Controversy of Jane Eyre

Topics: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, Love Pages: 4 (1356 words) Published: September 18, 2012
Joshua Martin
Professor Hendricks
English 112 E 12-51
September 13, 2012

In the novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte portrays one woman's desperate struggle to find her identity in the mist of temptation, isolation, and impossible odds. Although Jane may process a strong will to survive she still has to fight the forces of passion and reason within herself. When Jane Eyre was first published, it outraged many people at the time because of its realistic portrayal of life during that particular time. The controversy that surrounded the novel stemmed from the way Bronte challenged the roles of women, religion and mortality in the Victorian era. Bronte’s novel became a direct assault on the Victorian morality and the controversy bases on the realistic exposure of thoughts that were considered improper for a lady think during the 19th century. That was mainly because women during this era were basically not allowed to feel passion, nor were they considered sexual beings, to conceive such thoughts a woman was basically playing against the role given to her in society and this was sometimes seen as a great offense. Without meaning to do so Jane Eyre sent waves of controversy throughout the literary community. Not just because it was a book written by a woman but because it was the first of its kind to feature realistic characters. Jane’s character was complex and was neither good, bad, nor evil, but what she was a girl whom was raised in a lower social class and could also appear to be plain at sometimes. He facial features were not the best, but she was not ugly either, but if the features of a woman were not perfect during that time and era people took it as a slap in the face when it came to creation. The novel itself challenged the class structure in a hierarchal society. No one had ever heard of a lowly governess and a wealthy nobleman like Jane and Mr. Rochester finding love for each other. It was something that was simply unheard of. Ms. Bronte...

Cited: A classic feminist discussion of Jane Eyre is the book The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar (Yale University Press, 1979) See also Martin, Robert B. Charlotte Brontë 's Novels: The Accents of Persuasion. NY: Norton, 1966
Brontë, Charlotte. 1847. Jane Eyre. London. Smith, Elder & Co.
Gaskell, Elizabeth (1857). The Life of Charlotte Brontë.
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