Gender Inequality in Jane Eyre essay - Cristina Cristea Professor Logan AIID 201-07 1 November 2011 Gender Inequality in Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre

Gender Inequality in Jane Eyre essay - Cristina Cristea...

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Cristina Cristea Professor Logan AIID 201-07 1 November 2011 Gender Inequality in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre From the beginning of time, males have always been identified as the dominant gender. Male domination is evident in many aspects of society even to this day; men are the primary authority figures in a patriarchal family- fathers are superior in the household and hold jurisdiction over women, children, and property; ancestral decent is also traced through the male line in patrilineal descent patterns, where men acquire property and lend their title to their family. Stereotypes identify men as strong, valiant heroes while women assume the role of fragile, desperate damsels in distress. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that after centuries of physical and mental oppression, women subconsciously consider themselves inferior to men. As exemplified in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre , even a strong-minded protagonist such as Jane Eyre feels an inherent subservience to the male counterparts in her life. Jane, independent and passionate as she is, feels a constant desire to please the obstinate men around her by subtly transforming and molding herself to conform to their ideals. A level of equality is reached between Jane and Rochester only when he becomes physically disabled- literally reduced in worth- and dependent on her aid and guidance. While monetary value may prove to be a factor in a woman’s assumed inferiority to a man, gender inequality is a controversial social issue that allows women to believe they aren’t worthy of a strong, successful man. Of all the women portrayed in Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre has the most self-respect yet even she does not consider herself worthy of marrying Rochester. From childhood, Jane is berated by constant reminders of her lowliness and unworthiness. At Lowood, Brocklehurt sets up the curriculum and rules of his institution to remind the girls that they ought to be humble and
Cristea 2 simple creatures. It is intimated that young girls are easily influenced by the lusts of society: “…

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