Jane Eyre Virginia Gray Analysis

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Representation of Female Relationships in Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey The heroines of Charlotte and Anne Brontё, although different in temperament, share a similar trait: in order to gain their independence in a male-dominated society, they are willing to take up the position of governess. One of the most interesting aspects of both novels is the way female relationships are handled. Both novels are coming-of-age stories where both heroines realise that in a society of separate spheres women (especially middle-class ones) mostly develop and change trough their intercourse and friendship with other women. Both novels come to the conclusion that for two women to be considered friends they have to be equals, either socially, intellectually, or…show more content…
At her first place the only person who sympathises with her is Betty, the nurse, who becomes Agnes’ equal in suffering, as she has to deal with almost the same problems in the nursery as Agnes in the schoolroom (35). Before her friendship with Miss Murray, at her second place, Agnes befriends one of the cottagers of the estate, a woman named Nancy Brown. Nancy suffers from inflammation in the eyes and Agnes visits her and reads to her. Even though socially inferior to the governess, Agnes feels that Nancy is the only person, in close proximity, who is her moral and intellectual equal, and whose conversations inspire new thoughts in her. She realises that she is afraid that the constant company of her pupils will make her regress, and acknowledges the need of stimulating company in her life (77). Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey both offer a rich variety of female voices and relationships that shape the heroines and make their characters develop. Trough her interactions with other women Jane finds her inner balance without losing her strength of character, whereas Agnes gains self-confidence and becomes independent. Unlike Jane and Agnes, the other female characters rarely change or develop; they remain the same, never leaving the boundaries of their

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