Gender Roles In Jane Eyre

416 Words2 Pages
The motifs of feminism and gender relation figure prominently in the novel. Throughout the book Jane Eyre strives to be independent, and seems to chafe at gifts, even well-intentioned ones, that would make her dependent on another person. There are several examples of this in the book, including her resistance against Mr. Brocklehurst, and her rejections of Mr. Rochester and St. John, all of whom attempt to place her in a subordinate position in regards to themselves. The rest of the novel also stresses female subordinacy to men in almost every aspect of pre-Victorian society. First of all, we should look at situations of gender in equality directly in regards to Jane herself. In Mrs. Reed's house, she was treated much worse than John Reed, the boy-child of the household. Later on, while Jane is in school, she and all the other girls are treated very poorly by the director, Mr. Brocklehurst. When Jane becomes employed at the Rochesters' house, Edward Rochester, the master, tricks her, and attempts to control her, and she resists this by fleeing from the city. However, once she arrives at the Rivers' house, she again is controlled by a man; the dutiful St. John. When she escapes that arrangement, she finds Edward…show more content…
All women seemed to have the attitude that they were somehow "less" than the men. While this may not be immediately obvious, think about the praises heaped upon John for his "character," while Georgiana was only praised for her appearance, which clearly speaks to some sort of gender inequality. You may also notice that every maid, govern(or/ess), and housekeeper in the book is female. Or even something small and obscure seeming, where Jane praises Adèle for being "docile," not something most modern femenists would be happy about. Or how Mr. Rochester just expected Jane to agree to come with him to France, heedless of her personal feelings, or any moral issues she may have had with

More about Gender Roles In Jane Eyre

Open Document