Theme Of Oppression In Jane Eyre

1088 WordsNov 8, 20175 Pages
Nineteenth century England was rooted deeply in both social, and class division as a means of maintaining a certain degree of order within their society. In the early nineteenth century, England was undergoing rapid change as the industrial revolution began to sweep through the country. With this rapid change brought on further gender, and social class divisions centered upon education, employment, and marriage. Both women, and the lower class were heavily oppressed during the time period, as they were deemed inferior to the more wealthy, upper class members of society. In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, all of the aforesaid motifs of oppression are discussed in full, as the story portrayed in the novel holistically relies on…show more content…
The inferiority complex that was instilled within the young, lower class during this time period caused them to resist change, and remain complacent in a constant state of oppression. Nearly the entirety of Western society subjected itself into being organized by a social hierarchy, and the notion of a mere glimpse of equality was quickly expelled at a youthful age. This state of complacency served as a source of ignition for both Jane, and Bronte as they would both fight preconceived notions of social division later in their lives. Not only were citizens of the lower class obligated to embrace their inferiority to the upper class, but in the case of Jane, their lives as a member of the impoverished community were depicted in a harrowing light. At an immature stage of their life children “have not much idea of industrious, working, respectable poverty”, but rather connect the life of lower class citizens with “ragged clothes, scanty food, fireless grates, rude manner, and debasing vices” (Bronte, 29-30). The bleak description of life in the lower class not only depicts the debilitating nature it may have on poorer member of society, but also the polarity of wealth distribution within Victorian England. A person within the social hierarchy could only travel as far as their wealth, or title, could carry them, and with a poor woman like Jane that possessed neither, their futures seemed eerily grim. Bronte was faced with similar hardships as she sought to escape
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