Jane Eyre : Female Empowerment Essay

Jane Eyre : Female Empowerment Essay

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All the females who maintain typically feminine qualities are held in much less regard than the women, like Jane Eyre, who contain masculine traits and live their lives on their own terms.
Masculine traits especially in the character Jane Eyre are what cause the novel Jane Eyre to be a forward thinking book in the terms of female empowerment. “Jane’s somber appearance, reflective of the lesson in androgyny given by Brocklehurst, boasts none of the pampered adornment of Jane’s coquettish rival, Blanche Ingram, or Jane’s highly feminine pupil, Adele” which adds to the masculinity of her character and definitely separating her from the rest of females in society (Godfrey 858). Jane Eyre is portrayed as a rather androgynous, if not masculine, character that was uncharacteristic of female characters of the time. When she resides with her aunt, she is treated like a servant with no inherent sexuality. She is not treated like a daughter or even as a young lady but rather as a servant that has no gender in the eyes of the gentry (Godfrey 858). In her time at Lowood, Jane is taught lessons in androgyny when the pastor, Brocklehurst, cuts off all of the students hair just to save the cost on combs (Brontë 84). Even in her role as a governess in the house of a wealthy man, Jane remains androgynous and attempts to maintain “the strangely empowered implications of her gender neutrality” and eventually this genderless status gives her the ability to control her own life just as persuasion gave Anne the ability to control her own life (Godfrey 859). However, Jane is placed in a situation that puts her into an effeminate standing when she is both younger and subservient to her fiancée but this does not stop her from regaining her more masculine...


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... intention of creating a female character that does not abide by the societal rules of Victorian England. Austen, through her character, Anne Elliot, in her novel Persuasion, upholds what an ideal female should be like and the men should accept a female and all her feminine traits. Brontë, on the other hand, in her novel Jane Eyre creates a female character, Jane Eyre, that overcomes gender roles and lives her life in androgyny rather than in femininity. Both authors achieved the same ends, but both had extremely unique ways of creating a world where females, rather than just males, are able to be understood. Austen and Brontë stood against social standards of their day and created in two extremely separate characters, the same basic message that women are real human beings and have characters other than what their husbands or other men in their lives assign to them.

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