Critical Paper on Jane Eyer and Madame Bovary

Topics: Middle class, 19th century, Working class Pages: 6 (1563 words) Published: January 17, 2011
Hopeless Women in 19th century

By Anna-Maria Dib

Litterature II

Miss. Nada Fadda

Friday, 17 December 2010


First, Gustave Flaubert wrote in the 19th century, he was an author who did not differentiate between a beautiful or ugly subject was best known with the realist and naturalist schools of fiction and specially his masterpiece “Madame Bovary”. The major themes of this story were the following: the inadequacy of language, the powerlessness of women and the failures of bourgeoisie. Second comes Charlotte Bronte is a 19th century author who wrote “Jane Eyre” with the following major themes: the treatment of Love and the powerlessness of women. Finally, I will discuss my critical paper based on the comparison between Jane Eyre and Madame Bovary based on the powerlessness of the women in a man’s society in which Flaubert embodied it in Emma’s character and Bronte embodied it in Jane’s character. What were the means that every one of them used to overcome their weaknesses? Were they able to survive in a society where

men were the dominant power?


Thesis: The society’s restrictions have affected the role of the women in the 19th century that was embodied in the role of Emma in “madam Bovary” and Jane in “Jane Eyre”.

I. Domination of women by men

A. Status of women in the 19th century
1. Jane Eyre

2. Madame Bovary

B. The inferior role of the women in

1. Family

2. Education

II. Madame Bovary and her survival in a male-dominated society



III. Jane eyre and her survival in a male-dominated society Dib 1

Hopeless Women in 19th century

“Any look at culture and literature will

Confirm that the life of a woman is offered

As sacrifice”-(Gornick and Moran, 1972)

Women of all classes in early 19th century were politically hopeless and forces to conform to the reliance on men.(Streich, 2010) Women used to depend on their husband’s career and 80 percent of the population were a working class and in order to become from the upper class they must have at least one servant in every house.(Lambert,N.D) Throughout the 19th century the role of the woman was mainly to serve every man, give birth too many children and raises them, it was forbidden for a woman to attend colleges or universities and work outside their houses. The only work the lower class women could occupy was a servant. Jane Eyre was more a low class then an upper class and she overcame her weakness of a society dominated by men by working as a tutor for her entire life before she inherited from her uncle “John Eyre” and Madame Bovary was a low class girl and got married to a rich high class businessman and could not support the toughness of the society and started couple of affairs before she committed suicide. What were the means that every one of them used to overcome their weaknesses? Were they able to survive in a society where men were the dominant power?

First, in our society if a woman accepts to be equalized with men and try to go in to the field of work with her talent and education that would lead to the understanding of men and let

Dib 2

them work accordingly. But in the 19th century the possibility of education and working women were rare and even impossible. Knowing that this was impossible Jane worked as a tutor in Lowood and then as a governess at Thomfield to support herself economically and to show her fake family that she was able to reach high levels even in a discriminate society. In comparison, Gustave Flaubert showed Emma as a weak woman in a society dominated by men, at first, when she married an upper class businessman and felt this inferiority but then she started doing affairs with friends and people he knows to pay her debts and at last committed suicide. Though Jane supported herself by the work she found we detected that...
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