Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre: The Independent and Successful Woman Of the Nineteenth Century

Imagine a girl growing up around the turn of the nineteenth century. An orphan, she has no family or friends, no wealth or position. Misunderstood and mistreated by the relatives she does have, she is sent away to a school where the cycle of cruelty continues. All alone in the world, she seems doomed to a life of failure. What's a girl to do? Does she stand passively by and accept her fate, as the common belief of the times would have it? Or does she stand up for her rights and fight for the life of success she deserves? If the girl is Charlotte Bronte's heroine Jane Eyre, she takes the latter route. Although this may have shocked readers of the time, Jane's actions would open the door for a new interpretation of women.

Jane Eyre showed that it was possible for a woman in the nineteenth century to achieve independence and success on her own, no matter what odds were against her. The following paper will examine the stereotype of women that Jane and her creator, Bronte, sought to disprove, explore the obstacles that Jane encounters in her struggle, and show how she is able to overcome them to attain the life she has always dreamed of having.

During the 1800's, the time period in which Jane Eyre was written and the...

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