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Jane Eyre's Protagonist as a Feminist Figure in Victorian England

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Women were and still are one of the greatest factors influencing the building of society, in antiquity, women were no less influential than they were in later times. They are a primary factor in the spread of human groups on earth. Without them, men wouldn’t do anything. It seems impossible to describe women’s great role in society. Despite their importance in every field of life, women in the 19th century were suffering from the patriarchal authority. Most men at that time treated their women as a piece of furniture which have no voice and no right, or even less. Women in the Victorian era were forbidden from their simple rights, no one of them was practicing any job, they have believed that jobs are just for men and women’s only job was taking care of their houses and their children. Moreover, they were forbidden from writing literature, because male publishers didn’t think the literary world was a place for women. Therefore, women writers as Bronte Sisters were forced to write under male pseudonyms to avoid prejudice in male-dominated circles.

Jane Eyre the most fabulous and famous novel in English literature was published on 16 October 1847, written by Charlotte Bronte, whose the eldest of the three Bronte sisters, under the pseudonym of Currer Bell. She explained why she and her sisters didn’t announce their names in their works by saying, ‘We did not want to announce that we are women, because at that time our writing and thinking were to be dealt with as ‘feminine’. We had a strong impression that our literature would be looked upon with pride, as we noticed how critics sometimes used the character attacking as a punishment, and spinning as a reward, which is not true praise.'[footnoteRef:1] [1: Wikipedia]

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After reading Charlotte Bronte’s personal life, we figured out that Jane Eyre is actually Charlotte Bronte! She reflects her personal life through the character of Jane, and we can see a lot of similarities between them. First, they both orphans and they both were sent away to boarding schools where the conditions are not pleasant and they feel uncomfortable being there. Second, Charlotte mentioned in the novel the epidemic of typhus which spread in her school, and another disease which killed Jane’s best friend Helen.

However, in her actual life the epidemic of typhus claimed the lives of two of her sisters when they were at the school, then she was brought home immediately. Third, Charlotte, like Jane, worked for a time as a governess, and fell in love with the married headmaster at a school in which she was enrolled. Fourth, Jane Eyre marries Mr. Rochester after he became blinded because his crazy wife has set fire to the house. She ends up caring for him as an invalid rather than as a wife. The same thing happened to Charlotte with her father because after she lost all her sisters to illnesses, she is left to care for her father until his death. Then she accepts a proposal from one of her father’s friends who served as the headmaster at the school where she attended. Finally, Jane at the end of the story gave birth to a child from Mr. Rochester. However, Charlotte unfortunately died with her unborn child at an early age.

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Jane Eyre’s Protagonist as a Feminist Figure in Victorian England. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/jane-eyres-protagonist-as-a-feminist-figure-in-victorian-england/
“Jane Eyre’s Protagonist as a Feminist Figure in Victorian England.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/jane-eyres-protagonist-as-a-feminist-figure-in-victorian-england/
Jane Eyre’s Protagonist as a Feminist Figure in Victorian England. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/jane-eyres-protagonist-as-a-feminist-figure-in-victorian-england/> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2023].
Jane Eyre’s Protagonist as a Feminist Figure in Victorian England [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Sept 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/jane-eyres-protagonist-as-a-feminist-figure-in-victorian-england/
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