Jane Eyre as a Modern Woman
Throughout the course of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre, Jane is used as a representation of a modern woman. Jane does many things which women of her time didn’t do. She started reading as a little girl. This was a talent that most women at the time didn’t acquire throughout their entire lives. She learned how to write, also. This, too, was a skill most women of that time did not possess. Perhaps the biggest reason why Jane is a modern woman is because she takes matters into her own hands. She is in complete control of her life and her destiny. Most women of that time were completely dependent on their husbands for everything. Jane Eyre represents Charlotte Bronte’s idea of a modern woman because she can read, write, and she is independent.
Initially, Charlotte Bronte shows that Jane represents her idea of a modern woman because she was able to read. Most women of that time period were never schooled. Instead, they stayed home doing housework and depended on their husbands. Jane, on the other hand, was educated and therefore, she could read well. Jane is actually extremely modern because she started reading as a little girl in the Reeds’ house. For example, before she and John got into a fight, Jane sat down by the window and began reading. “I returned to my book--Bewick’s History of British Birds... quite as a blank.--10” Another example of how Jane read as a child was when she read a book of Arabian tales after she got in a fight with Mrs. Reed. “I took a book--some Arabian tales; I sat down and endeavored to read.--40” This is one way Charlotte Bronte shows that Jane represents her idea of a modern woman.
Next, Charlotte Bronte shows that Jane represents her idea of a modern woman because she can write. Most women of that time would spend their time sewing or housekeeping, but not Jane. She learned how to write at school, and she wrote instead of sewing and housekeeping. For example, Jane uses her writing to better her life. She does this by writing an advertisement which states she’s a governess and she gets a new job at Thornfield. “With earliest day, I was up: I...