Gender Inequality In Jane Eyre

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Equality is increasingly topical in the 21st century and is commonly due to the continuous rise of right wing politics (Trump, Le Pen, May). There are movements emerging across the world such as Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March who highlight the continuous oppression of minorities provoked by such politics. The lack of equality, of course, is not new to any society, and is evident in the extensive amounts of literature that feature this theme. As 21st Century readers, it’s interesting to read 19th century perceptions of inequality, and compare them to modern day events. It becomes apparent that discrimination is still alive, however we are more aware of it. There are several forms of inequality – however I will focus on gender inequality, the segregation of social classes, and racial discrimination. These forms are present in Charlotte Brontë’s Victorian Gothic tale of Jane Eyre (1847), and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
Gender inequalities are present more so in Bronte’s Jane Eyre, than Huckleberry Finn. This is due to the first person female narration of Jane Eyre. The narrator and protagonist Jane, is characterised as an intelligent and independent young governess – thus she’s a radical character in 19th century literature and allowing the novel, according to Carla Kaplan, to hold a position of privilege in the feminist canon . Eyre’s narration of the novel emphasises her intelligence as the language within the novel in very formal. This
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