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Social Norms In Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte

Decent Essays
Charlotte Bronte's, Jane Eyre takes place during the Victorian period of England. This gothic romance novel tells the story of an abused orphan, Jane, who later matures into a strong independent woman. The societal standards Bronte portrays in the novel consist of oppression, gender inequality, and social class. Throughout the novel, Jane overcomes each of these social norms and defies what every other person in the society believes. Those living in the Victorian period,consider it normal to treat people with cruelty. As a child, Jane constantly faces oppression. Jane faces constant abuse while living with her aunt at Gateshead. Bronte illustrates this point through Mrs. Reed, the Aunt Jane is sent to live with, who says, “Take her away…show more content…
In the society in which Jane lives, men are believed to be superior to women in any circumstance. Mr. Brocklehurst declares, "I have a little boy, younger than you, who knows six Psalms by heart" (28). During Jane’s early years, she is constantly surrounded by male figures such as John Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst,who always belittle her and assure she remains in a submissive position. When Jane answers to Mr. Brocklehurst that she does not like the book of Psalms, he compares her to his son. He makes it very apparent that his son is better than Jane due to his love of Psalms, and also expresses his belief that Jane obtains a wicked heart. The situation in which Jane experiences the immediate comparison to Mr. Brocklehurst’s son prompts her to realize that she will always remain less than any man, despite the situation. Later on in the novel Jane expresses, “Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts just as their brothers do..." (108). In this section of the text from the novel, Jane expresses her frustration on the fact that women are constantly pushed into situations where their predominant worries are based on simple things such as cooking, knitting and cleaning. She believes that women have a right to express their feelings just as much as men do.…show more content…
Throughout the novel Jane faces many obstacles created by the beliefs of the society. Jane overcomes each of these standards created by the society and becomes her own independent women. The three societal standards in Jane Eyre are oppression, gender inequality, and social class. Jane knew what it was to be poor and be considerate before she became rich, thus helping her overcome her struggle for social class. She overcomes the mistreatment she receives by standing up to those who inflicted it upon her. Jane also overcomes gender inequality in the novel by forcing Mr. Rochester to see her as an equal. Jane overcomes many barriers in her path and becomes a strong independent
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