Starting from the introduction after her parents pass away and leave her an orphan to be raised by her cruel Aunt Reed, Jane is not recognized as a member of the family. She is treated not as one of Mrs. Reed’s servants but just as equal to their rank. Jane experiences the same feeling while studying at the boarding school Lowood. From her abusive upbringing, she never believed that she was worthy of much, though she did not truly believe she was worthless. Jane more and more feels the need to belong somewhere.
Throughout the whole book, there are many characters that influence Jane Eyre to become the strong and independent woman that she is in the end of the book. Helen Burns, Mrs.Reed and John,the River sisters and Bessie has changed Jane for the better woman she is in end of the book and they all made a lasting impact on her. Helen Burns was always patient, kind-hearted and and a lot more mature than Jane was in the beginning. Helen was always viewed as the elder sister or the mother figure that Jane never had. She was the first person to ever show affection to Jane and was a role model for Jane.
Victorian England continuously repressed women solely because of their gender. Charlotte Bronte criticizes the absurdity of these societal obstacles: hostility towards women from birth, the androcentric servitude, and the discardment of independence through marriages. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses Jane’s journey to depict the oppression of Victorian women. Charlotte Bronte describes a turbulent beginning in Jane’s life to demonstrate the disadvantage of women, especially low-class, from birth. At the beginning of the novel, ten-year-old Jane consistently deals with the habitual emotional and physical abuse of her cousin John Reed.
Even though Charlotte was not the most beautiful woman, she found abundant success in her talents. The Victorian era placed a woman’s value in how much money and beauty she possessed. In Charlotte Bronte’s coming of age novel, Jane Eyre, outward beauty deceives as it ironically represents a true evil in oneself. The beautiful Reed family, who resides in Gateshead, has cruel hearts as they boast about their luxuries as they deny them to their “outsider” blood. Even though Mrs. Reed promised her deceased husband that she would care for Jane as if she was one of her own children, Mrs. Reed encourages everyone in the house to never hesitate to tell Jane that she is a failure in everything she does.
According to the critic Maggie Berg, Jane Eyre reflects “the contradictory nature of Victorian society, a society that was in transition, and one in which people were forced to discover new ways of finding and defining identity” (Berg, 17). The world that Charlotte Bronte inhabited was rife with dichotomies.
Mary has outside forces that make her “numb” to the world around her at the beginning of the novel. She has no one that loves her nor people she loves. Throughout both novels, the characters shift and are transformed into stronger people who become more self-aware. Jane and Mary’s transformation is signified by the different types symbols that the authors use to illustrate the challenges and the environment around them that helps them to explore more about themselves. Jane in Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, is looked as plain in the eyes of those around her.
John also forbids Jane from writing in her journal, so she had to hide it from him. As time goes on Jane’s mental state declines even further. Since Jane wasn’t being treated properly, she went from a being in a depressed state to a form of psychosis. She became obsessed with the wallpaper; Jane believed she was seeing a woman behind the wallpaper. The symbolism is clear: the woman behind the wallpaper is Jane who is trying to escape her reality of being secluded in her own home.
If she was discriminated against in one of the activities she took part in, she moved right on to the next one and tried equally as hard to be recognized for the talent she has. Because of growing up observing her mother go through all of the troubles she experienced in Manzanar and how she got over them with dignity, Jeanne is a very emotionally strong and confident person by the end of her
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre provided Victorian England with a new kind of woman who represented a shift in the common view of what Mary Wollstonecraft asserted was a limited education for women. Their education kept them childlike and superficial, with most of their attention going toward appearance and with being satisfied mostly with matters of the home. The social pressures prevented women from becoming more interesting through reason and substance which were confined to the masculine sphere. Jane Eyre and Blanche Ingram, with their distinct backgrounds and because of different events both ladies have gone through, separately, can determine how different these two ladies are. Jane Eyre’s social class throughout her life was very ambiguous, never really fitting into one category, often in between levels of the social spectrum.
Jane Eyre, on the other hand, is confronted with mother-like figures everywhere, although she is not accepted by her relatives. At Gateshead, Bessie is the only person who takes care of Jane when everyone else despises her. When she is put into the red room, Bessie is the only person who comes and talks to her. At Lowood, her teacher Miss Temple saves the children from the bad conditions at the school and becomes a good friend to Jane. While Mr Brocklehurst judges Jane for no reason, Miss Temple defends her and she is the only one who wants to learn the truth about Jane’s actions before judging her.