Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte (1210 Words)How Is The Way Charlotte Bronte Created The Character Of Jane In Her Novel Jane Eyre Meant To Change Our Veiw Of The Role Of Women ?

1288 words - 6 pages

In the preface to Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë (writing as Currer Bell) explains her reasons for dedicating her book to W. M. Thackeray, the author of Vanity Fair. Apparently, the main reason for this was: "because I regard him as the first social regenerator of the day, as the master of the working corps who would restore to rectitude the warped system of things."We thus see that Charlotte saw the value of a novel as being in its capacity to influence opinion and effect social change. In reading Jane Eyre we can see that she aimed to do this in her own novel as well. We also see that the nature and placement of the characters in it (especially Jane) and the particular way they ...view middle of the document...

Eventually we come to agree with her, Jane can be, and is, a hero. We accept her as a spiritually, morally, intellectually superior person. We also come to know and love her very closely, as complicated a person as she is. Other people let us know that her outward appearance is not particularly impressive. However, these people are portrayed in such a way that we do not value their opinions on any level. It is important though that they are 'unworthy' because of their lack of character, of insight, of intelligence and of spiritual/moral maturity. Their standing in society, wealth, beauty etc. do not come into the equation. There are a many of these 'bad people': The three Reed's, Mr Brocklehurst, Rochester's guests at Thornfeild, especially the Ingram's, stand out. There are others who also fit into this category although they do not actually snub Jane. It is made very clear however that their only value in the story is dependant on their lack of any other value. Eventually we come to accept this scale or measure of what a person's value and status in our mind's should be. We see that the only worthwhile trait an individual can have is this sense of having elevated moral, spiritual and intellectual capabilities, of having the capacity to be original and different.Is this acceptable? Is it proud; elitist; snobbish in a different way?Yes, we realise. It is. And for the simple reason that this is not the way in which the majority of the world sees things. And is this 'elitism' really any different from that of the rich privileged and good looking that most people, regardless of their social standing usually accept?Also, the books message comes across in such a subtle, gentle though undoubtedly satirical way that we do not see it in quite so blatant a manner. Jane is, undoubtedly, good. We see and accept the implications of what she represents as such.There is, however, more to it than this.Apart from Jane, there are a number of other characters who demonstrate these.......'capabilities'. Mary, Diana and St John Rivers, Miss Temple and Mr Rochester are all referred to as having equal or greater capabilities than Jane. This is important, as they are all very different types of people.Incidentally, these people are the same we would see if we were to draw up a list of her closest acquaintances. Charlotte seems to thus be saying 'something' about the importance of who you choose as your companions. More elitism?Mary and Diana are most similar...


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