Unrestrained Modern Jane Essay

918 words - 4 pages

Throughout history women have struggled to become equal with men. Even though women are not exactly equal with men today because of things like unequal pay, they are closer to being equal than in other periods of history. Particularly, women now are much closer to being equal with men than in the Victorian Era of Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. In the Victorian Era, women were largely expected to obey men, while in modern times, women are expected to be independent. Furthermore, now that women have more rights than in the Victorian Era, they rely less on men and therefore spend their lives very differently from the Victorian Era. If Jane Eyre took place today, many of the characters ...view middle of the document...

Modern norms, however have changed. If Jane was sent away to school currently, she would be sent under the impression that she would learn information that would help her obtain a career. Although in both time periods Jane would gain knowledge to help her future, the type of knowledge gained is different. In the Victorian Era Jane learns how to be a good wife while still expected to rely on her husband. On the other hand, a contemporary Jane would be sent away to school to learn how to live a life on her own. Contrary to girls educating themselves for men, modern women go to school for their own benefit.
Along with learning less than men, women were treated less like humans than men. Early on, Jane undergoes harsh punishment, such as when Mrs. Reed locks her in the red-room. When Jane Eyre erupts in the beginning of the story, hitting her cousin, Mrs. Reed tells the other employees of the house to take Jane to the red-room, where her Uncle Reed died. As the employees take Jane to the red-room, they tell her how she should not hit her master and when she asks if she is a servant, they reply saying, “No; you [Jane] are less than a servant”(7). As servants were barely treated like humans, being below a servant is cognate to not being a human. Later in the story, Brontë reveals the comparably inhumane treatment of Rochester’s mad wife, Bertha. After Mr. Briggs interrupts the wedding, Rochester feels obligated to expose his past with Bertha. Rochester then takes the wedding guests to the third floor where Bertha lives. When Jane sees Bertha she describes...

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