Every period in clip has had its ain societal norms and category systems that people are expected to adhere to. In the clip period in which Jane Eyre lives in. adult females have many outlooks. regulations. and ordinances to populate up to. From an early age. Jane learns that she is different ; that she has her ain ethical motives and criterions that she will non give anything for. even if it means withstanding the really Torahs and criterions that defined society and even adult females in her clip.
Most critics have marked Jane Eyre as a adult female who stands for feminism and independency. which can be true. But while most people believe that Jane Eyre is a heroine that depicts feminine stereotypes. a closer reading besides contends that Jane is presented as a character who challenges feminine and societal norms. One of the chief things noticed when reading the novel. Jane Eyre. is how Jane puts work forces and adult female on the same degree ; she sees them as peers.
“Women are supposed to be unagitated by and large: but adult females experience merely as work forces feel…” ( Bronte 111 ) .
Throughout the novel. Jane ever strives for equality and was even willing to give up matrimony to maintain it so. As Jane builds a relationship with Mr. Rochester. she begins to fall for him and frailty versa. But even when Mr. Rochester asks for her to go his dearly beloved. Jane refuses until she is certain that he intends to get married her because his “equal is here. and [ his ] likeness” ( Bronte 241 ) . Another reading many make from the novel is Jane’s opposition against those she feels treats her in a manner she does non believe she deserves. When the novel foremost begins. Jane is still a kid populating with her aunt. Mrs. Reed. and her cousins. Being treated dreadfully from twenty-four hours one. Jane had no problem stating how she truly felt and standing up to her aunt after she found out she would be sent to Lowood. “I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will ne’er name you aunt once more every bit long as I live. I will ne’er come to see you when I am grown up ; and if anyone asks me how I liked you. and how you treated me. I will state the really idea of you makes me ill. and that you treated me with suffering inhuman treatment. ” ( Bronte 24 ) .
Besides when first tie ining herself with Mr. Rochester. Jane was non afraid to state him her ideas on his intervention of her in order to acquire the intervention she felt she genuinely deserved. “I don’t think. sir. you have a right to command me. simply because you are older than I. or have seen more of the universe than I have…” ( Bronte 136 ) . One of Jane’s chief differences when it comes to societal normalcy during her clip is her position on love and matrimony. During the clip period in which she lived in. adult females weren’t needfully expected to get married for love. but for rank. position. and wealth. Jane. on the other manus. believed otherwise. An illustration of this would be when Jane went shopping with Mr. Rochester and she “was ordered to take half a twelve dresses” ( Bronte 254 ) . Jane so pressured Mr. Rochester into cut downing the half a twelve dresses to merely two. and carrying to purchase less expensive gowns. ( “Defiance of a Culture” ) . “reduced the six to two” ( Bronte 254-255 ) .
Jane was proposed to twice ; by a adult male she did love and a adult male she did non love. St. John was a missional and was at that place for Jane in her clip of demand. When he proposed to Jane. she non merely refused because of her want for equality but because she realizes that “he will ne’er love me” ( Bronte 387 ) . merely use her as a good comrade on his missions. And when asked by St. John. she once more refuses his proposal because she sees him as a brother. despite the fact she will be left without a hubby. ( “Defiance of a Culture” ) . Jane besides was really hesitating when asked to get married Mr. Rochester non merely because of her positions on equality but she is forced to weigh her desire to command her ain fate against her desire to be loved. ( “Jane Eyre and the Self-Constructed Heroine. ” ) . Last of all. Jane refuses to do any forfeits for her ethical motives. Jane has her ain positions of what right and incorrect is and even standardizes it to the point of her love life. When in the manor house and about to be wed to Mr. Rochester. the truth comes out that Mr. Rochester is still married to his insane married woman. Bertha.
Alternatively of remaining with the adult male she loved and get marrieding him as planned. she did what she thought was right and forces herself to go forth the manor because “your bride stands between us [ addressed to Mr. Rochester ] ” ( Bronte 301 ) . It was non until Bertha eventually died that Jane went back and married Mr. Rochester as his equal. Another one of Jane’s ethical motives as stated before is get marrieding for love non position and wealth. When St. John proposed to Jane. one of the many grounds she turned him down was because she does non love him. “she once more refuses his proposal because she sees him as a brother. despite the fact she will be left without a hubby. ” ( “Defiance of a Culture” ) .
Jane Eyre went against many of the societal criterions of the clip. She strived for equality among both genders and stood up for herself and her ethical motives. She ne’er wavered when it came to continuing her beliefs and she was admired and respected for that. non merely by existent characters in the novel. but besides by readers in existent life. She showed how non merely adult females but all societal groups could stand up for their ethical motives. despite what was considered as socially acceptable. and still be respected. ( “Defiance of a Culture” ) . And while most people think of Jane Eyre as a heroine who depicts feminine stereotypes. it is truly that Jane is a character who challenges feminine and societal norms. while still demoing unity and love. and portraying a personality seldom seen by non merely adult females. but anyone alive during her clip.
Bronte. Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Bantam Books. . 1987. Print. 18 Dec. 2012. Ellis. Lorna. “Jane Eyre and the Self-Constructed Heroine. ” Looking to Decrease: Female Development and the British Bildungsroman. 1750-1850. London: Associated University Presses. 1999. 138-161. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Russel Whitaker. Vol. 152. Detroit: Gale. 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2012 Gerding. Julie. “Defiance of a Culture” . N/A. N/A. Ballwin: Parkway West High School. 2007. N/A. Ballwin
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