Before writing this assignment I am going to write about the novelist who possibly has written one of the best novels I have ever read. The novelist who wrote Jane Eyre is called Charlotte Bronte, Charlotte was born In Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816. She was the third child to have been born by her parents Maria and Patrick Bronte.
Mrs. Bronte died in the year of 1821 so Charlotte and her fours sisters and her Brother Branwell were left in the loving care of their aunt Elizabeth Branwell- Charlotte and her sisters were sent to a school of Daughters Of The Clergy. Between 1831 to 1832 Charlotte was at Miss. Woolers school at Roehead where she did later return as a teacher in 1835. In 1847 she published Jane Eyre. This became a success so she later published three over novels “Shirley”, “Villette” and “Professor”.
The Bronte sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne all created brave and indomitable heroines: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s fiery Catherine Earnshaw of the famous book Withering heights and Anne’s Helen Graham who was in the Tenant of Wildfell Hall left her drunken and brutal husband- perhaps partly based on their brother Branwell taking her son with her and earning a living as an artist, and audacious action in the masculine dominated world of Victorian Society.
Who Wrote Jane Eyre
To have their books published they had to adopt male pseudonyms. By the names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Jane Eyre is a novel which examines and challenges Victorian values and attitudes towards women I agree with this statement entirely as in the book men e. g. Rochester treats the women as nothing. This is expected in the Victorian society, Bronte’s novel makes people see and feel in her book that women in those times had no rights to vote etc… and that they were beneath men.
I could picture this with a clear source of imagery. Jane has to deal with a lot of issues with her job as being a governess as Mr. Rochester is a very macho person and Jane has to answers all his frequently asked questions she believes herself to be his equal in life which is differs for a Victorian age. Jane does state a variety of quotes and it really gives me a clear insight into her job as being a governess. Her character is individual and different and that what make her stand out from the crowd. you think because I am plain that I have no soul but I do have soul and it’s equal to yours” is a particular quote that she states which shows she sees herself to be Rochester’s equal, Jane always stand up for herself and she follows her own rule that she has womanly rights to be an equal to men this could be the reason why she wouldn’t consent to be Rochester’s mistress and she feels it’s below her standard and that she would lower herself.
She believes that his life is all wrong because he leads an upper class and simple life, and it’s always constantly playing on her mind, but she never would admit this to her hearts desire Mr. Rochester. Jane as a women is expected to be manipulated but on the very last page of the novel she shows how superior and intellectual she actually is by quoting to the reader ” Reader I married him” this shows she clearly thinks of herself as his actual equal even though they are in different places in the Hierarchy altogether and not even married.
In the Victorian novel women were often depicted as governesses because this was one of the few respectable positions available to educated but impoverished single women, Jane is not reluctant to be a governess and teacher as she deals with the issues and problems in a highly mannered way she always overcomes them with a positive attitude, even though this isn’t her true feelings being reflected in what she says or does, yet the novelist does finally let her escape the teaching role by providing her with independent means.
Rochester tries to dominate Jane from the beginning, when she has her first conversation with him- he frequently asks her questions then twists her answers this Jane does not take kindly to- but Jane still answers back with maturity and as if she is his equal in right. Jane is a very competitive person with a very strong positive nature. This would be seen as very unusual in the Victorian period as women did not have any rights in practically anything at all including no choice or say in decision making etc. Both St.
John Rivers and Mr. Rochester wish to have her hand in marriage but Jane only has one true love and that is unfortunately lies with Rochester, whereas St. John only wants Jane’s hand in marriage as a convenience so she can be his accomplice to travel with. Jane is not clearly swung by St. John’s proposal of marriage as she sees what he wishes her hand in marriage for. Jane made a sensible position to stay but what could be the reason for it? Rochester or the love of her position in life. When she declines St.
John with good reason she lets him down by stating “Nonsense, again! Marry! I don’t want to marry and never shall marry”. She stated this because she was let down by the first marriage as it was a hoax because Rochester was married already, this Jane knew nothing of the matter but still she dealt with the problem by running away from it not dealing with the issue before it became un dealable.
The issues in Bronte’s novel reflect the roles women had to play in the strong male dominant Victorian Society. Of which Jane refuses to confirm too entirely). This was the time when women were treated as men’s possessions, women were legally, spiritually and morally and they had no rights in property, belongings or children. Men and women who lived together about being married were ostracised. Consequently Mr. Rochester cannot divorce his wife and therefore does not reveal her existence to new lover Jane. Similarly Jane will not agree to go abroad with St. John as his accomplice and wife or with Mr. Rochester as his wife in name only.
Rochester points out that she has no relations to scandalise but she feels she has to abide by the principles of society: “Laws and principles are not the times when there is no temptation: there are four such moments like this; when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be’ (page 338) The Gothic tradition utilizes elements such as supernatural encounters, remote locations, complicated family histories, dark secrets to create and to have an atmosphere of suspense and terror.
The plot Jane Eyre includes most of these elements. Jane’s vividly drawn experience of the red- room is where she undergoes an extremely frightening and shocking encounter makes really good use of this particular genre: “The red room was a square chamber, very seldom slept in. I might say never…. a bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask stood out like a tabernacle in the centre; the two large windows with their blinds always drawn down, where half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery the carpet was red”.
The development of Jane’s character is very much central to the novel and from the beginning Jane possesses a sense of self worth and dignity and a commitment to justice and principle, a trust in god and a passionate disposition. An orphan since childhood Jane feels exiled and ostracised at the beginning of the novel. At the beginning of the novel in chapter one Jane is ten years old is oppressed and she feels a burden. And a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie the nurse and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, Georgina and John reed” Despite Rochester’s stern and horrible manor he still wins Jane’s heart because he is the first person in the novel to offer Jane love and a chance of happiness and a real loving home, although Rochester is Jane’s social and economic superior and men in the Victorian period, Jane is Rochester equal and speaks to him in the same manor that he does to her.
“You examine me, Miss. Eyre do you think me handsome? ” I should of deliberated have replied to this question by something conventionally vague ad polite; but the answer just slipped from my tongue before I was aware. “No sir far from it sir. You would perhaps think me rude if I inquired in return whether you are a philanthropist” Jane says this with an equal meaning “there again another stick of the knife” stated Rochester when he was surprised with her answer back. This particular conversation proves that Jane does speak to him as his equal.
Jane does meat a friend at Lowood School called Helen this is Jane’s first friend who doesn’t judge her, Helen serves as a foil to Mr. Brockelhurst and Jane. Helen represents a mode of Christianity she also manifests a certain strength and intellectual maturity. Her efforts involve self navigation then self- assertion. Helen gives Jane the courage which she needs. She gives her friend trust and advice which boosts Jane’s confidence. Jane challenges and shows her independency of spirit by disputing religion.
Helen refused to let the male dominant society rule her and not let her have her freedom of speech she clearly supported for what she felt was right this gave Jane inspiration not to let the male dominant race rule over her rights as she wanted to be treated as a clear equal. Lowood gave Jane the opportunity to gain an education also the independence to leave for a new servitude (see page 87). Jane became independent and reliable. But Jane also had to get used to the male dominant pig Mr. Brockelhurst who uses religion as a big matter in the institution to scare people.
Jane grew up quickly and became used to this she then retaliated and refused anyone to get the better of her. Whereas Thornfield Hall reveals the shallowness of vanity and fashion in the form of dowager Lady Ingram and her daughters, although Rochester rejects this society in favour of Jane’s she never feels his social equal and is uncomfortable with the opportunity to embellish herself. Throughout Jane’s period at Thornfield, Jane consistently refers to Rochester as ‘master’ and ‘sir’. Even in their utmost intimate movements and discussions after the failed marriage, Jane still refers to him as ‘Mr. Rochester’.
The nature of the relationship is clearly unbalanced; neither character has yet achieved a state of self- knowledge within which marriage could succeed. Jane knows that she cannot remain. The arrival of Blanche Ingram brings Jane down to earth. Blanche despises governesses, she tried to court Rochester but shows no real love him. The theme of impedance appears in Jane’s relationship with men. Although having money is also part of the theme independence it is not as important as Jane’s need to rebel. This is highlighted by the contrasts; Mr. Brockelhurst is an example of religious hypocrisy and Miss. Ingram’s of social hypocrisy.