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"In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte has created a heroine who is constantly in conflict with the social and cultural expectations of her day." How far do you agree with this view of the novel?

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Introduction

Jane Eyre Coursework "In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte has created a heroine who is constantly in conflict with the social and cultural expectations of her day." How far do you agree with this view of the novel? I agree very strongly with this view that Jane rebelled against the expectations of her day, especially Jane as a child. A good example of this is religion - she does not respect religion at least the fundamental religion represented by Mr Brocklehurst , such as when Mr. Brocklehurst asks how she must avoid going to hell, she replies "I must stay in good health and not die", which in that day could be considered a very reactionary statement, because not only was she against religion but answered back to an elder. Jane was treated with disapproval because she was a child, a girl, an orphan and poor. In this day there were several classes and 'Jane was very lower class so she had no status. Jane has a lot of "Passion" and this guides her in every situation. It's her own conflict of heart and head and she follows her heart most of the way and believes she is right. ...read more.

Middle

During Jane's time at Lowood it shows the conflict and differences between Jane and Helen's personalities, because of religion and manners. Jane also questions and fights against punishment whereas Helen believes if she's being punished it's her own fault, such as when Helen gets the cane resulting in a beating for not cleaning her nails, this was due to the water being broken, Jane is outraged that they punish Helen for this, but Helen accepts her punishment. Jane later says she would have got the cane and broken it in front of Mrs. Scratched's nose. Jane resents punishment as when in the red room, she thinks her punishment is "unjust". And the aggression she shows towards her aunt about it when she leaves, she felt that her time in the house was spent as a servant, she thinks she had "less rights than if she was a servant". She tells her Aunt the only person she loves less than her is her son, John. Jane as an adult has even more expectations placed upon her. As when she was a child she is expected to be accomplished and beautiful, the second half of the novel shows the contrasts between Jane and Blanche, Jane is plain and a mere governess and not accomplished at piano or sewing, where as Blanche is accomplished at both piano and sewing, and is beautiful. ...read more.

Conclusion

but as she gets older she matures and learns how to forgive and respect people's beliefs, such as when she meets St John. She learns how to control and modify her passion and learns to forgive such as with her aunt she goes back to her when she is ill, even though when she left gateshead she said she'd never go back. We see when she leave Mr Rochester that she finally believes it is not right to do anything for love. She learns to accept some of society expectations and rules but even at the end she asserts he independence by saying " I come to you an independent woman". I think Helen had a big impact on Jane's life and Jane thought through Helen's views and way of looking at life, and you can gradually see Jane thinks everything through before she does things and finds different ways of looking at situations, such as she married Mr Rochester when he wasn't married. She left him when she realized he had a wife, this shows she knows the law and followed it, she followed her head over heart. Overall she followed her heart and did what was right for her not for anyone else throughout the novel. Emma White February 19th 03 ...read more.

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