Feminism In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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Feminism in Jane Eyre Feminism can be defined as the belief that women should have equal economic, social, and political rights as those that are offered to men. Feminist ideas have been a dominating topic in the literature world for centuries because of the various views on the subject. The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte shook Victorian England because it refuted the conventional views on how women should be seen as “less” than men. Bronte’s Jane Eyre describes a girl who was born to challenge the typical beliefs that women were property and unequal to their male counterparts. The character of Jane Eyre is a representative of feminist qualities of the Victorian Era by showing independence, intelligence, and determination throughout the…show more content…
One quality that is most evident in Jane is her ability to refuse to back down despite all of the obstacles she faces. Women during the Victorian Era were expected to bow down to their male counterparts and become “ornaments” for the men to look at with no resistance. Jane’s determination prevents her from becoming just another ornament. Jane’s night spent in the “Red Room” called for a sped up process of maturity. In the essay “Identity and Independence in Jane Eyre”, Angela Andersson concludes, “Her imprisonment can symbolize the way the women of the Victorian time were trapped in the home and their behavior was restricted by the society.” Jane experienced true fear that night and realized she would need to stick up for herself to resist the patriarchal society she lived in. Jane overcame mistreatment from the Reed Family, then from Brocklehurst at Lowood, and St. John’s cold treatment after she refused to marry him. Jane also resisted Rochester’s attempts at commanding her and trying to court her by spoiling her. When asked to be honest with Rochester, Jane explains, “I don 't think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience” (Bronte 168; Ch. 14). Through this explanation, Jane is describing to Rochester that just because he is older than her and a male who has been given more opportunities, shouldn’t mean he can demand her obedience. Jane’s final goal was to achieve an equal marriage with a man she loved that wasn’t based on the typical beliefs of the Victorian Era. Despite the obstacles and difficulties she faced, using her determination, Jane was able to accomplish this goal while remaining true to

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