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
…show more content…
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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