Jane Eyre and Feminism

1822 Words May 25th, 2005 8 Pages
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.
Women of the Victorian era were repressed, and had little if any social stature.
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These same characteristics are seen again during the time she works for Mr. Rochester. This is first seen in chapter 13 and 14 during her first days knowing Rochester. He treats her in a condescending manner, and is quite rude and disrespectful, insulting her piano playing, art, knowledge, and even her looks. In many ways he treats her as he would treat one of his servants. Jane is fully aware of Rochester's arrogance, finding him to be quite unpleasant. Jane replies to him with wit and sometimes sarcasm, refusing to give into his insulting attacks. One example is her response to one of Rochester's questions "Now ma'am, am I a fool?" She replies "far from it, sir. You would perhaps think me rude if I inquired in return whether you are a philanthropist?" (Bronte, 134) Jane, being assertive as she is, makes it very clear to Rochester that she will not be treated as a servant.
"I don't think sir, that you have the a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made to your time and experience." (136)

After her shaky introduction to Rochester, Jane and he become good friends. They seem to have a unique relationship, and Rochester treats Jane increasingly as an equal as it progresses. In the beginning of this relationship it is almost as

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