Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre: Angel in the House College

When readers first encounter Jane Eyre, the fiery protagonist of Charlotte Brontë’s eponymous novel, we are met with an intelligent and rebellious child. As we follow her growth into governess at Thornfield, many critics feel as though her original sense of injustice has been snuffed and dimmed. Jane’s once defiant character now appears to embody something other entirely – the figure of the “angel in the house”. Meek, innocent and forever dutiful, one may begin to wonder what happened to Jane’s passion and rage. This essay will investigate whether Jane has indeed changed and if so, how she learnt to govern her rebellious streak. I will first define and explore the concept of the “angel in the house” within the framework of Victorian literature and femininity. I will then discuss whether Jane conforms to this ideal by bringing into question Mr Rochester’s construction of her as well as her independence and strong character. Lastly, I will substantiate my argument further by comparing Jane at Thornfield with earlier versions of herself, by way of contextualising my discussion.

There are many female characters in Jane Eyre and thus a range of femininities are presented to readers. From the femme fatale, Blanche Ingram to Bertha...

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