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In What Ways Could this Novel be Considered as a Feminist Text? Consider the Role of Women in the Society Portrayed in this novel "Jane Eyre".

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Introduction

In What Ways Could this Novel be Considered as a Feminist Text? Consider the Role of Women in the Society Portrayed in this novel "Jane Eyre". According to the dictionary feminist means "Supporter of women's claims to be given rights equal to those of men". Jane Eyre was written in a time when women in positions like Jane's were left with few options. Jane had to work to support herself, as she possessed no money of her own, yet her rank in society prevented her from doing many occupations. One of the main options was to become a governess to a child from a wealthy family. The Reed family was openly against Jane and was quite happy to send her off to Lowood where she would spend many years with little food and poor clothing. At the beginning of the novel Mrs. Reed telling Jane to go away from the rest of the family "Be seated somewhere; and until you can speak pleasantly remain silent". Mrs. Reed showed in the opening pages how she disliked Jane and this makes the reader sympathetic towards Jane. Jane often has passionate outbursts when she feels things are unfair, for example when she tells Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

For example when Jane tells Mr. Rochester that she will not be his mistress she says " Mr. Rochester, I no more assign this fate to you than I grasp at it for myself... You will forget me before I forget you." This shows even though she loves him she can stand up for herself. Another example is when Jane believes he loves Miss Ingram instead of her, "Do you think that because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!" That speech would have taken Jane a lot of courage to say as she loves Mr. Rochester but she does not want her feelings to be played with. When Miss Ingram found out that Mr. Rochester was worth less than she thought she declined the offer of marriage. Mr. Rochester explains this " I caused a rumour to reach her that my fortune was worth a third of what was supposed, and after that I presented myself to see the result; it was coldness both from her and her mother." This shows how women were driven by money and improving their social class and did not marry for love a lot of the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bronte uses language that is very descriptive in the way she describes people and places. For example: "Miss Miller was more ordinary; ruddy in complexion, though of a careworn countenance." In this line we can understand what she looks like at first glance and a bit about her personality. She uses this style of writing to show the reader how the appearance of people is what we see first and how assumptions can be made about the person on looks alone. Her descriptive writing makes it easy for us to get a clear image of the surroundings and the characters in the novel. In this novel the reader can see how money drove people like Master Reed who became "such a dissipated young man" according to Bessie and Miss Ingram to make important decisions in life. Bronte makes statements about women's lives throughout the text but she does it subtly. When Jane thinks about her growing love for Mr. Rochester she realises that society will never let them marry " I understand the language of his countenance and movements, though rank and wealth sever us widely." Bronte says through Jane how unfair this society is that people cannot marry for love alone but must marry into their own class as well. ...read more.

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