• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jane Eyre is a typical novel of its time. Discuss with reference to the social and moral climate of the time.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jane Eyre is a typical novel of its time. Discuss with reference to the social and moral climate of the time. Charlotte Bront� wrote "Jane Eyre" in 1846. At this time there were certain social and moral expectations. Some people feel that Charlotte Bront� did not adhere to these expectations when writing the novel. In order to validate this claim I will be finding evidence to show that "Jane Eyre" is not typical of its time, but I will also be investigating the other side of the argument. In the beginning of the novel we are introduced to Jane, when she hits John Reed whilst defending herself from his attack. John Reed is the son of Mrs Reed, Jane's Aunt. Jane clearly does not fit in with the typical image of how a young lady should behave. "What shocking conduct, Miss Eyre, to strike a young gentleman, your benefactress's son!" Young women are supposed to respect their masters, where as Jane does not respect John. She does not fit into the custom of children being seen and not heard. We are also told that Jane should respect the Reeds and be grateful to them because "You are a dependant, mamma says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen's children like us." This tells us that Jane Eyre is not a typical novel of its time, because Jane does not act as she is expected to. ...read more.

Middle

She is insistent on being treated fairly, another example being when Mrs Reed punished her for a crime she did not commit. Jane is a strong character and is determined to stand up for herself, which is very unconventional to the time. She does not have a strict Christian attitude, which was also shown when she told Mr Brocklehurst that she did not like the psalms. "That proves you have a wicked heart; and you must pray to God to change it" shows that he is God-fearing and this was conventional to the time, This also emphasises Jane's different attitude, as does not always believe that there is a reason why things are happening. Jane is also rebellious to the social expectations of the time." Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel;" This shows a feminist attitude as she thinks men and women should be treated equally, which is very unusual for the time. The accepted social order was that men were more important than women were, and women were supposed to remain at home and do housework. They were supposed to remain calm and be polite to their superiors, which Jane quite clearly does not do. However the main unconventional event while Jane is at Thornfield is when Mr Rochester asks her to marry him. "Gentlemen in his station are not accustomed to marry their governesses." In the 1800s it would have been very unusual to marry someone in a lower social class than yourself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Now that Bertha is dead it is acceptable for them to marry, so God was giving them a sign. This would have been conventional to the period of the novel. Overall, after analysing the text I have come to the conclusion that the novel, "Jane Eyre", cannot be categorised into typical or untypical. I feel that the character Jane Eyre is very unconventional to the time as she is always going against the social and moral expectations. She has a feminist attitude and is not materialistic. She stands up for herself when she is treated unjustly, but she is loyal to her friends and her family. This is shown by the fact that she returns to Mr Rochester and searches for him, whatever the cost. However the other characters and the way they react to the social and moral climate would be considered conventional, and the style in which the novel was written is also conventional, for example the large amount of gothic imagery. Although her main character and her attitude to society are unconventional, I do not feel that Charlotte Bront� was ignoring social and moral expectations when writing this novel. I feel that she kept conventional conditions, but wanted to make the public aware of the possibilities that are available, and that not everyone has to stick to these expectations to lead a successful life. She adhered to the social and moral climate of the time, whilst putting in a contrasting point of view, so I do not feel that Jane is either a typical or untypical novel of its time. Kelly Ide ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Charlotte Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. Bront portrays Jane Eyre as an untypical heroine. Examine Bronts language use, structure and ...

    Rochester goes on to describe Jane as an 'angel'. He is clearly infatuated with Jane and the feeling is reciprocated. At first glance, St John may seem a better proposition as he is handsome and is a clergyman. Rochester, on the other hand, is of no great beauty, has had a dark past and nearly, knowingly, performed bigamy The

  2. Show clearly through reference to the novel, the development of Jane's character in Charlotte ...

    Jane's outrage over the accusations made against her, become too strong to hold back, and she bursts out her feelings with passion to Mrs Reed in her self-defence, 'I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I

  1. Attitudes assignment- a class divided. Social Experiment in a primary school class to ...

    The "superior" children put their heads up in pride; while the "inferior" children put their heads down in shame. They would act differently now that they knew this "fact". The "superior" at times made fun of the "inferior", while the "inferior" felt upset.

  2. Bront portrays Jane Eyre as an untypical heroine. Examine Bront's language use, structure and ...

    Jane Eyre showed that women were just as capable of passion as men and could therefore play key roles in fiction. The novel Jane Eyre was crucial in bringing women's rights to the attention of the general public Charlotte Bront� vividly portrays her characters in Jane Eyre.

  1. "Jane Eyre is a typical novel of its time". Discuss.

    Death and illness is a continuous theme throughout the novel and this is most certainly typical of the public health during the 18th and 19th century; tuberculosis and cholera epidemics were not uncommon and Bronte suffered the loss of numerous relations through such illnesses.

  2. Jane Eyre

    the novel to reflect Jane's feelings at Lowood School where once again her passion is repressed in an attempt to reform her into an obedient model of Victorian youth. This grandeur is an idea often prevailed throughout gothic literature. The strict nature of Victorian society is exposed as the reader

  1. Is Charlotte Bront successful in creating a typical Victorian heroine? Discuss with close reference ...

    Jane is sent to the "Red-room" for supposedly fighting with John Reed. Take her away to the red-room and lock her in there. (Chapter 1) This immediately exemplifies that Jane is inferior to her cousins and Mrs. Reed. However, Jane still tends to be assertive when she is being taken to the "Red-room" to be locked in.

  2. In What Ways Could this Novel be Considered as a Feminist Text? Consider the ...

    This shows her views on different classes getting married. In the end Charlotte Bronte shows that women such as Jane who are plain in looks and have no money to their name can become great. Jane becomes wealthy and marries the man of her dreams - Mr.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work