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Im supposed to discuss Jane Eyre as a feminist text... what do I talk about? Any good...

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darrian91 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:40 AM via web

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Im supposed to discuss Jane Eyre as a feminist text... what do I talk about? Any good quotes?

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neneta | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Jane Eyre’s first person narrative allows the narrator to emit explicit opinions and judgements about women’s concerns. For example, in chapter XII, the auto diegetic narrator, clearly advocates that women have the same intellectual needs as their consorts. In addition, the spiritual journey the protagonist undertakes, from poverty to economic independence, confirms this idea.

Although the novel depicts some female Victorian stereotypes-Helen Burns, as the self-sacrificing character and Blanche Ingram as the typical upper- class seductress, the role of Jane refutes the idea of the submissive Victorian woman. In fact, in the novel, the binary oppositions male/female and active/passive are subtly inverted. Hence, even though, Rochester holds positions of authority and influence, Jane, by being Rochester’s spiritual guide and adviser, upholds power and control. Furthermore, the narrative voice rejects the idea of a male norm of thinking and behaviour as, for instance, when Jane refuses to become Rochester’s mistress and chooses to undertake another path. Afterwards, she shows she is able to survive alone against a hostile world, and the happy ending happens because she finally has achieved her journey: she has become Rochester’s social and economic equal.

Conclusively, being a governess novel, Jane Eyre is of particular interest to women. Additionally, Jane Eyre’s transcendental journey demonstrates that a female character can succeed by showing courage and perseverance and by displaying an independent attitude in relation to the male characters.

 

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