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Jane Eyre

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Introduction

Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' was first published in England in October, 1847, and it made a huge splash among the Victorian reading public. The novel was subtitled, "An Autobiography," and readers through the years have been charmed by the strong voice of the heroine who tells the story of her life. The story of the young heroine is also in many ways conventional, the rise of a poor orphan girl against overwhelming odds, whose love and determination eventually redeem a tormented hero. Yet if this all there were to 'Jane Eyre', the novel would soon have been forgotten. Her book has serious things to say about a number of important subjects: the relations between men and women, women's equality, religious faith and religious hypocrisy, the realization of selfhood, the nature of true love, and importantly the treatment of children and of women. Its representation of the underside of domestic life and the hypocrisy behind religious faiths drew both praise and bitter criticism, while Charlotte Bronte's striking expose of poor living conditions for children in charity schools as well as her poignant portrayal of the limitations faced by women who worked as governesses sparked great controversy and social debate. ...read more.

Middle

Charlotte Bronte addresses the theme of Religion in the novel, using many characters as symbols. Bronte states, 'Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion'. In Jane Eyre, Bronte supports the theme that customary actions are not always moral through the conventional personalities of Mrs. Reed, Mr. Brocklehurst, and St. John Rivers. This is a view that Bronte also adapts Jane to, Jane's moral code is conventional, but it is not rigid. She does not approve of Rochester's lustful past or his marriage to Bertha, but she does not completely cut him out of her life. Jane does not shun conventional morality, but she manages to question the oppression on both her gender and her social class. As she does so, Jane exhibits a mature sense of morality. Bronte also questions the ideals of women in the Victorian era, which caused a great deal of controversy, especially due to the fact that the heroin herself was the one to break the conventional ideal of being a woman. In essence, Bronte's novel became a direct assault on Victorian morality. Emotions any respectable girl would repress. ...read more.

Conclusion

In literature alike Jane Eyre, children are rarely heard and this notion on children having no voice and view grew into an ideal. Bronte however shows Jane to be a great deal different; she answers back at John and defends herself on the grounds of fairness. We know of Jane's passion as an adult, but it is shown as a child as well. Bronte creates Jane with such passion, that Jane is unable to stay silent. On the day Miss Temple is married, this idea is expressed when Jane states, 'I was left in my natural element; and beginning to feel the stirring of old emotions'. That natural element is fire, and the stirring of emotions are what Jane feels inside. These feelings are reminiscent of her days at the Reeds, when Jane suffered through a punishment and was told by Bessie not to cry. Jane replies with, "she might as well have said to the fire, 'don't burn!' Fire is symbol used repetitively throughout the novel and has almost become a motif, reminding us of the passion that Jane is represented with. This emotion, passion, enables Jane to break through the conventional Victorian ideals of women and children, allowing Bronte to educate the audience on her controversial and realistic views on childhood. Shradha Patel -11S ...read more.

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