Women Oppressed In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

1695 words - 7 pages

Jane Eyre: Women Oppressed

 
   Gender is not a biological fact but a social construct.  However, so many assumptions have been made in the attempt to define the terms gender and sex that society often defines gender as being solely male and female.  The female sex has traditionally been oppressed due to inferences on physical and mental constraints that male-dominated society has imposed.  As with culture, gender socialization begins with birth and the family structure, though many believe that specific events also have a great influence on the boundaries of gender.  It has been suggested, for example, that schooling and education systems have a large responsibility in the formation of gender divisions.  Gender differences have confronted society since the first peoples, and though progress has been made to level the playing field, men still receive more opportunities in education, the workforce, politics and other wide-scale arenas than do women.  In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Jane is an example of a woman oppressed, yet she finds ways to break free of that which confines her.  The family structure and our school systems are two of the first places children learn about themselves.  If they do not grant equal opportunity for men and women, it will be impossible to create a just and gender-equal society.

 

            Susan Moller Okin argues that family life is the first factor that has an influence on the socialization of children.  Her concerns about the subjugation of women center around the opinion that "gender-structured marriages make women vulnerable" (5), and that unjust families lead to an unjust society made up of members incapable of making decisions free of gender bias, "They (theorists of justice) take mature, independent human beings as the subjects of their theories without any mention of how they got to be that way" (9).  For example, within the family, many women are expected to hold a job outside the home while acting as the primary caretaker of children.  In some cases, though, the division of labor separates women from the workplace; "The division of labor in the typical family leaves most women far less capable than men of supporting themselves, and this disparity is accentuated by the fact that children of separated or divorced parents usually live with their mothers" (17).  Therefore, both females and youth are put at risk by the effects of gender separation on the family.      

 

            Left orphaned and under the care of extended family, Jane Eyre faced oppression from a young age.  Though strong-willed and independent with an unusual (and considered unnatural by some) brand of spunk, Jane worked hard to appease her aunt, Mrs. Reed, while at the same time representing everything that a young woman of the time should have shunned according to cultural practices; "I dared commit no fault: I strove to fulfill every duty; and I was termed naughty and tiresome, sullen and sneaking,...

Find Another Essay On Women Oppressed in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

Cold Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

3165 words - 13 pages Cold Imagery in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Cold imagery is everywhere in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. There are various forms of cold imagery found in each character's personality and life experiences. Cold images take on various forms, such as Jane's descriptions of pictures in a book displaying the Arctic, and figurative language including ice, water, rain, and sleet. The descriptive imagery of coldness symbolizes both the repression of

Radical Ideas in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

2091 words - 8 pages Radical Ideas in Jane Eyre          Charlotte Bronte knew what she was doing when she assumed the pseudonym of Currer Bell. In Jane Eyre she wanted to pose radical ideas regarding the role of women in the 19th century, but being a sensible woman, she knew that society would never accept having a woman pose these new views. It would be altogether too logical and self-praising. Though the author was never credited for the published

Sexism Exposed in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

1490 words - 6 pages ."   Women of the Victorian era were also supposed to remain uneducated, except for what "custom has pronounced necessary for their sex" (115).  Charlotte Brontë herself enjoyed an education, and so does her character Jane Eyre.  Lowood provided girls with an education that was quite broad in comparison to that which most women received in the mid-1800s when school was a place where "young ladies sat in the stocks, wore back-boards, and were

Suffering in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

879 words - 4 pages of the suicide of Rochester's crazy wife, Bertha Mason, he can now marry Jane. They then wed and have a child. The child is a reward to Jane for her enduring life of sorrow and stoicism. Jane finally finds true happiness. Through these events at Thornfield, Jane gains independence, wealth, and is rewarded a child.      Jane is seen, in Charolette Bronte's Jane Erye, as a stoic character who endures through the worst of

The Role of Women, Inside Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"

1114 words - 4 pages forced to be patient in order to maintain their existence. The fact that Helen shows such a high level of patience allows this metaphor to be ever so apparent.This novel takes a minor character and creates a metaphor for an unspoken cause during this time. Helen prescribes women's roles during the 19th century in many ways. Though a young child she demonstrates tolerance, and wisdom for which are major characteristics of oppressed women. Helen is metaphorically parallel to the plight of women during the 19th century based upon her character traits.WORK CITEDBronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Dover, 2002.

The Self-confidence of Jane in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

642 words - 3 pages the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Jane shows self-confidence throughout the novel, by possessing a sense of self-worth, dignity, and a trust in God.     At the beginning of the novel while Jane is living under her aunt, Mrs. Reed, she is treated disrespectfully and cruelly.  She accuses Jane of being deceitful and a troublesome girl in front of Mr. Brocklehurst, the master of Lowood School.  Jane is so

Sympathy for Jane Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

1615 words - 6 pages Sympathy for Jane Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre In the first two chapters of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte creates sympathy for Jane from the settings she uses like the red room, which comes up later in chapter two. Also with all the metaphors of Janes true feelings under the surface and the ways that the chapters are structured. Charlotte Bronte starts off the book straight to the point as if we just enter Janes mind at this moment in

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre's Artwork

1844 words - 7 pages should send red flags up all over the reader's mind, because in literal reality, Jane (Charlotte Bronte) is writing this novel under a pseudonym, Currer Bell, which is an obvious contrast to what is happening with this portrait. She seems to be breaking conventions again by saying that women, too, have extensive artistic skills (both written and artistic), and very much good may come out of the lack of anonymity.   Once Jane is restored to

The Maturity of Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bronte's Novel

2584 words - 10 pages JANE EYRE Bloom’s Notes. Broomall: Chelsea House Publishers, 1996. Print. Cody, David. “Charlotte Bronte: A Brief Biography.” Charlotte Bronte: A Brief Biography. Hartwick College, 1987. Web. http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/brontbio.html Dooley, Deborah A. "Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre.." Literary Contexts In Novels: Charlotte Bronte’s 'Jane Eyre' (2006): 1-11. Literary Reference Center. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. http

Futile Search for Identity in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

1919 words - 8 pages adulthood. These events can cause a lack of love being provided, and not provide the experiences essential for adult relationships. In Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Jane's childhood lacks love and the experiences necessary in order to maintain healthy relationships, therefore causing her to go on a search for her identity.     Because of the abuse imposed upon Jane, she created a sense of independence and dignity. In Jane's early

Importance of Setting in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

1624 words - 6 pages The Importance of Setting in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Jane Eyre is the main character in the novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte. The story takes place in the mid 1800’s in a variety of settings.  The first setting is Gateshead Hall, the second is Lowood School, the third is Thornfield Hall, followed by Moor House, and ending when Jane reaches Ferndean.            The first place Jane stays is Gateshead Hall.  While at

Similar Essays

The Oppressed Female In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

978 words - 4 pages The Oppressed Female in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre      In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë clearly demonstrates the relationship between sexuality and morality in Victorian society through the character of Bertha Mason, the daughter of a West Indian planter and Rochester's first wife. Rochester recklessly married Bertha in his youth, and when it was discovered shortly after the marriage that Bertha was sexually promiscuous, Rochester

Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" Essay

3679 words - 15 pages mistress'" (Showalter 75).As a conclusion, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is unambiguously one of the most well written novels with profound themes. It has influenced generations of readers, appealing to both children and adults, women and men.Work CitedBronfen, Elisabeth. "Femininity - Missing in Action." New Casebooks: Jane Eyre. Ed. Heather Glen. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997. 196-204.Bronte, Charlotte. "Jane Eyre." New York: St. Martin's Press

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

1547 words - 6 pages Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Jane Eyre was written in 1847 by Charlotte Brontë. Clearly the context in which an author writes will have a profound effect on the portrayal of society. Jane Eyre was written to reflect a contemporary view of the way young women's lives could be affected, if they were unfortunate enough to be born without money. Middle-class women without income had very few options open to them

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

1114 words - 4 pages The Dangers of Secrets In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, the characters come to learn that secrets do more harm than good through Edward Rochester’s secrecy after the fire in his room, Mrs. Reed not telling her about the letter from her uncle, and Edward Rochester’s secret marriage with Bertha. First, Rochester, who really knows what happened during the fire in his room, refuses to tell Jane the full truth so as to not hurt her. Secondly, Mrs