"Inequitable power relations based on gender and /or class and /or nationality are endemic to the human condition. Any aspiration towards equitable relations and/or social orders requires the undermining of power dynamics and groping towards humane modes of being. Explore in the relation to two texts articulating a clear stance on the issue."
In both novels Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte and Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, it is evident that inequitable power relations based on gender/class/nationality plays a prominent role within the human livelihood. Males have always been identified as the dominant gender. It is exemplified in many facets of society even to this day. Men receive many different connotations attached to them which are based on stereotypes, these include independent, strong, smart and dynamic. On the other hand, most time women are portrayed in the opposite, initiating that they are weak and is dependant upon men.
Jayne Eyre was written based on life in 19th century Britain. Therefore, social class was a huge issue. Britain was governed by social class, in that people stayed in the class into which they were born into." You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mama says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not live here with gentlemen's children like us."(Bronte chapter 1) Throughout the novel, Jayne holds a position that is between classes. Jayne is both an orphan at Gateshead yet a governess at Thornfield. Jane is consistently a poor soul within a healthy environment, particularly with the Reeds and at Thornfield. Bronte created social mobility for Jayne Eyre, in so much as to examine the confines and consequences of class boundaries and gender inequa...
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... the end of the novel, rather than having to settle for the role either he or St John intended for her.
According to Angela Andersson, in general social terms, the novel does not ultimately challenge the status quo – the present state of things: it points out religious hypocrisy and the abuse of wealth and privilege in relations to women, but does not argue for any fundamental alteration in the social organization of society. To free herself in the patriarchal society Jane meets and overcomes: oppression by the Reed family and Mr. Brocklehurst, starvation at Lowood and during her wandering before reaching Marsh End, madness in the Red Room and at Thornfield and coldness by being lonely and by the way St. John treated her. Even though she longs for love she does not let Rochester or St. John exploit her and in the end she finds the equal relationship she longed for.
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