• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jane Eyre: an unconventional heroine. Explore how the female position is presented

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Ms. Eyre is one of those heroines who refuse to blend into the traditional female position of subservience and who stand up for her beliefs' Explore how the female position is presented. Jane Eyre was written by Charlotte Bronte and was first published in 1847 in the Victorian era. During this period, women were expected to remain at home and their time was to be spent taking care of household duties and their children. Females were regarded as properties rather than as humans: they either belonged to their fathers or their husbands. As they were believed to be incapable of surviving on their own, they had no independence. Permission was required for almost everything and they were expected to abide by rules set out by their owners. Men were considered to be very much superior to women and they were to be treated with respect by the latter, whether they agreed with their views or not. In general terms, society's portrayal of a conventional woman was very different to what it is now, so it is not surprising that modern readers may find their attitudes as shocking. Although Jane Eyre was written during this period, Bronte portrays her character in a very unconventional way, following the trends of the Gothic genre. The character of Jane is used to mainly challenge the Victorian attitudes towards women, religion and class. ...read more.

Middle

The idea that woman are capable of being independent is established when she opposes Mr Rochester's efforts to "make the world acknowledge you a beauty" by pointing out that she will not be herself if he succeeds, "but an ape in a harlequin's jacket." Here Jane is refusing to be objectified and changed even by the man she loves. Bronte presents an independent woman who is sure of herself, and who wants to retain her individuality at any cost. Although Jane is a governess, she makes it clear that Mr Rochester doesn't "have a right to command" her and that she is equal to him in many ways. Also, Jane maintains her dignity by refusing to marry Mr Rochester. Bronte shows that women are capable of being respectable and that they are not always lead by their emotions. This causes Jane to take courage and leave Mr Rochester, disregarding the Victorian idea that women should do as men wish. While it could be argued that Jane surrenders to the Victorian expectations by returning to Mr Rochester, it is clear that she is not returning to him because she cannot survive on her own. Circumstances change, making Jane rich. She returns to Mr Rochester as an equal in every way (whereas previously she was aware of their social difference), and she returns for love more than anything else. ...read more.

Conclusion

By using the character of Jane Eyre, Bronte presents a woman who is capable of being intelligent, independent, dignified and confident about her opinions even though she is not very attractive or wealthy. She uses this character to challenge some of the Victorian concepts concerning women and their positions, as well as to convey her less major themes about religion and class. In some passages, Bronte addresses these issues directly (in the conversation about Mr Rochester and Jane being equals) while she uses more subtle methods in other situations (while describing Blanche). Bronte takes care not to make Jane a perfect person, but she incorporates flaws to allow readers to relate to her. She also uses other female characters to reinforce her points, by showing the qualities of some as well as showing the flaws in others. By doing so, Bronte shows that women can be equal to men, not only in intelligence, but in actions as well. She also portrays different types of women: some who give in to the expectations of society, and some who stand up for their own beliefs. She outlines what she thinks a woman's qualities should be and she encourages women to stand up their rights. Bronte successfully puts forward her points and she makes the reader understand her ideas by the portrayal of her characters, mainly females. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Charlotte Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. Discuss the Role of Religion in Jane Eyre

    Helen endures many movements of suffering with an extreme degree of self-restraint and grace. Her view is primarily that, "why, then, should we even sink overwhelmed with distress, when life is so soon over, and death is so certain an entrance to happiness -- to glory?"

  2. 'The Settings in Jane Eyre represent stages in the development of Jane's character'

    This may also be influenced by the fact that Bronte lived on the moors and found it the most comforting and homely place. However Ferndean's name suggests happiness in a different way through the idea of Jane and Rochester's fairytale ending and the immortality and strength of their love through the surrounding ever-green trees.

  1. Closely analyse the presentation of Rochesters character in Jane Eyre. In the course of ...

    Jane (for example, when he tries to give Jane jewels for her wedding ceremony instead of the plain style of dress that would be true to her personality and identity: "...I shall not be your Jane Eyre any longer, but an ape in a harlequin's jacket - a jay in borrowed plumes.

  2. From your reading of Chapters 1, 2 and 26 of Jane Eyre, as well ...

    Rochester's first wife, Jane Eyre becomes more of a homodiegetic narrator - simply conveying the events before her but clearly on the edges of a much deeper story and a more extensive narrative than she has the ability or knowledge to recount.

  1. Jane Eyre. We would like to show you Jane Eyres character and ...

    Charlotte Bront� took the inspiration from her life when writing the first part of the novel. The story of a little Jane was influenced by the experiences of the writer and her personal history. Author's ability to re-create the child's vision of the world is really convincing.

  2. How Does Bronte Present Mr Rochester?

    would have to tame in him in some way and I feel she does do this, ?"I can keep you in reasonable check now," I reflected; "and I don't doubt to be able to do it hereafter: if one expedient loses its virtue, another must be devised."? When Mr Rochester

  1. How does Bronte explore the position of women in Victorian society in the novel ...

    The cruel treatment of Jane at Gateshead (in the red room) foreshadows similar treatment that she will go on to receive later on in the novel- a feeling of entrapment and a general feeling of being small. Also, throughout the novel Jane is described as being ?small in stature? and

  2. Jane Eyre - Development of Jane's Characters as a Child.

    but is also a symbol of imprisonment. This is only the first time that Jane will be imprisoned in the novel, though her later imprisonments will generally be more metaphorical, particularly in relation to class, gender, and religion. In this case, John is the root cause of Jane's imprisonment and his word is taken above hers, a

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work