Women Of The 19th Century

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Living in the 19th century was a very difficult time for women, as they were not yet granted social equality to that of the man. Women were deemed to be domesticated house slaves who would marry for the want of children and not decide to marry for true love. They had no choice but to stay chaste until marriage and were not even granted to speak to men unless there was a married woman present as a chaperone. Only very few women were able to gain the same education as a man, due to the social norms of the 19th century period. Women were unable to have a voice when it came to political activities such as voting and were instead expected to live their lives largely homebound. In the 19th century women were expected to clean, cook and look after their children. It was not the social norm for women to socialize when they had free time as they were expected to maintain the family, often having to sew socks and outfits or do the laundry. Many women were frustrated with these social expectations and some would even act out and lead to all sorts of covert rebellion (Salius, 2013). In 1847, Charlotte Bronte produced the novel Jane Eyre that narrates the story of the protagonist Jane Eyre’s growth and internal development on her pursuit for a meaningful existence in a Victorian society. Charlotte Bronte put strong feelings about women’s expected roles into the mouth of her heroine Jane Eyre. “Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that t... ... middle of paper ... ... love scenes as extremely explicit, but in today 's modern standards would be classified as less than tame. Jane Eyre clearly represents that women are equal to men in matters of personality, economy, and social status. Literacy theories have existed as long as literature has. Literacy Theory points to sets of ideas that have greatly influenced the way we have thought about, taught, and produced literature over the last 30-40 years (Klages, 2006). The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is no exception; the quality of writing used throughout allows the reader to imagine Jane’s struggles in a Victorian lifestyle where feminism is a joke. This novel has evoked several other female writers to write of there experiences throughout this Victorian Era and it will continue to inspire women to write due to the motivating message provided throughout the novel about feminism.

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