Feminism In Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre is a novel that explores the Victorian theme of the emergence of feminism. The Victorian Era is distinguished in history as a time when men and women started to become equal; when women started to question their place in society. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s hero in Jane Eyre, embodied the ideas of a feminist, rather, the ideas that Charlotte believed which were portrayed through Jane. Throughout Jane Eyre, Jane is continuously on a search to love, be loved, and find acceptance. The opening of the novel, we see Jane as a helpless young girl living as a dependent. She is abused by her dense cousin, John Reed, until her wicked Aunt, Mrs. Reed, sends her away to Lowood. Living with the Reed family sets Jane up for a life of inner turmoil as from a young age no one would love her or accept her. It is common knowledge that everyone wants to fit in, everyone wants to belong, everyone wants to be accepted. Being put into schools, being told to make friends, trying to be popular in your neighborhood or at your workplace; being accepted is something every human craves for. An individual may even change their beliefs and conform to the “norm” just for the sake of fitting in. When Jane was cast away by her extend family because she would not conform to their ideas. She was not this little girl with a sweet disposition; she was a quiet orphan, dependent of her aunt, with her nose always in a book. Her thoughts were left to wonder; were left to question everything in silence. That silent questioning stayed with her as she grew older. Jane held feminist views wanting to claim her autonomy, never wanting to be a dependent as she was when living with the Reeds. After Jane’s uncle, John Reed, passed away it was Mrs. Reed’s responsibili... ... middle of paper ... ...make her independent so she would not have to depend on a man. Jane’s eternal desire for independence can be traced back to when she was living at Gateshead Hall with the Reed family. Jane was anxious to leave her aunt and cousins and the life they were providing her with was cruel and unloving. If Jane is autonomous then she can depend on herself knowing that she can build a comfortable life. When Edward attempts to buy Jane clothes she is disgusted at the idea of having to depend on him for money. She does not want to be his slave, she wants to be his equal. Mr. Rochester took in Adèle, a young French girl who is the daughter of one of Rochester’s former mistresses. Adèle is Rochester’s dependent just how Jane was to her aunt; however, Adèle’s upbringing shows materialistic characteristics along with sensuality, two things Jane’s English education taught against.
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