becomes clear that, with this semi-autobiographical novel, Charlotte Bronte was providing a criticism on society’s discrimination toward those of a lower class, a subtle argument against the male-dominated society’s treatment of women, and an even subtler call to action for women to find their own agency outside of the men in their lives. On another end, however,
The Victorian Era encompassed a time of great discrepancy between the sexes, especially for women. The polarization of gender roles reflected on a basis of gender sexuality where men and women were granted certain advantages and disadvantages. Women were expected to realize a specific position in society based on morals of submission, passivity, and a complete lack of selfishness and independence. Constrictive notions such as these prevent individual expression and expansion. Therefore, while struggling to fill the pre-conceived expectancies of society, one forces true desires and happiness to pass as a scant priority. Charlotte Brontë's Victorian novel, Jane Eyre, explores the significance of individual fulfillment in an oppressive
Charlotte Bronte created one of the first feminist novels--Jane Eyre--of her time period when she created the unique and feminist female heroine, Jane Eyre. Throughout the novel, Jane becomes stronger as she speaks out against antagonists. She presses to find happiness whether she is single or married and disregards society’s rules. The novel begins as Jane is a small, orphan child living with her aunt and cousins due to the death of her parents and her uncle. Jane 's aunt--Mrs. Reed--degrades her as she favors her biological children. Jane 's aunt--Mrs. Reed--degrades her as she favors her biological children. Her cousin--John Reed--hits her and then Mrs. Reed chooses to punish her instead and sends her to the room in which her uncle
Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre embraces many feminist views in opposition to the Victorian feminine ideal. Charlotte Bronte herself was among the first feminist writers of her time, and wrote this book in order to send the message of feminism to a Victorian-Age Society in which women were looked upon as inferior and repressed by the society in which they lived. This novel embodies the ideology of equality between a man and woman in marriage, as well as in society at large. As a feminist writer, Charlotte Bronte created this novel to support and spread the idea of an independent woman who works for herself, thinks for herself, and acts of her own accord.
Throughout Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë uses the character Jane as a tool to comment on the oppression that women were forced to endure at the time. Jane can be seen as representative of the women who suffered from repression during the Victorian period, a time when patriarchy was commonplace. Brontë herself was affected by the time period, because according to Wolfe, she was deprived “experience and intercourse and travel.” (70) Thus Jane offers a unique perspective as a woman who is both keenly aware of her position and yet trapped by it despite repeated attempts to elevate herself and escape the burden placed on by her different suitors. Although superficially it seems that Jane wants to break away from the relationships that further
Often misconceived as group of females who hate men, spit on the stereotypical feminine archetype (wife, mother, etc.) and toss away social beauty norms (the color pink, dresses, hairless below the eyes), the term “feminist” seems to be a word that calls for a mouthful of soap. So is not the case for all or any, as the base of feminism is located in equality between sexes, not outer appearance or the way in which one carries him/her/their self. Yet, even in the feminist world women are judged for not being “enough” of a feminist. If one is involved with a man or desires to take on the typecast female occupation of a stay at home mom, they are subject to be judged as “bad feminists.” In Charlotte Bronte’s early 19th century novel Jane Eyre the title character self discovers herself as a feminist, independent of any other, working towards equality. Some place Jane into this “bad feminist” label due to the ending of the novel where she becomes the wife of Rochester, seemingly surrendering her independent nature of common matrimony.’” Yet there should be a more inclusive look to the concept of feminism, if it is working towards self-improvement/development or happiness, they why should it not be by means seen as “anti-feminist”?
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.
Through the Victorian Age, male dominance deprived women from a certain freedom. In Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre repeatedly struggles to become an independent young lady due to the troublesome men in the story. John Reed controls Jane, Mr. Brocklehurst humiliates Jane, and Mr. Rochester sees women, in general, as objects. The author manages to depict patriarchal dominance through the characterization of John Reed, Mr. Brocklehurst, and Mr. Rochester.
Jane Eyre was written in a time where the Bildungsroman was a common form of literature. The importance was that the mid-nineteenth century was, "the age in which women were, for the first time, ranked equally with men as writers within a major genre" (Sussman 1). In many of these novels, the themes were the same; the protagonist dealt with the same issues, "search for autonomy and selfhood in opposition to the social constraints placed upon the female, including the demand for marriage" (Sussman). Jane Eyre fits this mould perfectly. Throughout the novel, the reader follows Jane Eyre on a journey of development from adolescence to maturity to show that a desire for freedom and change motivates people to search for their own identity.
Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre in 1847 during Britain’s Victorian era, a time when the societal culture was patriarchal, meaning men were considered to be superior to women in all parts of life. In general society was guided by etiquette and considered prudish, hypocritical, single minded, and arrogant. The culture of this era was defined predominantly by two main characteristics. First by the rigid caste structure, which prevented most from advancing beyond the station held by their families. Second, the extreme polarization of gender roles, especially in the upper classes. Men were expected to be honorable, enterprising, intelligent, loyal, and morally strong. However, women were expected to be chaste and in the constant company of a chaperone
The first point to be discussed with feminism in this literature, Brontë portrays Jane Eyre to be a very subtle Feminist. Jane's approach to feminism is not rebellious or outlandish at all. She lets her character speak for itself, .due to her harsh living environments she had to take that approach considering in the nineteenth-century, the quality of life as a women was entirely based on how beautiful women were and who they were married to. Along with a wealthy economic status, Jane however, had none of these things going for her. For example she was an orphan in this particular family named the Reeds, they are a very wealthy family and took her into an extremely toxic household which was very different to her past living environments, were later on corrupted her in the future to believe that all women should not be treated equal to but less than when compared to men. From the disrespect she received from Mrs Reed, and the bullying from her son John she was always able to stand up for herself no matter how bad or unfairly she was being treated. There were many instances were Jane was being treated unjustly. Ms. Reed would allow her children and even the maid of the house be disrespectful to her. Everyday Jane was being being compared to things like “little toad” (bronte 41). Conveying the message to the reader that just because Jane is not attractive nor wealthy that she does not deserve to be given the respect someone with those
“I am not bird and no net ensnares me; I am a human being with an independent will...” (Bronte 238). These words from Jane Eyre’s character in the novel Jane Eyre described the desire for Jane to make her own destiny instead of depending on men for what to do. The novel, Jane Eyre, was published in an era before woman had been given rights, so when Charlotte and her sisters, Emily and Anne began writing novels under their pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell which acted as the male identities needed to succeed in writing during the time their novels were published. Bronte’s best known novel, Jane Eyre, was published during the 19th century and is considered a revolutionary novel its time. One of the major themes of Jane Eyre is the feminist idea of women possessing equal right to males. Equality of men and women made Jane Eyre immensely controversial when it was published; the book received much backlash from men, but the majority women took to this idea. In the 19th century, when the novel was published, feminism was becoming a major movement due to the changes which came from the Industrial Revolution; this shifted the social view of women from the previous belief that women should only stay at home to tend to the home and children to the beginning of feminism . Jane, the protagonist of the novel, conveys the rising middle class woman of the era, as more women were becoming literate and conforming to
A feminist is a person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism (belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes). Jane Eyre is clearly a critique of assumptions about both gender and social class. It contains a strong feminist stance; it speaks to deep, timeless human urges and fears, using the principles of literature to chart the mind?s recesses. Thus, Jane Eyre is an epitome of femininity - a young independent individual steadfast in her morals and has strong Christian virtues, dominant, assertive and principled. That itself is no small feat.