Examples Of Patriarchal Oppression In Jane Eyre

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Examine how either text represents either class or gender. Are these representations problematic or contradictory? How do they relate to the plot and structure of the novel?

Jane Eyre is a female Bildungsroman written by Charlotte Brontë in 1848. In the novel we follow the protagonist, a young Victorian woman who struggles to overcome the oppressive patriarchal society in which she is entrapped. It is a story of enclosure and escape, from the imprisonment of her childhood to the possible entrapment of her daunting marriage. Throughout the novel Jane must fight against her inevitable future that society has already chosen for her. We see her attempt to overcome the confinements of her given gender, background and status. She must prove her worth against the men she encounters throughout her life, showing her equality in intelligence and strength. Her refusal to submit to her social destiny shocked many Victorian readers when the novel was first released and this refusal to accept the forms, customs, and standards of society made it one of the first rebellious feminism novels of its time (Gilbert and Gubar). This essay will discuss the relationships Jane formed with the men she encountered throughout the novel and will attempt to identify moments of patriarchal oppression within the story.

The first act of patriarchal oppression Jane experiences is quiet early on it the novel, during her childhood years spent at Gateshead. It is here where she must endure to live
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