Abstract—Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is based on her very own personal life.In this
novel, the author portrays Jane Eyre as an independent woman who follows sincere love, independence and equality. She struggles and protects her fate during hardships and challenging conditions. She represents a brave woman who fights for her own right, equality and love. By keeping in mind the social, historical and cultural background of Victorian era and the main points of feminism, this assignment points out that Jane gradually with maturity becomes a feminist in pursuing independence, equality and true love.
Index Terms—Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, feminism
Charlotte Bronte (1816—1855) is an English novelist. Out of three Bronte sisters she was the eldest; they grew up in a poor priestly family. Their mother passed away when the children were very little. Fortunately, their father who was a poor polished priest, he taught them how to read, especially through the newspaper. Out of her works, Jane Eyre is known as her masterpiece. Our main character Jane Eyre was an orphan, and was not treated well in her childhood. She strived for a better equal life, as she had learnt how to live from her childhood’s environment. With the passage of time, she developed a strong personality. The focus of her struggle included equality on economy, and marriage. Whenever Jane was treated unjustly she summoned up the courage to stand up for herself and defy the rules of her society.. This assignment firstly covers the general idea of feminism then the background of Victoria period is covered accordingly. The next part analyses Jane Eyre’s feminism image through three steps. The first phase is her feminism thought starts to develop from her fighting in her poor child life. The second phase was where she came to know that the survival of the fittest exists from the bitter and miserable experiences encountered in the boarding. The notable and third stage is of her quest for true love, independence and equality, where the feminism thought grows to mature.
In the writing of feminist history, in it is the broad view predominates: feminism is usually defined as an active desire to change the womens position in the society. (Martin Robertson, Oxford 1981).
What is feminism? Feminism is not the belief that women are superior, nor hating men (misandry) and neither it is male oppression. Feminist scholars have offered a broad definition of feminism that includes issues of equality, valuing what is female, political 688 Jackson, Fleury, and Lewandowski inclusion, and freedom of choice (Bohan, 1992; Denmark ; Paludi,1993; Donovan, 1990; Hyde, 1991; Maracek, 1995). Research has used a variety of labels to examine feminism, frequently ignoring the distinction between feminism and feminist (Cowan, Mestlin, ; Masek, 1992; Dempewolff, 1974a, b; Lull, Mulac, ;Rosen, 1983). When this distinction is acknow- ledged, findings suggest that feminism, defined primarily in terms of issues of equality, is evaluated quite favorably, whereas feminists, the presumed advocates of feminism, are evaluated quite unfavorably (Jacobson, 1979, 1981; Korman, 1983). Similarly, journalist Paula Kamen (1991), who exam- ined people’s associations with the label feminist,” found negative asso- ciations (e.g., amazon, castrating), but positive associations when respondents focused on other than a “person type” (e.g., equality of women and men). A handful of studies has examined correlates of feminist self-labeling. Findings suggest that identification of oneself as a feminist is related to consistency among gender-role attitudes (Smith & Self, 1981), and to feminist consciousness (Henderson-King & Stewart, 1994). However, no research has examined the correlates of feminism, which may be distinct from correlates of feminist self-labeling, given the different evaluations of these labels observed in previous research (e.g., Jacobson, 1979, 1981; Korman, 1983).
Feminist literature often states the difference between sex and gender. It arguments that our sex is something that is innate, while gender, gender roles, and our observations about them are established by society and can be changed. Most societies have one gender that is governing, which is usually the male gender. Feminist literature addresses this and opposes that a society needs to provide equality to women for it to be a just and well-balanced society. The stories in feminist literature often involve women as the prime characters who choose to do things differently than what society expects or believes is appropriate for a woman of the time. Despite pressure from the society, these women often forcefully do as they choose without raging an external battle. They are prepared to make their own choices and to deal with the consequences. Who they are, is based on their beliefs and actions, not on their roles and relationships.
The first wave of feminist writing was considered to be in the late 1700s to the early 1900s when the lack of equality between women and men was highlighted in the writings. It dealt mainly with suffrage, working conditions and educational rights for women and girls. The The second wave (1960s-1980s) of feminism dealt with the inequality of laws, as well as cultural inequalities and the role of women in society. The third wave of feminism began during the early 1990s and extends to the present. The third wave of feminism (1990s 2000s?) is seen as both a continuation of the second wave and a response to the perceived failures. It is based on modern ideas of the diversity of “women”, which is recognized and prominence is placed on identity, gender, race, nation, social order and sexual preference. (Anastasia Flouli,,2017 )