Throughout history women have played important roles in society.
Women have gone through much adversity to get where they are today. Jane
Austen and Charlotte Brontë are some the pioneers of women's literature.
Each shows their different aspects of a women's role in society in their
books Emma by Austen and Jane Eyre by Brontë. In both of these books the
author shows how a woman deals with societies' norms, values, and manners.
Jane Eyre is an orphaned daughter of a poor family. She is brought
up by her aunt Sarah Reed. Where she is teased and tortured by the aunt
and the family. She is not very pretty and is barely on the social
structure. On the other hand Emma Woodhouse is a beautiful girl and is
financially sound. She is raised by her maternal father.
In Emma, Emma Woodhouse is in search of finding the appropriate man
for herself is the main theme. As the reader goes deeper into the text
Emma slowly progresses into a self-deception. Having since childhood been
obliged to manage her father, she still likes to manage things, and
particularly people. She manages to manipulate everyone except Mr. George
In Jane Eyre, Jane demonstrates a strong need to be herself, to
take responsibility for her action. She is put to the test by her daily
teasing and abuse from her cousins. When she is brought to a boarding
school she soon distinguishes herself through her classes. Eventually ends
up in Thornfield where she meets Edward Rochester.
While growing up in Gateshead Hall, Jane is treated less than a
servant. Her cousins John, Eliza, and Georgiana Reed remind Jane she has
no worth and is an unwelcome relative. Out of the three cousins John was
one of the meanest, not only of Jane Eyre but of all living creatures.
"John, no one thwarted, much less punished: though he twisted the necks of
the pigeons, killed the little pea-chicks, set the dogs at the sheep,
stripped the hothouse vines of their fruit, and broke the buds of the
choicest plants in the conservatory:"(pg.9)
Jane becoming unable to withstand her treatment at Gateshead Hall she is
sent to Lowood, a boarding school for the poor. Before she leaves
Gateshead she tells her aunt how she feels.
" I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you, but I declare I
do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world expect
John Reed; and this book about the liar, you may give to you girl Georgiana,
for it is she who tells lies, and not I."(pg.31)
From that point forward...