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Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre Throughout history in literature achievements of widening popularity always seem to create tension. In Charlotte Bronte's novel, "Jane Eyre," the pursuit of dependence and self-fulfillment is confronted by her romantic characteristics in a Victorian age. "What makes Victorians Victorian is their sense of social responsibility, a basic attitude that obviously differentiates them from their immediate predecessors, the Romantics"(Landow 1) who are more open-minded, much like Jane. Although her romantic qualities simply identify herself , they create tension between the Victorian idea's of gender, status, realness, passion and emotion. The uniqueness of Jane's personal and artistic identity is confronted by the containment of feminism and stature. The tension between Jane and those who are under Victorian beliefs, such as Mr.Brocklehurst, and Mrs.Reed is created directly by their indifference's towards women and the poor. The feminisitic views that are abundant in Jane's life creates tension to the point where "she has trouble settling into society, not just because of her over-jealous passions, but also because of her gender.(Jackson 1)" Early in her life Jane encounters feminism not only on herself but many others. At Gateshead Jane is unaware of the purpose of Lowood School and "indeed would like to go to school"(Bronte 30) despite not knowing its reputation. At Lowood School Jane encounters the gender problem which puts herself and the others into a position which isn't favoured. The "black pillar"(Bronte 63) upholding the conditions of feminism at Lowood is Mr.Brocklehurst who has a superior effect. The authoritarianism of Brocklehurst is exemplified by the intention to "teach them to clothe themselves with shame-facedness and sobriety"(Bronte 75). The reason behind his cruelty to the students is of intentions not to "mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh" but to render them hardy, patient, and self-denying. Although feminism is evident for the reasoning of Brocklehurst, Maggie Berg states that " Lowood deprived its pupils of their female individuality because of their corporate identity as orphans."(48) This prudence towards the originality of Jane and the other students creates a level of stature that isn't respected by the higher authority of Lowood. The "custom" of feminism in the Victorian age is riddled by this status which Jane encounters while growing up as an orphan. "It is abundantly evident that women continued to rank as second-class citizens"(Norton 903) to men and Jane realizes this through her work as a governess.
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