Jane Eyre's Friendships Essay

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A Lack of Female Friendships In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte uses Jane’s dislike of the traditional female role in society, her dissent against the Evangelical model of submissive women, and her seeking of a homo-power relationship as a psychological representation of a type of woman in the 19th century Victorian society to criticize the negative effect society had on women like Jane. In spite of Jane’s many attempts to gain her version of an ideal female friendship, Jane is largely unable to have the long-lasting, intense relationship that she finds with Rochester at the end, with any female characters. It appears that the reason for this absence of female relationships is Jane’s active seeking of confrontation, which shows her rebelliousness against the traditional role of women in Victorian society and her non-submissive, masculine personality and explains the failures of her relationships with Mary, Diana and Miss. Temple. Through this, Charlotte Bronte implies that the women who rebelled against their role in society had a hard time finding people to relate to or be friends with. It is also clear that Jane’s desire to have an equal power relationship, which has homosexual undertones, with another masculine personality, is another reason for Jane’s failed female relationships, especially her negative relationship with Mrs. Reed. By showing Jane’s inability to have a female friendship with any women of her acquaintance, Charlotte Bronte implies that equality in Victorian society is rare or even impossible. Jane’s female cousins are not capable of having an intense relationship with Jane that fulfills the criteria of Jane’s ideal relationship. While Jane and her cousins appear to have a strong relationship with each other as they enjoy participating in the same activities and having the same opinions in their conversations, which Jane claims to find “a reviving

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