Gender Issues In Jane Eyre

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The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte emerged in the mid-nineteenth century when women were defined by strict social and gender expectations. The novel tells the story of Jane, a young orphaned girl, who grows to be a rebellious, independent thinker that follows her heart regardless of what society expects of her. She faces multiple difficulties due to the oppression of her opinions and the Victorian era’s gender ideals, but refuses to conform or be submissive towards the men in her life. The novel is told in first person, which allows readers to see the narrator’s thoughts and feelings. Jane takes control over the novel through her influence on the reader’s perceptions of events with her direct and authoritative tone. Having this importance …show more content…
This is first clearly displayed when Jane, who is supposed to be teaching Adele to be a lady, goes up onto the roof of Thornfield Hall and begins thinking about how she needs more of a life than what she has. She states, “Women feel just as men feel… It is narrow-minded to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags” (Bronte 711). Jane clearly possessed a radically feminist philosophy during her time. By expressing this struggle between males and females, Jane is pushing boundaries and showing how women have predetermined gender stereotypes. Jane wants excitement and adventure in her life, she does not want to do what is expected of her and to be limited because she is a woman. She believes that women should have every right that men do, including expressing their emotions, and should not be limited to at home activities that prevent them from fulfilling their potential in …show more content…
Jane’s nonconforming views towards love, marriage, and womanly independence in addition to her development of individual moral standards portrays Bronte’s cynicism towards the Victorian society. This topic appeals to me because Jane believes that she should be seen for her personal qualities and not for what society wants her to be as a woman. This was a prime example of someone who had an idea before their time, which is why the novel received various criticisms from conservative reviewers. Jane called for a strong social reform, and the changes that she wanted occurred much later. Although there are still instances of women’s repression in the workplace, on the playing field, or in the home, social attitudes and gender roles have modernized significantly since the 19th century. Jane Eyre inspires all people of each gender or class to voice their opinions, even if society does not yet acknowledge

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