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It has been said of Jane Eyre: "She has learned to keep the passionate and assertive side of her nature well disguised," Do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

It has been said of Jane Eyre: "She has learned to keep the passionate and assertive side of her nature well disguised," Do you agree with this statement? 'Jane Eyre' was written by Charlotte Bront� under the male pseudonym of Currer Bell in 1847. It is a semi autobiography and is a mixture of realism, romance and Gothic. During this time women were seen as beings of inferior status. The plot of 'Jane Eyre' follows a bildungsroman. Jane's growth is traced from childhood and innocence to adulthood and maturity. It depicts the story of a woman who is capable of strong emotions and passion and the difficulties she must overcome. There were two ideas of a woman the 'angel' and the 'monster.' The 'angel' was submissive, obedient, had no sense of identity and lived purely to please her husband. Differently the 'monster' felt strong passionate emotions and rejected the idea of male dominance. Both the characteristics of the 'angel' and 'monster' are evident in Jane. Charlotte Bront� was aware of women's subservient status in society and of the difficulties faced by women who wanted to be independent. It was not considered respectable for a middle class woman to earn her own living. Her only option was to become a governess, which was an anomalous social position as she was neither a servant nor a proper young woman. At the beginning of the novel Jane Eyre is an orphan living at Gateshead with her aunt Mrs Reed and cousins Eliza, John and Georgiana. ...read more.

Middle

She also has to conform as Mr Brocklehurst upbraids her for giving the girls an extra lunch, 'she now gazed straight before her and her face, naturally pale as marble, appeared to be assuming also the coldness and fixity of that material.' Miss Temple influences Jane a great deal through her sense of justice and this is most evident when she leaves to marry. Jane has 'imbibed from her something of her nature' and is now 'a disciplined and subdued character' which reflects the angelic idea of the Victorian woman. Jane leaves to become a governess at Thornfield. She is initially restless revealing the 'monster', "quickened with all incident, life, fire, feeling, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence" She is also frustrated at the woman's role, "women are supposed to be calm generally: but women feel just as men feel." Her first encounter with Mr Rochester is when he falls off his horse and she is obliged to help him 'necessity compels me to make use of you,' this foreshadows his eventual physical dependence on her. Jane's passionate nature is evident when she describes her gradual descent into loving Mr Rochester. When Mr Rochester tells her she must leave as he will marry Miss Ingram, she strips her disguise and reveals her anger "do you think , because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless?" This passionate response is unashamed and unconventional for a Victorian woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

Which makes it seem unrealistic and is subverting the idea of the Prince saving Sleeping Beauty. Jane has come back to Mr Rochester because she loves him. She returns independent but still refers to Mr Rochester as 'Sir', which suggests that she still thinks of him as her master. She offers herself to Mr Rochester as the typical Victorian woman because of his disabled state, "I will be your neighbour, your nurse, your housekeeper. I find you lonely: I will be your companion- to read to you, to walk with you to sit with you, to wait on you, to be eyes and hands to you". Jane has attained the freedom that she has always desired without having to sacrifice love, "all his confidence is devoted to me, we are precisely suited in character perfect concord is the result." She has found someone who she can communicate with and express herself freely with as she is now his equal financially, morally and emotionally. I feel that the ending is satisfactory, as Jane has found her equal in Mr Rochester; the relationship is based on their mutual dependence on each other. Jane's fierce rebellion is a constant throughout the book but is only evident in uncontrollable form when she is bullied and intimidated. She grows to maturity, as a passionate and strong willed woman who has achieved fulfilment both emotionally and financially, therefore is able to harness this side of her in a positive way. Jane Eyre is an assertive heroine, she is neither meek nor subservient and is forthright and honest with her self ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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