Compare The Image Of Women In Jude The Obscure With Jane Eyre

1146 words - 5 pages

In the novels Thomas Hardy's Jude the obscure and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre both demonstrate the author's attitude towards women are independent which is different than the society's attitude towards women are submissive to their husband and there are similarities and differences between these two novels. During the 1800's, the time period in which both novels Jude the obscure and Jane Eyre were written and the setting of the novel, women were not as much power as men were. The characteristics of women are submissive, dependent, beautiful but ignorant. Women were seen only as trophies, meant to cling to the arms of men, but never meant to develop mind of their own or to venture out on their own. This showed that difficult for women to be taken seriously. Imagine a girl growing up around the turn of the nineteenth century, It is so different that the problem that they are facing now.In those two novels both shows the author's attitude towards women show that women are independent, strong and follow their own mind. In the novel of Jude the obscure, when Jude and Sue are first getting to know each other, she tells him that she "has no fear of men" and that she has "mixed with them almost as one of their own sex" (Hardy 118). In fact, she could be discussing the undergraduate that she lived with for a short time, who wanted to be her lover, but she saw him as a best friend. This passage depicts a woman who has nothing against men and enjoys their company, but who is in no way sexually interested in them. Furthermore, in part three, Sue tells Jude that she is a virgin: 'I have remained as I began" (Hardy 119). And in part four, Sue tells Jude, "Though I like Mr. Phillotson as a friend, I don't like him--it is a torture to me to live with him as a husband!" (Hardy 169).In the novel of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte attempted to change it by creating a heroine who possessed the antithesis of these traits. Indeed, Jane Eyre showed that it was possible for a woman in the nineteenth century to achieve independence and succeeded on her own, no matter what odds were against her. The first obstacle that Jane comes across is her own background and her poor childhood. At Gateshead, her Aunt Reed and her cousins John, Eliza, and Georgiana despise her. They never let her forget her lack of wealth or position. They see her as nothing more than a servant. At Lowood school, Jane finds the ultimate "monument to the destruction of the most basic human unit, the family" Stationed with other girls like herself, under the watchful and unforgiving eye of Rev. Brocklehurst, she is further made aware of all that she lacks. But from all of these, Jane is able to overcome. In leaving for Lowood, she escapes Gateshead and all its disorder; in leaving for Thornfield, she escapes Lowood and its disorder. Jane's later return to Gateshead is a victory in that it not only shows how well she has succeeded on her own, without the Reeds, but it also reveals that as she once needed...

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