Essay on Jane Eyre - Challenging Victorian Beliefs

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Jane Eyre - Challenging Victorian Beliefs Charlotte Brontë challenges the view that men are emotionally, socially and intellectually superior to women. "Just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal - as we are!" The 19th century was a period of oppression for women. The patriarchal system that dominated the Victorian period in England's history, was one during which Charlotte Brontë wrote and set the novel, Jane Eyre. Brontë denounces the persecution that women suffered at the hands of a society that placed faith in a belief that men were emotionally, socially and intellectually superior to Victorian women. The belief that men were intellectually superior to women soiled the Victorian…show more content…
Jane refused to suppress her emotions and had an innate desire to show those who oppressed her how she felt. Brontë instilled a belief in Jane that defied society which stated that "it is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself," as expressed by Helen Burns. Brontë adhered to the notion that women, like men, should not "suffer from too rigid a restraint," in regard to their emotions. Blanche was passionless, "truth and tenderness were not in her" - she was the opposite of Jane. She acted like Adelè; superficial, and much like a porcelain doll, pretty to look at but empty inside. Brontë endorsed the view that a woman was not "a machine without feelings". A woman in Victorian society, who was not "as brilliant as her jewels", experienced life "without one bit of love or kindness". This was a factor which Brontë believed might have led to the "silent revolt" of women against Victorian society. The Chartist movement of the time was one when middle class people fought for political representation and the ability to move up the social ladder. This desire for liberty also impacted on women, due to their status as an oppressed social class. Brontë also seems to believe that women need "to do more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex," a belief which meant that she wanted women to defy the customs that they had been enduring and do what they believed was best for
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