Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jane vs. Social Norms

Jane vs. Social Norms

"I don't think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have..." (pg. 136)

Throughout Jane Eyre, Jane is seen to be battling against social rules and norms. She refuses to be treated like nothing in Mrs. Reed's house, even though according to class rules, she has no reason to act like she is anything better than a servant. Jane never accepts less than what she believes she deserves, an idea that was fairly radical for a young girl of rather poor means. In this scene with Rochester, Jane bluntly tells him that she doesn't think he should be able to tell her what to do simply because he is older or more experienced. Jane does not hang her head or bite her tongue when it comes to her beliefs. By creating a strong-spoken female character, Bronte has shown several of her own thoughts on the matter of class and social rules.

EDIT: Bronte's use of first-person point of view narrative helps to display her own values though Jane, especially on issues such as feminism and social norms. It would have been easy for Bronte to express her feelings openly while using words such as, "I" and "me". It knocks down a barrier within the expressive mind to use personal first person pronouns instead of "her" or "she".

1 comment:

xwing212 said...

and think about how the narrative point-of-view helps Bronte here