Assessment of Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a sophisticated and renowned Gothic romance novel. Its plot has many unconventional twists and turns and, although the novel has been widely accepted and appreciated in the world of classic literature, it has also had its share of controversy.

From the beginning of the novel, it becomes clear that it does not perhaps preach the same religious values as other books written during its time (the 1800s), and some have taken the view that this aspect of the book is wrong and will poison the mind of every young, susceptible person who reads it. Some of this has to do with the fact that the novel centers around the growing love affair between a sardonic, brooding gentleman named Mr. Rochester and his governess and the main character of the book, Jane Eyre. The possible objections people might make to the novel are the differences in rank, connections and wealth between Mr. Rochester and Jane, not to mention the difference in age (Mr. Rochester is 20 years Jane’s senior). Even more objectionable; however, is the fact that Mr. Rochester proposes to Jane even though he is already married to a madwoman (his wife had a heritable condition that made her savage and insane), and is keeping her safeguarded in a room upstairs in the very house in which he met Jane. These objections are expressed succinctly in a criticism against the book found on a pro-book-banning website: “Readers of Jane Eyre often see Edward Rochester as a dashing, romantic hero--and therein lies the problem.  Rochester is already married when he woos Jane, and he has locked his mentally ill wife into an attic.  What kind of a person would do this, and do we really want impressionable teenage girls idolizing such a person as a romantic hero?” (CC2K 1). The website also states that it finds Jane Eyre to promote adultery and the abuse of the mentally ill.

It’s all well and good for someone on a website to say that certain circumstances of the novel were socially or...
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