What Makes Jane Eyre An Unusual Woman For Her Time?

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What Makes Jane Eyre An Unusual Woman For Her Time?

Charlotte Bronte wrote 'Jane Eyre' in the mid nineteenth century. At

this time women were treated as inferior and believed to be less

capable then men. In the Victorian age this belief was widely accepted

and most women would marry and have children. Women were generally

expected to serve men; this meant many ladies were both emotionally

and financially dependent on their husbands. The fact that most women

abided by these traditional values meant that it was extremely

difficult for women to get jobs in the Victorian age. Employers were

often against the idea of employing women because they were not

believed to be as efficient as men and it was looked down upon in

society. The only jobs widely accessible to women were Governess

posts, this was felt to be a women's job as it is the mother who would

traditionally care for children in those times.

The novel is written in the first person narrative meaning Jane is

telling her own story. It is clear from the very beginning that Jane

Eyre is an unusual child,' my worse ailment was an unutterable

wretchedness of mind.' As a child Jane is forced to mature fairly

quickly due to the resentment she receives from her benefactress.

Unusually for a young child in that time she spends a lot of time

reading books ' the word book acted as a transient stimulus'. Jane is

keen to learn, an unusual quality for a girl of her time because most

would be ready to rely totally on men so had no need for this

knowledge. This want to learn stemmed from Jane's desire to be

independent. As a child Jane is singled out from her cousins and

forced to learn independence, it seems only natural that Jane would

therefore value her ability...

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...use she

wanted to get opinions across and to do that the character had to be a

certain way. It is clear that some parts of the book are actually

based on Charlotte Brontes own life and I feel she was trying to

recreate her own personality within the character. The independence of

Jane causes the reader to feel a certain respect for her and the way

she lived her life. By creating this respect within the readers mind

it makes the novel appear more believable and encourages the reader to

think further about the story. It also helps involve the reader by

giving them an insight into Jane's personality. Jane Eyre is unusual

due to her independence and her strength of mind, not only her

personality but also her status. From humble beginnings Jane becomes a

wealthy middle-class women, this must be one of the main reasons she

is such an unusual women for her time.
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