Gender Issues in Jane Eyre
In today’s society how many people like the feeling of being controlled? Not many people, because being controlled by some other outside force means giving up one’s sense of independence and the right to be free. Thus, this situation leads many into gender disagreements, because one may view men as controllers of women. These disagreements are one of the introductions to Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre, in that Jane Eyre strives to fight the gender gap of the early 18th century society by overcoming it with her strong willed independence. Repression, or control in Jane Eyre’s life starts at a young age at Gateshead. There she is treated horribly by her own flesh and blood and is exposed to the constant social class segregation from everyone. From the start her sense of loneliness and isolation is evident in the way she hides herself behind thick curtains in a deserted room ostracized by her aunt and cousins. Her feelings are emphasized by descriptions of weather outside, which is cold, wet and miserable: “near, a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast.” Later on in chapter two, when Jane is locked in the Red Room, she can still hear “rain beating continuously” and the wind “howling in the grove behind the wall.” There is pathetic fallacy in the reflection of Jane’s situation in the miserable weather. The bleak view from the window reinforces the idea of little Jane’s unhappiness. This sprawling house is almost her whole world. Despite the fact that Jane lives in a very luxurious and noble house, it is not much of a home to her; she is constantly being reminded by John Reed about merely being a dependent there. At this point, Jane is criticized not only because she is a female but because she is a lower class female and is seen as using upper class men to help herself. Her opposition to let her relatives control her causes her to be a rebellious demon:...
Cited: Anderson, Joan. “Angry Angels: Repression, Containment, and Deviance, in Charlotte Brontë 's Jane Eyre.” The Victorian Web. 21 April 2004. The Victorian Web. 26 April 2010. http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/bronte/cbronte/anderson1.html.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York, New York: Tom Doherty Associates, Inc., 1994.
Eric SolomonCollege English, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Dec., 1963), pp. 215-217
Published by: National Council of Teachers of English
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/373690
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