Jane Eyre Imperialism

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In the novel, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte relies heavily on parallels to elucidate her message. One of the most significant ones is the parallel between Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason to show the results of imperialism. While they are both women oppressed by patriarchy, in which men overpower the public domain, they are very different when it comes to coping with their place in society. Ultimately, these differences make them similar. Jane is described as a “quaint, quiet, grave and simple” while Bertha is “a big woman, in stature almost equaling her husband.” (Ch.27). Bertha’s appearances makes it clear that she does not fit the typical norms of womanhood in British society. “It was a discoloured face--it was a savage face. I wish I could forget…show more content…
Jane was an orphan of a clergyman and was raised with an abusive aunt until she was sent away to boarding school. Bertha is a Creole, and the daughter of a wealthy family living in Spanish Town Jamaica. Since they clearly contrast each other appearance-wise, it is important to note the similar issues and mannerisms they share. Bertha is confined in a room in Thornfield Hall while Jane feels figuratively trapped. In chapter 12, there is a moment where Jane is so anxious she begins to paces the attic floor. She describes her sole relief as pacing “along the corridor … safe in the silence and solitude of the spot.”. This is comparable to Bertha’s constant pacing and running about in her attic cell. It is important to also realize in this moment there is only a wall between them. This is how Bronte shows that they are each other “alter-egos”. However, not only physical characteristics are important when comparing the two. The difference in the way they accept their positions in a patriarchal society that defines the characters, making them each other’s doubles. Even as an opposite of the main character, Bertha Mason personifies the inner desires of Jane, a part of her that aches to live free, but instead goes crazy under the oppression of a British patriarchy during the expansion
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