Jane Eyre and Upward Mobility

Table of Content

Typically, upper class women in the Victorian Era were married to men in their own social class to ensure wealth and status. When Jane becomes a governess, she endured a more rigid part Of upper class society expectations than when she was in the lower class at Elwood. Through social norms, she is inferior to men until the end of the novel. For example, at Moor House, she is under the direct control of SST. John Rivers; and even at Threefold, she is in a submissive position to Mr…

Rochester as a governess. Throughout the book, Jane has to break free from the inferior positions so he can achieve independence from the men in her life. Jane finally reaches her freedom as a suppressed Victorian woman when her uncle leaves her his fortune. From this, Jane is finally able to marry Mr… Rochester as an equal. This utopia ending for Jane is an accurate depiction of women in the Victorian era when they are dealing with economic differences and upward mobility through marriage.

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As Jane spends her time as a governess at Threefold, it brings up the theme of a social class and upward mobility. While it is a step up from her social position at Elwood as a poor orphan, Jane still holds a vague class standing. During her stay at Threefold, Jane learns how to act as an aristocrat like Rochester including her mannerisms, sophistication, and education. However, as a governess, she is still below that of an aristocrat and is on par with the servants in the house and was paid for her position.

As soon as the story shifts, Jane and Rochester develop feelings for each other. Jane starts to feel the social tension between the two social-economic classes from this new relationship. Their relationship shows that they are somewhat equally social but at the same time she is reminded that she is a governess, making them unequal. Realizing this at the beginning of her time at Threefold, she knows that it is impossible to marry Rochester because in the Victorian era, women of lower class were not typically married to upper class men.

Cane’s definition of marriage means equality between two partners where they are socially equals, not economic social but just socially in general with mutual respect. During her time as a governess at Threefold, Rochester treats her as an equal even though she is inferior to Rochester because he is her employer and is also economically superior to her. Mrs… Fairfax expresses her concerns hen she first meets Jane when she said, “one can’t converse with [the servants] for fear of losing one’s authority” (Bronze, 82). It is later cleared up that Mrs…

Fairfax is not really the master but Rochester is. Jane comments later after finding relief in realizing that Mrs… Fairfax is a housekeeper: “This affable and kind little widow was no great dame, but a dependent like myself. Did not like her worse for that; on the contrary, felt better pleased than ever. The equality been her and I was real; not the mere result of condescension on her part: so much the better- my position was all the freer” Bronze, 85). Despite still feeling inferior to Rochester at some points in the novel, she still takes relief in knowing that Mrs…

Fairfax is on her side and is an equal to her due to social and economic standing. While Mr… Rochester and Jane do have chemistry between them, Mrs… Fairfax words are still present and true. Mr… Rochester cannot converse with Jane or he would compromise his position Of authority over her. This is also why people Of higher class would marry those in the same social class as themselves during this time in England. It was to secure their social standing and wealth as well. Rochester brings guests to the house at one point, including the wealthy and beautiful Balance Ingram.

Jane miscomprehended the relationship between the both of them and further draws out the expectation of upper class marrying others who are in the same socio-economic standing. She compares her own relationship with Rochester and Blanches relationship to him as well: “The longer considered the position, education, &c. , of the parties, the less I felt justified in judging and blaming either him or Miss Ingram for acting in conformity to ideas and principles instilled into them, doubtless, from their holding. All their class held these principles; I supposed, then, they had reasons for holding them, such as could not fathom. (Bronze, 1 60) Jane at this point agrees that these “ideas and principles” are dependent on social rank, how they were brought up, and what gender they are. Her thoughts about the classes become both clear and unclear and are able to have a tolerance for conforming to women in the nineteenth century while at the same time, showing her own integrity. (Dupers, 396) When Rochester tries to turn Jane into a more feminine woman, she rejects it and does not ant to be his doll to dress up and have her objectified.

To Jane, she feels that he sees her as someone who he can mold into anything he wants her to be. As mentioned previously about Victorian socioГ¶y’ and the struggle of upward mobility, Jane is aware of how economically inferior to Rochester she really is and does not like the idea of marrying someone who is in a higher socio- economic standing than she is. Also, by Rochester trying to dress her up like a doll, he is trying to push the stereotypical Victorian women image onto her. “She feels that her fiancés own misguided generosity compromises her. Dupers, 397) Later in the novel, Rochester shows the flaws of Victorian marriage laws by proposing to Jane Rye to which she says ‘yes’. On the inside, Jane Rye is very uneasy about getting married and has a sense of dread for what happens later, particularly Bertha Mason who tartness’s wedding veil in the middle of the night, and other strange occurrences that happen within the residence. Jane could also feel uneasy about the marriage for other psychological reasons. She is the type of women that craves freedom and independence from anyone but marrying Rochester will just tie her down in benison to him as a wife.

She would also face being unequal to Rochester again even in marriage and cause her to take on more responsibility than she already has as a governess. “Often insightful, ambitious, strong, and forthright, Jane is also too ashamed, bitter, weak, and indirect to acknowledge the abhorrent economics of wedlock and happiness have corrupted her. ” (Dupers, 395) Mrs… Fairfax remarks, “Equality of position and fortune is often advisable in such cases,” and compares Rochester to Cane’s father. (Bronze, 225) Jane is at this point left to confront her troubled past with her future as a posse who is financially unsuitable for Rochester.

Jane Eyre’s insecurities did not stop her from going through with the marriage. On the day of the wedding Rochester was in a rush to marry Jane at the church. “There were no groomsmen, no bridesmaids, no relatives to wait for or marshal wonder what other bridegroom ever looked as he did -” so bent up to a purpose, so grimly resolute: or who, under such steadfast brows, ever revealed such flaming and flashing eyes. ” (Bronze, 245) Rochester at this point is rushing so much to marry Jane at an obscure ceremony in a ‘quiet and mumble temple. Bronze, 246) Rochester may look like he is a villainous ravisher from an eighteenth-century novel because the scene is melodramatic. This is where Cane’s characteristics come in. She does not completely shy away from the situation but at the same time, she approaches the marriage with critical thinking. Rochester wants to marry Jane not to dominate her, but to become equals, not to further undermine her. This turns Rochester into a gentleman, not a villain. He hopes to make her an equal because he feels that her soul and personality is perfect for him. (Philips, 203)

During the wedding between Rochester and Jane, the wedding is stopped and Jane is informed that Rochester already has a wife, Bertha Manson. While Rochester has locked away Bertha because of her insanity, it once again reconfirms her “irredeemable social status” (Dupers, 398) Jane feels pressure of economic status once again and the troubles of the 1 9th century England’s laws on marriage are flawed in “Barbara Weiss outline of a pattern in Victorian society and literature: [T]here was dawning in the nineteenth century the reluctant knowledge that the institution of marriage was serious flawed…

Level more particularly, the novels of Victorian women writers clearly suggest that the economic and social bases of marriage were being threatened by the changing values of the Victorian age; time and again, married union is envisioned as an insecure and tormenting state, susceptible to the same upheavals which are breaking down the traditional social value every/here. (67)” (Dupers, 398) Weiss shows a strong argument that Victorian marriage laws were flawed anyway so it was not uncommon or unheard of to bend or break marriage alai,n. RSI during their time.

The laws were so flexible or easy to break because o he shift of marriage views and values. The laws of marriage were always being revised and broke down previous traditions such as being able to knob marrying someone who is in the same social or economic status as they well To continue on about marriage laws and the inequality of marriage between Jane Rye and Rochester, Jane feels that marriage is an intricate contract ant must be constant by the “conversion of equals”. Yet the marriage of equals the end of the novel cannot be confused with the legal enhancement of gender inequality in the nineteenth century marriage laws.

Looking at this room a political view, equality between TV&’0 people cannot be recognized if it not legal meaning that Jane is not Rochester equal if she is his mistress (because of Berea still being married to Rochester) and she cannot be his equal if the marriage laws are also not reformed. Both characters “invent each other for themselves and reinventing marriage as the social form of such freedom”. (Philips, 203) So, when the marriage is called off, it is not because there is a prevention of a crime from taking place. The institution o marriage in Jane Rye shows that Jane is the vessel and condition of love.

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