A Society of Unequal’s Just Won’t Do

1787 Words8 Pages
Everyone has the right to govern oneself in how to act, where to live, and who to associate with. In Jane Eyre, Jane is controlled and structured by an underlying social and economic critique of conventional patriarchal authority. First, we will examine the various patriarchs that Jane encounters with John Reed, Mr. Brocklehurst, Mr. Rochester, and St. John. Then, we can turn our attention to the economics of social class and how Jane conducts herself where she resides rather it be at Gateshead, Lowood or Thornfield and then we will look at how Jane becomes an equal. Upon receiving a vast fortune from her uncle, Jane abandons her role of inferiority and travels to Ferndean to reunite with Rochester as equals.

Jane Eyre’s mother decided to marry into a lower social class than her own and consequently did not inherit any of her family’s wealth. John Reed, Jane’s maternal cousin, however did inherit the family’s wealth and therefore thought he was superior to Jane. John made it apparent that his position as sole male heir gives him absolute power to harass his dependent female cousin. One can see this when he finds her hidden behind curtains reading a book, John Reed tells Jane, “You are a dependent, mama says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not live here with gentlemen’s children like us…I’ll teach you to rummage my book-shelves: for they are mine; all the house belongs to me” (Bronte 23). John then proceeds to demand Jane to go and stand by the door, which she complied to because she is considered his inferior. John then threw the book that he found Jane reading at her. She fell and struck her head against the door, causing it to bleed. Jane verbally lashes out against John Reed, and ...

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