The Woman's Place in "Jane Eyre" Analytical Essay by scribbler

The Woman's Place in "Jane Eyre"
An argument that in "Jane Eyre", Charlotte Bronte analyzes the conventional Victorian ideal of "a women's place".
# 153013 | 1,861 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 01, 2013 in Literature (English) , Women Studies (Women and Society)

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This paper presents the thesis that the novel "Jane Eyre" is essentially about the place and position of women in society and as unique individuals. The paper argues that the main character's position as an outsider, who is essentially different to and marginalized from the society, provides a vantage point from which the question of the place of women in society is explored in the novel. The paper then illustrates how through the character of Jane, we not only question the Victorian perception of a woman's place, but also come to realize that women are as unique as men and their 'place' is determined by their abilities, integrity and creativity and not by adherence to any social stereotypes.

The Place of Women in Society
Victorian Society and Gender

From the Paper:

"There are many analyses and studies that explore the strong gender roles and stereotypes that existed in Victorian society. The theme of the women's place in the novel can be interpreted as referring to the issue of gender in Victorian society and to the mores and norms of that society. For many reasons the central protagonist is a symbol of a form of rebellion against the system of class and gender norms that restrict the individual from attaining a true sense of self and identity. Jane Eyre is also a work that deals with the sense of marginalization and isolation that constitutes the place of women in society.
"In general the place of women was very firmly fixed in this society. Women were essentially seen as having a specific role or "place" that was determined by religion and male hegemony. Jane has to fight against an ingrained sense of women's inferiority that permeates the society of the novel. She encounters a number of men who adhere to these stereotypes and who do not consider her to be their equal. For example, Mr. Brocklehurst, Rochester, and St. John all attempt to command or master women. However, Jane refuses any marriage proposal that would reduce or deny her sense of her own unique identity."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bloom, Harold, ed. Charlotte Brontee's Jane Eyre. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. Questia. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.
  • Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1922. Questia. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.
  • Jane Eyre. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.
  • Lamonaca, Maria. "Jane's Crown of Thorns: Feminism and Christianity in Jane Eyre." Studies in the Novel 34.3 (2002): 245+. Questia. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.
  • Peters, John G. "Inside and outside 'Jane Eyre' and Marginalization through Labeling." Studies in the Novel 28.1 (1996): 57+. Questia. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.

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