theme of feminism in Jane Eyre


Mind Map on theme of feminism in Jane Eyre, created by Mirabelle Henry on 29/12/2016.
Mirabelle Henry
Mind Map by Mirabelle Henry, updated more than 1 year ago
Mirabelle Henry
Created by Mirabelle Henry over 7 years ago

Resource summary

theme of feminism in Jane Eyre
  1. Jane is the female protagonist of the story, her own leader, something that in the 19th century was not common
    1. She
    2. She fights against oppression she faces from people that are socially above her, being a feminist icon for that era
      1. Jane fought against John Reed, a richer male of a higher social class, three factors that placed him high above her
        1. 'wicked and cruel boy!' I said. 'You are like a murderer - you are like a slave-driver - you are like the Roman emperors!'
          1. Jane's knowledge of Roman history was also impressive for a young girl and is empowering as she used her knowledge to insult John Reed rather than resort to violence - it challenges the notion that women are weak just because they cannot fight back
        2. gender and class are strongly linked themes in Jane Eyre
          1. Socialist feminism
            1. Jane is used by Bronte to challenge the notion that a woman of a lower class are nothing, irrelevant and simply commodities
              1. “Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless?” - chapter 23
            2. To a modern reader, Jane is not a particularly feminist role model, she falls in love with a man and her life starts to revolve about their relationship over her job or her knowledge etc.
              1. however, to a 19th century reader her actions were really quite empowering for women
                1. She went out and chased her own job
                  1. Didn't always do as she was told when instructed by a man
                    1. She had strong views and was outspoken
                      1. Her strong views were incredibly unfeminine for that era, they were regarded as
                  2. money and depending on men
                    1. Jane is seen as equal to Rochester and not dependant on him as she receives a sum of £20,000. This means that if Jane and Rochester were to split, she would not need him and she would not be tied to him because of need of money - like the vast majority of women in the 19th century. This also reinforces the idea of love between them as it is not based on money.
                      1. However - Jane was actually still dependant on a man because she got the money from her father - a man?
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