Jane Eyre and the Search for Independence

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Charlotte Bronte wrote a book that focuses on the search for independence. The name of her book is Jane Eyre, and is a story of a young women who lives with her aunt, her cousins, and the reeds. Jane Situation was pretty bad but this was the nineteenth century after all, Mrs. Reed did not like her so she would let her son torment her. Back then women didnt have a voice but Jane made sure she was going to change that. Charlotte Brontes shows the theme of womens search for independence in the novel Jane Eyre.

In Charlotte Brontes the main character is Jane Eyre, and she is going to explore the depth at which women can or will act in society and how she finds her own boundaries in Victorian England. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the tone of Jane Eyre is very feminist. One of these could be thought to be relevant of the women today who have been discriminated because of their gender. Over time things have changed for women but back then during this time women had the hardest time trying to do things without being talked about.

In the 19th century there were little opportunities for women, and thus made many of them uncomfortable when they were attempting to enter parts of society. Women didnt have much education their husbands had to teach them everything that they needed to know. During this time women didnt have much option on what they could do in life, they either had to be a house wife or be a governess. Being a governess was like being a servant but they were paid to share their amount of knowledge in limited fields to a child. There was so much insecurity with this position because the women were being tossed around with complete disregard for her feelings. When jane was emerging into society becoming a governess seemed to be the only reasonable path for her.

The women of the Victorian Era can be the first group that battled for the equality of the sexes. After they did this they got all of the women to follow them and that they did. Even though the women were not as vivid as the women in the 70s they did for sure have an effect. During this time feminism was not very spoken of because men had most of the power over women. The way that people talked about this was through novels and stories which this helped communicate information and ideas through this period of time.

There is a part in Brontes book where she is fighting for her individually and that is do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automation? A machine without feelings? she says this because she is refusing to be reduced to some machine and she will not act in the manner that is a custom or conventionalities that would make her to act a certain way but for her to her own free will. This is the females attempt to break free of society that has attempted to set in her.

Eyre did live a very hard life, that was filled with anger and hatred. However, for her to overcome all of this shows that she has strength. For her to be able to take care of the aunt that once treated her horrible is more power than anyone could ever do. When her best friend Helen died this had a big effect on Jane, but this helped jane have the ability to be able to cope with disaster. Then when she found out that the man she loved was already married, she was able to control herself way better than a man or anyone could. When leaving Rochester, the feelings of sadness, and betrayal were very overwhelming but she was still able to break free because again she is a strong woman.

Female power is still very limited by emotion and for Jane to leave her love took a lot of emotion and we can tell that this was very difficult to her. Even though women do mostly have more emotions then men this does not mean that we should be treated we are. Women have a lot of knowledge and for women to only be capable to only so much back then was wrong because they deserve more than just to be a governess or even a house wife. As women started to stand up for their selves people started to see that women were way more than just a house wife.

In the 19th century women were limited to a lot of things like equal pay. There was a strike that was led by 187 female workers at the ford car factory in Dagenham in 1968. This is what ended up helping pass the 1970 equal pay act. The women who were machinists walked out and they went on strike for three weeks in protest against their male colleagues that were earning 15 per cent more than they were. These women played a big role in history just for the equal pay. However today equal pay is still a big issue today, with women losing out on a lot during the year due to a gender pay gap.

Women face a lot of problems and most men dont see that. Women can be discriminated on how we look, dress or even act, but when it comes to men they dont really look at all this as closely as they do towards women. Something that women have to deal with every day is sexual harassment and this has become more recent over the years and women have finally had the courage to speak up about what has happened to them. Men see us and think that they have more power over us so they use us in ways that they think they can and this is one of them. Women deserve so much more than what we get and thats what Jane tried to do she tried to show that women deserve more than what we get. Jane does this by going out and fighting for her own independence.

Even if men and women are to have the same rights in society, gender issues such as sexual discrimination, equal pay, domestic violence etc. will always be something women have to go through and men will not have to in this society we live in. In the novel Jane Eyre Brontes is trying to share her experience with us as she fights for independence. Although attitudes towards feminist issues are very different today than what they use to be in the Victorian age, things have not also changed as much as we want them to or think. Feminist issues have always been controversial throughout history and the gender topics have remained debatable throughout time.

The word feminist is usually defined as equal rights for women. All of the feminist acts happened during the 19th century during the time Charlotte wrote her book. Jane Eyre was the first major female feminist novel. Although she was not a modern feminist she did make sure that she expressed these ideals through speech and her actions. After she had left Rochester her major aim was not to get married anymore but to become independent. It didnt matter if she stood up to her aunt, her bullying cousin, or even someone who just said something about her, she finally had the courage to take up for her own self. Back then a woman couldnt talk back to someone because it was improper and jane started to realize this but women were supposed to accept their life.

In the novel jane sees herself more than just a governess and she insists that she is also more than her social status. What she wants to accomplish is that both sexes are equal in terms of the heart and spirit. After what happen with Rochester, Jane does not want to be married because she sees marriage as a sort of entrapment that is going to make her lose both of her independence and her true self. This is why she wont accept marriage and even a more reason why she will not marry her cousin. Even if we want to think that people attitudes toward marriage have changed in our society, and that women are no longer defined in terms of marriageability, then this may have not changed as much as we would have liked it too.

Over time we would like to think that certain ways toward women have changed but they have not. Women do not get the amount of respect that we deserve. People just see women of any society and they see us as the people that are going to take care of us and that it the house wife. In our society, feminist issues are not resolved and they continue to give rise to all sorts of many debates and controversies. Charlotte Brontes shows the theme of womens search for independence in the novel Jane Eyre.

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Jane Eyre and the Search for Independence. (2019, May 15). Retrieved March 5, 2024 , from

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