Gender Expectations In Jane Eyre

1955 Words 8 Pages
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…
Qualities that were seen by society as undesirable were terminated; therefore, people’s behavior was very gender stereotypical. Women in this era had a particularly strict lifestyle. Their main purpose in life was to find a husband and become a mother. They would often marry for money opposed to choosing a husband based off of love, and were likely seen as property as soon as they were married (Abrams). The typical woman had a minimal education that only allowed them to work in the house by cooking, cleaning, and caring for the children. She often stayed at home with little travel while the husband worked and made a living for the family. Women were also seen as innocent and were forced to stay this way (Abrams). They spoke to please and did not express their opinions if it differed from what was socially acceptable, resulting in them creating little change in …show more content…
When she discovers that Rochester is already married to Bertha Mason, Jane leaves Thornfield immediately in order to maintain her sense of dignity. It is likely that any other woman during this time period would have stayed with Rochester for his wealth, since it was uncommon for a man and woman to marry for love (Lowes). However, Jane would only marry for true love and refuses to push aside her values for a man or become his mistress. This was not an easy decision for Jane as she had strong feelings of love for Rochester, but her ability to base her moral choices on her own judgment showed her challenge on the traditional gender

Related Documents