Radical Ideas in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

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Radical Ideas in Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte knew what she was doing when she assumed the pseudonym of Currer Bell. In Jane Eyre she wanted to pose radical ideas regarding the role of women in the 19th century, but being a sensible woman, she knew that society would never accept having a woman pose these new views. It would be altogether too logical and self-praising. Though the author was never credited for the published novel it must have been equally fulfilling for her to know that people had read the opinions voiced by a woman. Bronte's novel was successful as her refreshing story captivated the attention, if only negative, of many audiences. Jane Eyre is the epitome of feminism as her main objective in life is
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Jane refuses to think any less of herself than those who surround her. As a child she naively thought herself the equal of her cousins, and often forgot that she was merely a dependent kept at the mercy of her benefactress. Bessie kindly reminds Jane of this after her retaliation to her "young master," but the stubborn Jane replies, "Master! How is he my master? Am I his servant?" (pg. 9). Jane's determination to place her eyes at the same level as her cousins forces her aunt to cast her away to seek a future far from them. Ironically, Mrs. Reed sent her away wishing her worse treatment, but Jane would be rewarded by finally being treated as an equal at Lowood as well as at Thornfield. At the orphanage, Jane develops a strong foundation for having other people regard her for what she accomplishes. Jane fondly remembers, "...I...set to work afresh, resolved to pioneer my way through every difficulty. I toiled hard, and my success was proportionate to my efforts" (pg. 91). Jan learned the most important lesson of her life there&emdash;she could make others grow to respect her by affirming her character.

Independence was born out of Jane's experiences at Lowood, and it made her a "person with a will of her own." The first sign of it comes when she arranges to leave Lowood by finding a place where her talents can be put to use. Jane shows great initiative
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