Feminism in Jane Eyre - Essay

Feminism in Jane Eyre - Essay

How/To what extent is Jane Eyre a feminist

In the 1800’s, every woman was supposed to stay at her house doing chores and waiting for a men’s action to do something. “Jane Eyre” is considered, by many, one of the first (if not the first) major feminist novel. In it Charlotte Brontë presents a new kind of female. Jane is an independent, free, and strong woman willing to fight for what she thought was best no matter what age or time she lived in. How would it have been? This is why “Jane Eyre” is considered a feminist novel, because of the power that Jane herself is presenting, the self-dominance she has and the independence to work her own life, without the power of a man.

The women of the Victorian Era can be regarded as the first group to do battle for the equality of the sexes. They lead all women to follow after them, and though their progression may not have been as vivid as the women of the 70′s, they did have an effect. Feminism was not outright spoken of in this time, rather passed through literature, such as this very novel. Stories and novels were the primary means in which to communicate information and ideas in that time. Without mass communication systems books were the few information carrying devices to cross borders, and encompass lands whenever people traveled.

Though many agree that “Jane Eyre” is a feminist novel, there are some who argue that Charlotte Bronte’s only intention was to argue the social structure of the time. They argue that the use of a women was simply so Bronte could relate to the main character, not to prove any point in regards to equality of men and of women. However, those who do see the feminist tendency in this novel may back their point by citing Jane’s response to Rochester’s proposal in chapter 23 as one of the earlier breakthroughs towards feminism.

In the novel “Jane Eyre” , the main character acknowledges to the reader her need to exercise her...

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