Comparison of Jane Eyre and Hard Times

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Life Without Love or Independence? In Jane Eyre and Hard Times, women are portrayed in a negative light throughout their respected novels; females are represented as being second class citizens to their male counterparts, and are unable to have a thought of their own. The traditional views of Victorian era gender roles are both enforced through the outside portrayal of the women that do not fit the mold of the ideal Victorian women yet is also subverted by the feelings the women feel when they left their bonds, or the consequences of living in the suffering of the gender misogamy they endure over their lifestyle. By expressing the men through traditional Victorian masculine characteristics such as being powerful and dominant to their meek and loyal female counterparts, the novels establish early on the barrier that the protagonists struggle with merely being female. In the novels, women are treated like second class citizens when compared to men and are expected to be content with this Victorian idea of patriarchal domination. In Jane Eyre, Jane develops throughout the novel moving from Thornfield to Gateshead, to Lowood and to Marsh End. Each location challenges her identity and her integrity as she desperately tries to maintain her dignity with the different conflicts she is confronted with. The three main male characters in the novel are Edward Rochester, Mr.Brocklehurst and St. John Rivers. Each male, in their own way, continuously get in her way of trying to achieve equality by oppressing her into a submissive position. For example, Mr. Brocklehurst attempts to embarrass Jane at her school in Lowood because of the description her stepmother provides him of her. When he first sees Jane, he makes a mockery of her in front of the entire school, “My dear children,’ pursued the black marble clergyman with pathos…who says its prayers to Brahma and kneels before
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