Societal Expectations In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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In the novel Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, the protagonist, Jane, battles societal expectations and gender roles throughout her life. Her strong-willed personality clashes with the rules of being a woman and thus she is criticized frequently. Janes battle between her individuality and judgment of others is apparent and established persistently within the novel. Furthermore, these internal quarrels within Jane establish the meaning of Bronte 's work through gender roles and societal expectations. Within Chapter 20 of the book, Jane individuality suffers when her opposition to gender roles arise. In the passage it states, Mr. Rochester put the now bloody sponge into my hand . . . I experienced a strange feeling as the key grated in the lock . . . Although Janes gut feeling opposed this command she did as she was told regardless without a word of opposition. This sends a message to the reader pertaining the topic of gender roles. It establishes the role of women in this era and how they are expected to stay silent and not voice their opinions. This contributes to Bronte 's overall message that is behind the novel, which is to inform the reader of a women 's place in society during that time. Furthermore, in the passage it states, He moaned so, and looked so weak . . . I feared he was dying; and I might not even speak to him! Jane fears for this man 's life and wishes to gain some knowledge on how she could help him further, whilst she stays quiet in obedience to Mr.…show more content…
In conclusion, Bronte uses this novel to portray gender roles and societal rules pertaining to women to send a message to the reader in an effort to sway ideologies of this time. In this passage within the book, Bronte shows Janes struggle as women when trying to abide by expectations while internally she suffers. The silence and obedience of women are portrayed and revealed through the actions of Jane that shows that even the strong women at that time were weak when pertaining to the judgment of
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