Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Poems

Devices Used In Jane Eyre and Aurora Leigh to Represent Female Subjugation

Though the authors and genres of the works Jane Eyre and Aurora Leigh are distinctive, the messages and methods of communication within both are quite comparable. Both authors aim to, among other things, expose the plight of their female contemporaries and offer strong suggestions as to how the injustices faced by women might be rectified. The heroines of both stories, Jane and Aurora, face subjugation and oppression of many kinds, most being a direct result of their gender. Both authors utilize, in similar ways, certain literary devices in order to symbolize both the incarceration and notions of liberation for their protagonists. These two aspects of the stories, bondage and freedom, continually display the principal conflict in both plots: the struggle between ideal aspirations and the confinement of practicality and reality, specifically as applied to women (Pell 397).

One of the most easily recognized symbols within both of the stories is the home. In Aurora Leigh, and in Jane Eyre, the home becomes, while both women are still girls, associated with domestic bondage of various kinds. The place in which Jane spent the first ten years of her life, Gateshead, was a fine, stately house and also the most understandable object of...

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