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Jane Eyre - Through A Critical Lens

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Ron Nair Pd. 5 1/31/08 Who Is That Woman? Analyzing Jane Eyre through a New Historicist Lens Historical research has always been an issue of trial and error. Through analyzing novels such as Jane Eyre, historicists can learn about that part of our past by looking at the prevalent themes in the novels, such as social and gender inequalities. By analyzing the historical context of Charlotte Bront�'s novel, Jane Eyre, as well as the readers' present-day biases, Jane's story of love and personal evolution transforms into a revolutionary cry against religion, gender and social inequalities. The time when novels are released is an extremely important piece of information that any new historicist has to look at. Jane Eyre was published in London, England in 1847. When it was published in 1847, Jane Eyre was a bestseller. Many critics believed that the novel was well written but they were curious amongst them regarding the author. The book was originally printed with Currer Bell as the editor and no other information was disclosed concerning the author. The gender of the author was debated for a while until it was released that the author was a woman. ...read more.


John and sees that his faith is a mixture of Mr. Brocklehurst's and Helen's, as his beliefs revolve around sacrifice and dedication towards God's will. As stated above, Jane is shaped by religion as she is forced to leave Mr. Rochester because she knew that for her to marry him, he would have to divorce Bertha, which was against their religion in that time. She is forced to leave him for her own good because she knows that her love cannot break the bonds of religion that hold her down. By looking at the theme of religion that is prevalent in this novel, one can find out many things about that society by reading a book which was written in that time. Hence, we can understand that back then divorcing other people was a sin as it was not accepted by the church and was condemned by the greater mass of the mid to late 19th century. Much of Jane's childhood emphasizes her status as a member of the lower class in society. When she takes a deeper look at her relationship with Mr. Rochester, she realizes that it's more of a server vs. ...read more.


than to receive the salary he gives you for teaching his prot�g�e," showing her refusal to be subjugated, after she had just noted how she missed Mr. Rochester's presence (Bront�, 317). This, subliminally, shows that she needs Mr. Rochester in her life for her to succeed. Even though Bront� believes that she doesn't need a man in her life to succeed, she unwillingly accepts that she does because that's what society has told her. At the end of the novel, Jane finally allows herself to take Rochester in her arms after they are both finally free of the issues that kept them apart. She tells Rochester, "I love you better now, when I can really be useful to you, than I did in your state of proud independence, when you disdained every part but that of the giver and protector." (Bront� 505). Throughout Jane Eyre, Jane is introduced to many problems and this helps us learn of the problems that were prevalent at that time. Varying from gender inequalities to social and economic inequality, we learn about mid 19th century England society and the rules that they abide by. By reading almost any novel through a new historicist lens, we can learn a lot about their society. ...read more.

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