Feminism Through The Dual Voice of Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre

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Eyre is a critique of gender roles, during the early Victorian era. Bront clearly reveals her feminist voice before the first wave of the feminist movement, which took place in the late 19th century. Bront critiques gender roles with the binary appeal of the female and male main and secondary characters, throughout this work.

During the early Victorian Era, the world was starting to change at an exponential rate. Traditional values, while still intact, became more flexible and education was slowing being integrated into the landscape of society, as a whole. England was moving forward with women taking on additional roles, in life. More and more, were they taking jobs outside of the home and increasing their literacy rates. The first wave of the feminist movement didnt occur in England, until the late 19th century, however the aforementioned factors served as small cracks in the glass ceiling, that propelled the idea forward.

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Charlotte Bront, wrote in a time when female writers were not taken seriously, much less published. In 1847, under the pseudonym, Currer Bell, Jane Eyre was publicly released, depicting a downtrodden girl, who becomes a heroine, of her own life. Orphaned, beaten, despised, and suppressed, Jane develops a grit that allows her to triumph, through adversity. She is a character who presents a vast amount of complex understanding, at too young an age to comprehend, which forces us to look at the voice of the author, who is speaking through Jane to present a different and stronger picture of what it means, to be a woman. There is a feeling that Bront is very much trying to reach out to her audience, with a feminist agenda. Many times, she calls out the reader in a surprising manner, as if she is speaking, to the audience, directly. For example, she writes, Reader, though I look comfortably accommodated, I am not very tranquil in my mind. Also, You are not to suppose, reader, that Adele has all this time been sitting motionless on the stool at my feet and Reader, I forgave him at the moment and on the spot. Throughout the text Bront calls us out and reminds us that she is the voice. Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bront are the same person. Although the storyline is fictitious, the grit and gumption are seamless, between author and character. Charlotte Bront, by her perseverance in publishing her work in a male dominated industry and world was a fighter, just like Jane Eyre.

Charlotte Bront goes even further, by inserting the idea that her work, is an autobiography, even though Jane Eyre is fictitious. There is a psychological strategy to this purposeful act. As opposed to fiction, readers naturally associate autobiographies with reality and have a greater ability to relate to the content.

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