Jane Eyre Essay

1177 WordsJan 15, 20125 Pages
Jane Eyre: Male Oppression Considered one of Charlotte Brontë’s greatest works, Jane Eyre will always be known for its strong message and symbolism-especially the theme of male oppression. On Jane’s journey to self-discovery, many male characters attempt to oppress her, but she resists. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë uses the interactions between Jane, Mr. Rochester and St. John Rivers to assert that women during the Victorian Era possessed the will to overcome male oppression and gain both their own independence as well as control over their own lives. An example of this is when Charlotte Brontë portrays a man abusing a woman’s own love for him to his advantage. At Thornfield, Rochester uses Jane’s love for him to control her, but despite this, she decides to leave Thornfield with her morals and integrity rather than stay as his inferior mistress. An example is this is when she says “I looked at my love; that feeling which was my master’s which he had created…Real affection, it seemed he could not have for me…Oh how blind had been my eyes! How weak my conduct!” when she reflects on their relationship. (Brontë 345) Since Rochester knew about Jane’s interest in him, he would not let Jane leave by giving her a sense of guilt every time she tries. He uses her love to bind her to Thornfield. Realizing that this is not the true love she imagined, she strengthens her resolve to leave. When Rochester stops her right before she leaves, Jane says (Brontë 270) “The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained (she is), the more (she) will respect (herself). (She) will keep the law given by God. (She) will hold to the principles received by (her) when (she) was sane and not mad—as (she is) now,” meaning that she will respect herself more if she leaves. This fits Jane’s personality of plainness, as she tries to be more “friendless” and “solidary”. Then Jane

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