Jane Eyre Essay

3572 WordsDec 2, 201015 Pages
Emma Gleaden Word Count: 3238 Compare and contrast the ways in which Bronte and Rhys construct the adult selves of Jane and Antoinette and consider how this shapes their relationship with Rochester. Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea present the childhoods and later lives of two women, who similarly marry the complex character, Mr. Rochester. Both begin their lives as outsiders, Jane because of economic differences to the rest of her family and Antoinette because of racial distinctions to the rest of her community. However, the characters undergo oppositional journeys in life, which in turn, shape their contrastive relationships with Rochester. Bronte presents ‘Bertha Mason’ as a minor character, positioned in her novel as a mere…show more content…
Patriarchy also occurs in Antoinette’s marriage to Rochester. As soon as she marries him he automatically holds possession over Antoinette’s money and belongings, taking all materialistic and thereby stable emotions away from her. ‘Everybody know that you marry her for her money and you take it all’[6] However, money is not the issue in Jane and Rochester’s relationship, Jane is not a wealthy woman and also lacks Antoinette’s beauty, so we can gather that Rochester proposes to her because of something other than material gain. He comes to treat Jane as an equal, holding complex and open conversations with her, something that was relatively unusual in Bronte’s era. This is reflected in Bronte’s feminist lexis that sets the historical context of a Victorian woman’s place in society and is voiced in Jane’s passionate plea, ‘Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel’[7] It is possible to explain these differences in Rochester’s patriarchal approach towards Jane and Antoinette by looking at how their childhood experiences constructed their adult selves and their self esteem. Bronte enables Jane to learn that she can overcome social displacement and patriarchy by surviving John Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst’s cruel, masculine behaviour. Men are never of importance to Jane in childhood, the few men

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