Jane Eyre And The Yellow Wallpaper

1285 Words Nov 19th, 2016 6 Pages
In a world where men often have power over women, it is essential that women heed Ephron’s advice: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” According to Spivak, the person with the most power in the relationship is the “Self”, and the “Other” has little power in comparison (Spivak in Rodenburg 7th lecture). In this essay I will discuss the ways in which the roles of Other are negotiated by Jane Eyre and Jane in Jane Eyre, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” respectively. I will argue that Jane Eyre resists otherness more effectively than Jane by asserting her independence through challenging and then leaving Rochester, in comparison Jane resists otherness, but fails to separate herself from the Self, which leads to further disempowerment. In both situations these women remain the others in their relationships.

Throughout Jane Eyre’s life she has acquired a familiarity with being the Other in her previous relationships, thus continuing into her relationship with Edward Rochester. Rochester being a rich white male in the 1800’s, and Jane Eyre being a poor woman with a rough upbringing, led to the instant Self and Other relationship. Rochester showed his power by othering Jane Eyre through their interactions in the novel, such as, “you are my little friend, aren’t you” (Brontë 299). By saying this, he asserts his power over Jane Eyre referring to her as his, and a “little friend”, making her seem less of a person. Jane Eyre understood the social structure of her time…

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