Victorian Mores In Jane Eyre
During the Victorian era, it was only acceptable to abide by a set of unspoken rules acknowledged by society called mores. Some of the mores that were present in the eighteenth-century time period included the importance of the family, high standards of morality and decency, and that people must be punished or rewarded for their actions and deeds. Although these mores are not present in modern culture, invisible laws still exist in society today and need to be brought to awareness because of the history behind them. In the Victorian novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë exemplifies Victorian mores in an uncustomary way throughout the life story of a young woman named Jane Eyre that faces much abuse, both physical and emotional, from the people around her as she is in continual search for a richer and fuller life. As Brontë uses Jane’s struggles and hardships to depict her hard life, she also uses them to exemplify the importance of a social class, challenge the traditional family and to emphasise on receiving the correct consequence for the action one makes. During Victorian times, it was assumed that a genuine Christian person would belong to a family. Brontë denounces this notion by making the main character, Jane, an orphan. While she lives with her aunt and cousins, she is not at all treated as part of their family. After being accused of “strik[ing] a young gentleman” (John Reed), Jane is reminded that she is not a true member of the Reed family as she is told that she is something “less than a servant” (Brontë 7). Her relatives could have easily treated her with love and kindness, but instead she was deprived of a family that she not only needed, but deserved. Although Jane spends her early years without one, she finds a family towards the end of the novel that gives her a sense of belonging when she comes across “a brother: one [she] could be proud of- one [she]could love; and two sisters” (Brontë 446). The Rivers sisters and...
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