Female Characters In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

1385 Words6 Pages
Examine the view that in the literature of love, male characters are presented as coming to the rescue of female characters in their time of need.
In the literature of love, particularly within the context of the Gothic and Victorian novel, thematic representation of the damsel in distress is frequently explored. Situating female characters in an inherent position of vulnerability, the stylistic usage of this classic archetype traditionally reflects hegemonically patriarchal ideas of the author’s own cultural and social context. Repressing female autonomy, European tales such as Rapunzel and Snow White situate the embodiment of the eternal feminine in a critical predicament, in desperate need of a chivalrous prince to come to her aid and save her and subsequently marry her. This notion is continually explored by Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre through the inherent depiction of Mr. Rochester as an intellectual and emotional outlet for Jane. Additionally, the establishment of a dichotomized social hierarchy between the two characters highlights the way in which Mr. Rochester financially assists Jane. This notion is further reinforced when one analyzes Jane’s conclusive marriage to Mr. Rochester, which inevitably provides her with a sense of financial security, particularly due to the patriarchal constraints of the Victorian era. However, it’s
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Reflective of Victorian hegemonic norms, Mr. Rochester rescues Jane financially, emotionally and intellectually throughout and enables her to escape her inevitable fate as a poor governess. Despite this, Jane is primarily characterized as an autonomous, independent being with a free will. This depiction is radical for Bronte’s context and inherently subverts the gender inequality present in the classic trope of the heroic male love interest coming to the rescue of the vulnerable
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