Essay on Jane Eyre : An Examination Of Feminism

1451 Words Apr 6th, 2016 6 Pages
An Examination of Feminism in Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is often lauded as a novel of great importance in the world of feminist literature. Of course, the titular character is relatively independent, she wants things for herself, and her idea of a good life does not begin and end with marriage. There is much more to Jane than that. Jane Eyre was surely very feminist for the time, and does have a solid handful of human values, but to put it on a pedestal as some sort of Great Feminist Novel or anything other than a good novel of literary merit that is protofeminist at best is ridiculous.
Jane is her own person. She wholeheartedly believes that and refuses to acknowledge otherwise. In a time where women were essentially seen as little more than property, there is little reservation to be held that Jane Eyre was the epitome of feminist literature. She has her own set of morals and viewpoints on the differences and similarities of the sexes that she adheres to those beliefs religiously, and has no problem arguing in favor of them, if politely, should anyone insinuate she was wrong about them. R.B. Martin wrote how Jane only asks for “recognition that the same heart and the same spirit animate both men and women, and that love is the pairing of equals” (Martin). She wishes to have her viewpoints and feelings acknowledged as a person, not as a woman.
The novel in question passes the Bechdel Test, which seems to be the be-all end-all of testing whether something is…

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