Inequality In Jane Eyre And Frankenstein

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley are two novels in which the themes of equality and inequality are explored extensively. The texts are both written by women in 1847 and 1818 respectively and both deal with gender inequality. Jane Eyre is also a social commentary on the injustices and inequalities of the classist Victorian hierarchy whereas Shelley’s novel focuses on the human rejection of unconventionality and the inequalities faced by societies ‘outcasts.
The gender roles instilled in society at the time of Jane Eyre’s publication prevent Jane from using her voice at the beginning of the novel. The inequality of women is shown effectively in Jane’s ‘rival’ throughout the story Blanche Ingram. She possesses the
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Although Jane is often prevented from speaking her mind we, as readers, are aware that she has a voice and at key moments in the novel she uses it. In contrast to this, the women in Frankenstein are presented as compliant and disposable; they exist as plot devices used to teach the men in the novel a lesson. Victor treats his fiancée Elizabeth as a possession: “I looked upon Elizabeth as mine - mine to protect, love and cherish. All praises bestowed on her I received as made to a possession of my own” (Shelley, 2011) This is an example of the clear gender inequalities presented in Frankenstein. Furthermore, Elizabeth is brutally murdered in an attempt by Frankenstein’s monster to extort Victor’s weaknesses: “She has been demeaned and reduced to a simple tool of revenge” (Haddad, 2018) The presentation of gender inequality in Frankenstein is incredibly significant considering that the novel is severely lacking in female characters. Victor’s obsession with procreating without a woman shows his feelings towards the female sex- that they are tools and vessels used to create life and if he succeeds he will have no use for them at …show more content…
From childhood Jane is consistently reminded that she is alone and worth less than her aunt and cousins because she is not wealthy:” I had nothing to say to these words: they were not new to me: my very first recollections of existence included hints of the same kind. This reproach of my dependence had become a vague sing-song in my ear; very painful and crushing, but only half intelligible.” This marks the beginning of Jane believing that she isn’t as deserving of nice things as those around her. She learns that her voice isn’t as important as those of a higher class and begins to define herself by how she is viewed in society. Mrs Fairfax’s disapproval of Jane and Rochester’s engagement shows the inequality faced by those of a lower class. Jane Eyre condemns classism in Victorian society and the people who are most concerned with their class and wealth are portrayed as villains- such as Mrs Reed. When Jane is given an inheritance it comes with her financial freedom and grants her a voice and a place in society, proving the inequalities regarding wealth, class and status within the

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