Essay Jane Eyre is a typical novel of its time. Discuss.

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Jane Eyre is a typical novel of its time. Discuss.

Discuss this quotation, paying particular attention to the social, cultural and historical context within which it was published.

There are a large number of elements in the novel 'Jane Eyre' that are very typical of the way of life in the mid 19th century, and also of other novels at that time. Through the novel Charlotte Bronte puts across exactly the factors which were characteristic of the late 18th and 19th century: class and status – both of women and of poor people; public health and illnesses at the time; religion, as well as the gothic elements which were particularly common in 18th/19th century books. Outside even of the actual story, we see evidence historically
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Death and illness is a continuous theme throughout the novel and this is most certainly typical of the public health during the 18th and 19th century; tuberculosis and cholera epidemics were not uncommon and Bronte suffered the loss of numerous relations through such illnesses. During the mid 19th century, people had no real understanding of disease or the importance of hygiene and cleanliness - entire streets would share one toilet, the waste of which was disposed into the rivers which people then collected their drinking water from. Consequently, it is not surprising that death rates from diseases like Tuberculosis were so high.

Later in the novel, when Jane leaves Lowood and goes to work as a
Governess at Thornfield for Mr. Rochester; we see further evidence of status incongruence and the divisions created by the differences between social classes. As a governess at Thornfield, Jane describes how she felt alone so much as she did not fit in to any particular group – she was slightly higher than the "servants" but not good enough to mix properly with the company of people like Mr. Rochester.
When Jane later realises that she has fallen in love with Mr.
Rochester, and he with her; the reader is continually shown the obstacles they face created by the

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