Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre, is set in a Victorian England, where social class is a huge factor in life. Brontë is very critical of Victorian England’s strict hierarchy. the main character, Jane, is a governess. Her social position is very complicated in which she has to be sophisticated, educated, intelligent, and soft spoken but she is then talked down to as she is of a lower class. The job of a governess is to teach children, whether it be art, writing or reading english literature. Victorian society is very corrupt and in the novel Brontë truly captures and illustrates the challenges that Jane has to face as a governess. The novel also emphasizes the social gap between individuals and how big it really is. In Victorian society, the rich get the most out of life and life for the poor gets harder. No individual should judge or belittle another due to the very minor factor of social status, but it seems to be very important in Jane’s society. The message that Brontë expresses in the novel is that social class is a meaningless catalyst in the progression of relationships, creating giant gaps between individuals.
Jane is always talked down to and she never gets a break. Bessie, a maid at Gateshead, is always giving Jane a hard time,
“Bessie answered not; but ere long, addressing me, she said, –
‘You ought to be aware, Miss, that you are under obligations to Mrs. Reed: she keeps you: if she were to turn you off, you would have to go to the poor-house.’
‘I had nothing to say to these words: they were not new to me: my very first recollections of existence included hints of the same kind. This reproach of my dependence had become a vague sing-song in my ear; very painful and crushing, but only half intelligible. (1.2.14-16)’ ”
Jane is always being reminded that she is poor, and that is not very helpful, she is also always reminded that she is alone and her aunt and her cousins consider her to be of a lower class, due to the fact that she will...