Jane Erye's Experience as a Governess Essay

Jane Erye's Experience as a Governess Essay

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A governess is an educated woman who works for a family by teaching the school age children. It was the type of job that almost all young girls would not want to be but ironically the children of the household most likely admired and were very fond of their governess. Most children were closer to their governess than their own mother. If there was a governess in a home, the mother no longer had to take care of her children but could now devote her life to the church and her husband.
The term governess was often used in the 19th century to specify governesses in private homes, which Jane Eyre was, and school teachers. Jane would have been considered a perfect governess because she was blessed with grace of an angel and class of a queen. Even so these women were treated poorly because women of that time were thought to be best kept at home. Bronte in my opinion undermines the realities of domestic service in the 19th century. She portrays being a governess as something that isn’t really bad. In some cases governesses were treated well, but in most cases they were looked upon as inferior. Bronte, as a young woman, was a governess and she truly disliked being one. Maybe she wanted her story with Jane to be a happier experience but it doesn’t really coincide with how the majority of governesses were dealt with. Most governesses would not have had such a great student as Adele, been able to gain a husband, or become well off at the end of their life story. Also how many governesses would have been able to have a relationship with there own master? Many people would have had a problem with that and in real life Mr. Rochester would have risked his social status which was detrimental to many of that time. Also interaction between any ma...


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...isted of many roles, but mostly consisted of the governess teaching her students to become adequate adults. Nevertheless, a governess must face many challenges and hardships. Through Jane Eyre's experiences as a governess, readers are able to gain a sense of what it is like to be a governess. Even though it seems that Jane has it easy in some ways there are many realistic things that happen to her that makes her experience similar to experiences of traditional governesses. In many aspects Jane Eyre is the embodiment of a Victorian governess. However, her strong-willed, independent, and assertive qualities seem to make her an exception to the ordinary governess as well, which clearly undermines what most governesses had to endure. Bronte does involve some realities of domestic service in the 19th century but more of Jane’s story has things that were very unrealistic.

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