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Jane Eyre: Striving Against Social Stigmas in the Society

I hold a deep-rooted enthusiasm for reading, It is an integral part of my life back with the fact that I studied the English language at the university which further fueled my passion. At 12 had already read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It is one of the many books that I could read over and over and not get tired of it.


Charlotte Bronte,(21 April 1816-31 March 1855) was a novelist and the eldest of Bronte's three sisters. She was the last to die out of her siblings. Charlotte's attempt to start a school in 1844 failed and she resulted in writing with her sisters, Anne and Emily. Their writings evaluate the role of women in society. Jane Eyre is one of her most notable novels published in 1847.

Jane Eyre was a quintessential Victorian novel that embodied all elements ranging from Romance between Jane and Rochester and Gothic elements. It is an amazing piece of literature. Jane's life experience is an emotional one, it cuts across everything. She goes through pains that not everyone can withstand, she longs for family love, and importantly, she experiences true love, self-discovery, and friendship that perhaps comes once in a lifetime.

Love is an important part of our existence, we all need to love and feel loved. Her friendship with Helen Burns helped her to deal with the loneliness she felt and tries to reinforce Jane's belief in Christianity, but of course, this happiness is cut short as Helen dies. I believe all these sad experiences molded her character and worldview. Despite these challenges, Jane holds onto the love of her friend and seeks to learn a vocation to get rid of her loneliness. This is where she becomes a governess who teaches social behavior to the little girl Adele and crosses paths with Mr. Rochester. I am all for twists and turns but I dreamed of perfect love for them. I feel like Jane deserved to be happy after all her sad experiences.

Another thing I admired was the constant changes in Jane's life which were her choices. She moved in different directions and saw herself in circumstances some of which she did not intend. She took us the readers along with her and we could see the world through her, the injustice, sexual rivalry, mystery, child neglect, and prejudice.

“You are going, Jane?” “I am going, sir.” “You are leaving me?” “Yes.”

Though Jane's Character, Charlotte gives deep insight into the struggles of females in the Victorian era where they are supposed to be brainless and ordinary. They are not regarded as equal to a man, women could spend years studying in the university but their qualifications are not recognized. Jane's character changed the narrative against all odds, she refuses to settle as just an often and fights against injustice. She is a strong and admirable character, her courage and determination to be free and own her choices earned her my best fictitious character ever. I find it imperative to look to Jane as a role model for women.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

“I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen that then I desired more of the practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with a variety of character, than was here within my reach.”

Jane's aunt Mrs. Reed, the director of her school, loowood, Mr. Brockehurst who she learned to be tyrannical and hypocritical all attempted to put Jane in a box(literally) and conform her to the typical victorian era women at the time, Jane's character loosened this perception. Charlotte portrayed female equality and feminism so amazingly well in Jane's character.

A woman lives all her life, limited to being a homemaker and serving men without actually reaching the peak of her potential. Don't you think Charlotte Bronte has made a great impact with her book? I mean everyone who gets to read has to do a kind of intersection to see if they are breaking free of the stereotype of women being limited to do certain things in society.

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”Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their effort, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer, and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

Say some more, Charlotte.

Reading these words above, women would realize that their dreams are valid, they can go out there and climb the world as their own. Achieving equality is a central theme of the book, which is evident in several scenarios, how women and poor orphans are treated in society, I love the fact that Mr. Rochester finally saw Jane be so much more, Unlike John Eyre Rivers who wanted to marry not because he loved her but just because she would make a good wife and good thing Jane fought all the voices in her head and refused to compromise her belief.

... "I felt his influence in my marrow--his hold on my limbs".

I found the Gothic elements in the story interesting, the mysterious events and buildings, the evil laughter of Bertha Mason, the ghost of Mr. Reed in the red room!

''I can live alone if self-respect and circumstances require me to do so. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.''

"I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendliness, the more sustained I am, the more I will respect myself".

Do you love and believe in yourself? Have you stood to challenge certain societal norms and stigmas that limit you? The importance of self-love and courage cannot be overemphasized. You have to be fiery, strong, and resilient to navigate through life. Love yourself and do not compromise your values! I believe that when we find answers to the questions above, then we would find the courage to pull through life's challenges and never give up

JANE EYRE was a good read for me. I loved it and hope to flip through the pages again! I GOT SUCKED IN!

A must-read!

© 2021 Peace Tobe Dike


Peace Tobe Dike (author) from Delta State, Nigeria. on April 02, 2021:

I hope so too. Thank you!

Tina Mogs on April 02, 2021:

I only hope we keep championing this cause! A good read!

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