What is relevant about Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre to our lives today?
One of the characteristic features of great novels is their timelessness. People always find something that matches their lives. In Jane Eyre we may find many facts and motifs that contribute to those of these days; the never-ending theme of love and marriage, religion, class status and relation between a man and a woman.
I would say people, mainly the female part of population, like this book because they somehow understand the protagonist’s behavior and attitude. For example in the question of marriage, Jane Eyre was not decided whether to devote herself to marriage by the cost of losing her autonomy, or not, as she always wanted to gain independence and marriage would tie her down. She is also unsure if she should follow her heart or her mind, because it is clear she was in love with Rochester, but her mind told her to leave him, as it was unimaginable for her to live with him as his mistress. However, at the end she realized it is not always possible to think in a logic manner and rushed back to him. Another example of attitude to love and marriage in the novel is in the relationship between Blanche Ingram and Rochester. This is not the “true love” as Blanche seems to be more interested in his wealth than himself. These doubts about the marriage from heart or because of money are still present in our society.
When taking religion into consideration, much has changed since the time when the novel takes place. The religion, generally speaking, is not being taken so eriously. However, few principles can still be found in our era. St. John’s holy duty to teach “pagans” the principles of Christianity, Helen Burns’s beliefs in love, endurance and forgiveness and Mr. Brocklehurst’s hypocrisy represent various understandings of the Christian religion that divides churchgoing people in contemporary world as well. In the middle of these religious apprehensions stands Jane, as she does not agree with doctrinal Helen, neither with pretentious Brocklehurst, neither with St. John’s conviction of God’s word.
The question of class status predominates in Jane Eyre. Throughout the novel, one’s place in the class system determines his role and his behavior. The second-class treatment towards Jane, as well as the equal treatment towards her and finally, her superior-like position, can all be found in this work. At the beginning, Jane is no more than an orphan, what poses her to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Her cousins behave towards her as she was on a lower level, what is actually true. Later on, when she becomes governess, her status improves, but still, she is a mere servant. The scorn of the Victorian society towards lower classes is perfectly painted when Jane sits by the window and is disdained by that aristocratic group. The behavior towards Jane’s role as a governess can be compared to the present demeanor
towards au-pairs, according to people who experienced doing such work, but I do not think that the restraints are so obvious. Her position vastly betters only after inheriting 20 000 pounds, what, in hew own eyes, makes it possible to marry Rochester and not to owe him a thing and so, to become totally equal with him. As I have mentioned it already, the social hierarchy is not so strict nowadays, some remains of such past class system can still be found, especially among wealthier people.
Last but not least, the relation between men and women has changed. Women became equal to men, their social status greatly improved since the novel was written. A woman is not (should not be) treated as a property and attained the same rights as a man. Jane became the first female protagonist to show that women are not slavish to men and could be regarded as the first women’s rightist.
All in all, what is imposing on Jane Eyre is the romance between two people and their ability to get over all the obstacles that stand between them and their happiness, even if the circumstances are not in favor of their love. This is the reason why is Jane Eyre still read and will still be read as long as people like romance and happy endings.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
Jane Eyre: What is relevant to our lives today
|Referát vhodný pre:||Vysoká škola||Počet A4:||2.2|
|Priemerná známka:||2.97||Rýchle čítanie:||3m 40s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||5m 30s|