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Jane Eyre Defying Women Essay

analytical Essay
978 words
978 words
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Jane Eyre: Defying Women's Expected Roles in Victorian Society Throughout the Victorian era, women were expected to meet the standards set by communities and submit to the power of men. A woman’s duty was to be a partner to man, to comply with their authority and be physically submissive, even if mentally, they were unrestricted. Women who defied society’s normalities and refused to have restraints put upon them were often seen as recalcitrant and difficult by the public. In Charlotte Brontë's, Jane Eyre, Jane defies the expected role of a Victorian era woman, and shows that females do not have to comply to societal norms. This is shown through Jane's rebellion, denial of love, and rejection of St. John. In her younger years, Jane shows that girls do not need to follow society’s normalities through the defiance of her aunt, Mrs. Reed. As a young orphan, Jane lives with her aunt and her three children, and due to Jane’s “plain looks” and “quiet yet passionate character,” she is disliked among the entire Reed family (Gao). Her cousin, John, constantly reminds her of her social standing, calling her a “dependent” who should not “live with gentlemen’s children” like her cousins (Bronte 10). Rather than acting in accordance with her cousin, Jane, in rage of how she is treated with “miserable cruelty” (Bronte 36), Jane compares him to a “murderer...a slave driver...like the Roman emperors” (Bronte 10). Because of her refusal to submit to John Reed’s aggressiveness and accept that she is lesser than him and his family, Jane is punished for the night by her Aunt Reed. Mrs. Reed’s punishment of Jane demonstrates her part in the oppression ‘machine.’ Mrs. Reed should have understood Jane’s refusal to be docile, being a woman herself, but ... ... middle of paper ... ...ety’s voice,” which would require her to accept St. John’s proposal, in the end, keeps Jane from being persuaded to marry a man she does not love and being engulfed into a passionless relationship where she would be expected to meet the expected role set by St. John. Through Jane’s rebellious youth, parting from Rochester, and rejection of St. John, Charlotte Bronte proves that a woman does not need to succumb to societal norms in order to find their own identity. Most of Jane’s actions are so she can preserve her self-respect, as well as self-assurance, and be accepted as a more respected member of society, without the need for men or other more ‘able’ persons. Jane successfully adheres to her own morals, and is finally is treated as an equal by her companion and relatives, and without having to submit to the will of men and other aggressive members of her life.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how charlotte bront's jane eyre defies the expected role of a victorian era woman and shows that females do not have to comply to societal norms.
  • Analyzes how jane shows that girls don't need to follow society's normalities through the defiance of her aunt, mrs. reed.
  • Analyzes how jane's decision to leave thornfield shows how a woman is not required to be tied down to men and forced to depend on men.
  • Analyzes how jane rejects st. john's proposal because of her lack of passion in the relationship.
  • Analyzes how charlotte bronte proves that a woman does not need to succumb to societal norms in order to find their own identity. jane adheres to her own morals and is treated as an equal by her companion and relatives.
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