Jane Eyre Analysis Essay


In her novel, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë challenged the roles of women in Victorian society. Her heroine struggles against impossible odds, as she is tries to build her identity by fighting against the passions hidden within herself and others who attempt to impose their will on her choices. When it was published, the novel caused a lot of controversy due to its daring choice of highlighting the ugly side of the society at that time.

Jane Eyre is a direct attack against the questionable morality of Victorian society. The novel’s realism was the reason why it was criticized so much, because no one could really argue that things were depicted wrongly. At this time, women were not allowed to feel strong emotions such as passion or rage. They were neither considered nor treated as sexual beings, and the very thought of a woman retaliating against any authority was inconceivable. Jane Eyre was the novel that dragged attention to the fact of how inhumane this treatment was; it was a challenge for the moralists. Even the fact that the piece was written by a woman and was actually published was enough to make the novel cause a wave of controversy throughout the community.

The protagonist of the novel seems so strong due to the fact that it is incredibly realistic. Jane is neither good nor evil. She is merely a human who is not impervious to human emotions. She allows passion to rule her life, and struggles in trying to fit into the society that makes her go against her very nature. Her appearance is rather plain, which presents an additional challenge. At that time, a woman’s looks were considered to be her greatest asset, so a girl who did not match the standards of beauty was treated as being lowly by default.

The most controversial of all was Brontë’s depiction of love. The scenes that are filled with passion, which would be seen as rather tame today, were truly scandalous for that time. They drew love as something human, naturally destroying the temple of chaste and ethereal romance that was prevalent in that society.

With her novel, Brontë directly accused aristocrats of hypocrisy and challenged their morals. This was the voice of a strong woman who defied social traditions in order to establish a place for herself. Her feminist ideals introduced something that was previously unheard of, an idea that women are real human beings capable of emotions and their own personalities; this seems obvious today. However, one should not forget that during the Victorian era, and also times before it, women did not have any rights and were seen as property instead of independent human beings. Brontë’s novel threw the first stone to destroy this outrageous social stereotype.

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