Theme Of Social Class In Jane Eyre

1056 Words5 Pages
Through the novel “Jane Eyre”, Charlotte Bronte critiques the effects of how social class, wealth, and status guide one’s decisions of love. The juxtaposing attitude of the author’s passion towards the suffering underprivileged and Jane Eyre’s endorsement of social class evokes the overall complex tone of the basis of love between Jane and Mr. Rochester.
Based on Jane Eyre’s early life, one’s status, class, and position are all determined at birth. During her time under Miss. Reed’s care, Bessie continually reminds over again that “if [Miss. Reed was] to turn [Jane] off, [Jane] would have to go to the poor-house” (16). From the society’s view, status change and any attempts to climb the social ladder are disreputable. The reprimanding tone Bessie applies heightens Jane’s silent understanding of her position within the household. Driven into her mind since birth, the public’s opinion about social classes becomes clear: the poor longed while looking up at the rich who expected honor and recognition. The constant emphasis on social class around Jane has even influenced her own way of thinking when she refused to leave Reed’s resident claiming, “poverty for me was synonymous with degradation” (30). The displeasing attitude towards poverty reveals the set mindset of many characters such as the Reed family, the servants, and teachers at Lowood. Rather than having a destitute, but loving family, she would rather have a cold-hearted, but wealthy family. As Jane exclaims this, the
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