Jane Eyre Essay

765 WordsMay 4, 20114 Pages
Jane Eyre was written during the Victorian Period, a time when many historical changes were made that “motivated discussion and argument about the nature and role of woman” (The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Victorian Age: Topic 2: Overview). This idea is what we now know as “The Woman Question.” Women’s place in society was called into question, and one of the major issues was their role in marriage. Along with the Woman Question, many feminist ideals about marriage were established such as "equal contract and property rights" and "ownership of married women (and their children) by their husbands" (Topics in Feminism). At the end of Jane Eyre, the marriage between Jane and Rochester is unquestionably one of equals, but only after several events that changed both character's roles. It is obvious that Jane and Rochester’s marriage wasn’t the norm during their time. During the Victorian Era, marriages were based primarily on one’s financial status and social class and were often done as a convenience for each individual's family. It wasn’t intended to be a relationship of equals, but rather one in which the husband was the dominant figure and the wife was submissive. Since many marriages were fundamentally based on economic gain, love wasn’t a priority in marriage. Jane and Rochester's marriage, however, rebels against this idea; both parties reciprocate their love. But even after Rochester proposes to Jane, she has doubts about his love for her: "I suppose your love will effervesce in six months or less I have observed in books written by men, that period assigned as the furthest to which a husband's ardour extends" (Bronte 262). Her doubts are justified because by her knowledge of what most marriages in her culture were like. Jane feels that marrying Rochester would reinforce a marriage of inequality. She knows that not only would marriage make her

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