What stereotypical images of women are found in "Jane Eyre" and how are they challenged by the protagonists?

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Jane knows little of what it means to be a mature sexual being. So when she goes to live with Rochester as his Adele's governess, she is perplexed by her growing feelings for her employer. She knows he has a romantic connection to Blanche Ingram, who is portrayed as beautiful, fashionable and somewhat shallow. She is also susceptible to what more experienced women tell her; for example, Mrs. Fairfax assures Jane that Rochester will very likely marry Miss Ingram. Jane believes this and realizes she is very plain and socially inexperienced compared to an outgoing beauty like Blanche. But it is clear Rochester prefers Jane's shy intelligence and simple appearance to the more glamourous Blanche, and Jane is aware that she is a worthwhile match for him, even as she admits she wishes she had the outward charms to attract him to her.

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