Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte Essay

Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte Essay

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In other words; conform to the people around you or face standing out. Despite the excessive number of motivational posters in modern classrooms, repeating the unending importance of going against the flow and staying true to one 's own beliefs, there is something to be said for fitting in. Lawyers wear suits, yodeling is inappropriate in a theater, and one certainly never starts a food fight in the cafeteria. Society has its expectations for how people should behave and to act outside those parameters is grounds for ridicule; the England of the 1800 's was no different. Jane Eyre was an outcast from the start; born to a estranged couple, housed by an Aunt who despised her, and raised in a world where she lacks all the traits valued in respectable citizens. In the critical novel, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë uses Jane 's alienation to illuminate that society 's values are superficial.
Society turns its back on Jane Eyre many times and in many ways. As a young orphan growing up with her extended family, the Reeds, Jane is treated as a burden, as "less than a servant" (7). Her aunt goes so far as to tell Jane 's cousins "not to go near her: she is not worthy of notice" (23). Jane is alone, physically separated from the only family she knows simply because she is dependent. With no money of her own she is reliant on the charity; her cousin John accuses her of doing nothing to earn her keep, "you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not live here gentlemen 's children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mamma 's expense" (5). John presents a direct correlation between her lack of fortune and his scorn. It is through these interactions with the Re...


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...e] been a sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping child––though equally dependent and friendless––Mrs. Reed would have endured [her] presence more complacently" (11). Jane was ridiculed and mistreated because she did not conform to the expected disposition of a women, illustrating the society 's punishment for standing out. This continues when Jane meets Mr. St. John; in order to please him, she felt she "must disown half [her] nature" (433). Jane has learned that acting with her usual passion displeases the people around her. As a woman, she is expected to constrain herself, because when she speaks out she is accused of being "unfeminine" (448). She further surprises St. John because "he had not imagines that a women would dare to speak so to a man" (406). As a women, Jane is expected to be beautiful and pleasant, to be otherwise is to be shunned.

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