Jane Eyre: The misfit Essay

Jane Eyre: The misfit Essay

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In Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre, the characters of Jane and Mr. Rochester can easily be considered a dichotomy of each other; they are dissimilar and separate, almost like polar opposites, not only because of the obvious gender differences, but also in terms of station; Mr. Rochester, is an well-educated man of privilege, and Jane’s employer, while Jane, herself, whose only education stems from an all girls boarding school, is his employee, and Mr. Rochester’s subordinate. Mr. Rochester has ‘more’ compared to Jane; he is more educated, is more well-versed, more well-traveled, and is more prosperous. With Bronte’s novel, it is understood that this abundance Rochester lives in is not solely based on his status, but also based on his sex; he also has the ability, should he choose to, to improve his standing even further because he is a man.
Jane, unlike Mr. Rochester, is completely fixed in her position; her sex and her occupation as a governess limits her, and what she could obtain. For Bronte, Jane was innately given the motivation and drive to desire more than what she has; as the author, Bronte, must have been absolutely influenced by the social order of her time, and the challenge of increasing one’s station.
What Rochester and Jane do have in common is that, despite their difference in position, they can both be considered misfits. While Rochester’s is man of wealth and power, he can be considered somewhat of a rogue; his fall from grace in his youth assigns him being of the world but not truly in it:
“….I have a past existence, a series of deeds, a colour of life
to contemplate within my own breast, which might well
call my sneers and censures from my neighbors to myself...
I started, or rather was thrust on to...


... middle of paper ...


...warning to Jane. The traditional etiquette roles are not upheld in Jane Eyre, Jane travels by herself to Thronfield, she spends time with Mr. Rochester alone both inside Thronfield and outside it’s walls; these practices that Jane participated in would not have been considered good observation or good form for any woman, but, because Jane is a governess, a subordinate, a hired help, she breaks from traditional conventionality in applying to these rules; because she is a woman, these same rules do apply but also, because of her station, Jane does not fit in the system. Eventually, Jane will break even more with convention by not just becoming a servant of the household, but the Lady of the house.

















Works Cited

Bronte, Charlotte, Margaret Smith, and Sally Shuttleworth. Jane Eyre. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. 63, 109,134-35, 317,319. Print.

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