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Explore to what extent Charlotte Bronte's treatment of women in Jane Eyre is in fact a social commentary on life in the 19th century.

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Introduction

ENLGISH JANE EYRE COURSE WORK Explore to what extent Charlotte Bronte's treatment of women in Jane Eyre is in fact a social commentary on life in the 19th century. BY EDWARD SEMPRINI FORM 5 Explore to what extent charlotte Bronte's treatment of woman in Jane Eyre is in-fact a social commentary on life in the 19th century Charlotte Bronte was born at Thornton in Yorkshire in 1816; she was the third child of Patrick and Maria Bronte. She had four sisters and one brother, but in 1921 her mother died. Charlotte and her sisters except form Anne were sent to a clergyman's daughter's boarding school, which is portrayed as lowood in Jane Eyre. Maria the eldest sister, who in Jane Eyre is portrayed as Helen Burns and her other sister Elizabeth were taken by a serious illness and lowood and they died in Haworth. Charlotte after her school years was employed as a teacher and became a governess, then in 1842 went to study languages in Brussels with her other sister Emily. This also seems to relate to Jane Eyre's life as in the novel Jane also became a governess and also later went to study languages with her cousin. So this proves that Jane Eyre was set on charlottes life. ...read more.

Middle

She became a teacher because in the 19th century for a middle class woman there was very few jobs available if you were lower-class then there were slightly more jobs, such as sewing, manufacturing etc, but these jobs very poorly paid. For a woman of Jane's class (middle class), the only jobs really available were teaching or being a governess. So this shows how in the 19th century woman were extremely limited to there job situations. If a woman has a child in the 19th century then the Father of the child has the right to decide if she can have anything to do with the child. Chapter 3 discusses the life of the governess. Most middle class women who did not marry and did not have a family that couldn't provide for them, most often went into teaching. A lot of women who could not afford to either start their own school or teach at home often became a governess, serving the needs of those wealthier than themselves. A lot of the women who became governesses were quite isolated. This chapter mostly addresses the problems and difficulties a lot of governesses encountered during their time as a governess. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr Rochester is older, he is male so has a lot more rights, he is well off, and so has no need to work for a living, and he has a high social position. Jane on the other hand is young, female so she has little rights at all, she is poor and so has to work to be able to feed and cloth herself, and has a low social position. Most women were in Jane's position except for those born in to a high-class family. Jane wants to get on in life even though all her situations are stacked against her (poor, young, female). The book is unusual for its time because she does get on and gets a better life. It was extremely unusual for a low or middle class woman to marry an upper class man or the opposite, so when Mr Rochester and Jane try to get married Mr Rochester's class would have been lowered in opinion according to other high class citizens. So this shows that in the 19th century there was an unwritten law that people could not marry into a class higher or lower than them unless if it is lower class and semi-middle class as this was seen as less unusual. Edward Semprini Form 5 English Jane Eyre Coursework 1/4 ...read more.

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