Gender Roles in Charlotte Brontė's "Jane Eyre"

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 52 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 1997 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0 (A), University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistics), course: Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre; Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights, language: English, abstract: Introduction In order to gain a broader understanding of Charlotte Bronte s description of her characters in "Jane Eyre," I consider it necessary to take a close look at the social and economic conditions in Great Britain in the 19th century. Charlotte s objectives and their realisation can only be understood against the framework of outer conditions and limitations the author as well as her characters were exposed to. Writing about people of her own time naturally gives an author first-hand authenticity and a close insight into contemporary views. However, it may also limit her point of view to her own personal sphere which may be, as in the case of CharlotteBronte, influenced by her upbringing and limited by many material and social restraints. Therefore, a look at the overall conditions of life in Great Britain during the Early Victorian Age may make the author s choice of characters and events as well as any omissions she intentionally or unintentionally made, more understandable.

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Social and Economic Conditions in Great Britain
Male Characters in Jane Eyre
Female Characters in Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontė and the start of a feminine tradition

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Page 7 - You are aware that my plan in bringing up these girls is, not to accustom them to habits of luxury and indulgence, but to render them hardy, patient, self-denying. Should any little accidental disappointment of the appetite occur, such as the spoiling of a meal, the under or the...
Page 8 - I have a Master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world : my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh; to teach them to clothe themselves with shame-facedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel; and each of the young persons before us has a string of hair twisted in plaits which vanity itself might have woven : these, I repeat, must be cut off; think of the time wasted, of —
Page 7 - ... by replacing with something more delicate the comfort lost, thus pampering the body and obviating the aim of this institution ; it ought to be improved to the spiritual edification of the pupils, by encouraging them to evince fortitude under the temporary privation.
Page 16 - Mary was always too sleepy to join in a plot with spirit. The best fun was with Madame Joubert: Miss Wilson was a poor sickly thing, lachrymose and lowspirited: not worth the trouble of vanquishing, in short; and Mrs Grey was coarse and insensible: no blow took effect on her. But poor Madame Joubert! I see her yet in her raging passions, when we had driven her to extremities...
Page 10 - While something in me,' he went on, 'is acutely sensible to her charms, something else is as deeply impressed with her defects: they are such that she could sympathise in nothing I aspired to - co-operate in nothing I undertook.
Page 16 - Spare us the enumeration! Au reste, we all know them: danger of bad example to innocence of childhood; distractions and consequent neglect of duty on the part of the attached - mutual alliance and reliance; confidence thence resulting insolence accompanying - mutiny and general blow-up. Am I right, Baroness Ingram, of Ingram Park?" "My lily-flower, you are right now, as always...
Page 10 - I shall be absent a fortnight - take that space of time to consider my offer: and do not forget that if you reject it, it is not me you deny, but God. Through my means, He opens to you a noble career; as my wife only can you enter upon it. Refuse to be my wife, and you limit yourself for ever to a track of selfish ease and barren obscurity.
Page 9 - ... displeased. I mean, that human affections and sympathies have a most powerful hold on you. I am sure you cannot long be content to pass your leisure in solitude, and to devote your working hours to a monotonous labour wholly void of stimulus: any more than I can be content...
Page 7 - Come here,' he said. I stepped across the rug; he placed me square and straight before him. What a face he had, now that it was almost on a level with mine! What a great nose! and what a mouth! and what large prominent teeth! 'No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,' he began, 'especially a naughty little girL Do you know where the wicked go after death?

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