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A New Kind Of Woman Essay

1536 words - 7 pages

Jane Eyre is a book that demonstrates the power which a woman is capable of possessing. Through the character of Jane, Charlotte Bronte creates a woman so unlike any other woman of the time. She creates a new woman; a woman who succeeds on her own terms regardless of circumstances and independent of her male counterpart. Jane begins as any other ordinary traditional woman from the Victorian era, meek and fragile, but throughout the course of her life she faces many obstacles and life making decisions, which she fearlessly takes on as no other traditional woman would. She manages to take complete control of her life because of the transformation that she makes into a new woman, making her transformation into a new woman essential for her overall success that is achieved through her free will.
The character of Jane begins as a child who even then begins to demonstrate characteristics of a new woman. She is a curious, and most importantly, a self-reliant child that self-educates herself through books. Jane is an orphan who grows up knowing nothing but inequality and hardship. She grows up with her cousins and her aunt, Mrs. Reed, who is forced to take her in due to the wish of her late husband. The entire family treats her as if she were a mere and pitiful human that has no relation to them and constantly make her feel lesser through the oppression that they instill on her. Her cousin, John Reed, treats Jane the worst of all, but Jane states that she is “habitually obedient to John,” (6) showing how for some time she behaves as a traditional woman behaves, for she obeys him despite of the circumstances present that place her on an unjust level. In Mrs. Reed’s eyes Jane is a badly misbehaved child that only causes her problems and heartaches. Mrs. Reed chooses to send Jane off to Lowood School, a school for orphans, where Jane encounters even more injustice. Years pass by and she seeks a job as a governess and manages to obtain a position at a place called Thornfield. The unexpected occurs at Thornfield and Jane gets, yet again, tested with more obstacles that she must endure. After Thornfield all seems tragic, however Jane pushes forth into the unknown, leaving her traditional self even more behind by choosing to follow what she feels and wants over what is said to be right and proper.
Jane continually defies the statuses quo by which traditional women in the Victorian era behave and act upon. One of the first instances in which she passes the line between what it is to be a traditional woman and a new woman is as a child when she stands up to Mrs. Reed for the first time. For a long period of time, Jane withstands Mrs. Reed’s absurd insults, but she has it with her when Mrs. Reed declares to the master of Lowood School, Mr. Brocklehurst, that she is a naughty girl and a liar. One of the things that separate Jane from every other woman is the integrity and dignity with which she carries herself. Mrs. Reed taints her integrity and dignity with her...

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