Jane Eyre and Class System
Revolutionary Jane In Bronte’s time, the Victorian period, class system still played a huge role in society. People of a specific class would typically look down on people from another class. Class was something you were born into. It was practically difficult to move from one class to another. In the novel Jane Eyre, Bronte provides an extremely innovative character because aspect. Charlotte Bronte is vital about the class system and tries to show that through Jane Eyre.
Jane Eyre is not affected by the social class system, since she moves between several classes, has a strong character which allows her to neglect the traditions of the class system, and she does not evaluate others on their class, but rather on their character. Jane is not fixed to one class, however instead shifts in between several classes. During her childhood, she is raised within the wealthy Reed’s family (Bronte 1). Nevertheless, she is ruled out as family, since she is an orphan. She is born into the working class and for that reason she is ill-treated by the Reed’s household (Godfrey 853).
This becomes clear when John Reed addresses Jane: “you are a dependant, mamma says; you have no cash; your father left you none; you should plead, and not cope with gentlemen’s kids like us” (Bronte 7). She still remains in this class position when she participates in Lowood school, which is a school for orphans. At the age of eighteen, she becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, and her position changes. Given that she makes her cash by teaching a pupil, her position moves upwards somewhere between the working class and the middle class (Godfrey 857).
In the abundant Mr Rochester she satisfies her future other half, but when she finds that he is married to another woman she runs (Bronte 379). With nearly nothing, she has to ask for food which brings her position to the lower class (Bronte 431). When her uncle passes away, she acquires a large quantity of cash, which allows her to go up to the middle class (Bronte 500). Knowing that Mr Rochester’s better half passed away, she is now able to wed him given that their positions are equivalent. Jane Eyre does not evaluate others on their class, however rather on their character.
As is mentioned previously, Jane does not come from one specific class, however shifts between the two extremes of the class system. In the beginning Jane does not feel comfortable around superior individuals. This might have been an outcome of her childhood during which she was ill-treated. Nevertheless, she rapidly discovers to assess people on their character instead of their class status. First we see how Jane feels drawn to Bessie, the housemaid, who is the just one throughout her hard youth who appreciates her: “She had a capricious and rash temper, …, still such as she was, I preferred her to any one else at Gateshead Hall” (Bronte 41).
In the future we see how she establishes a close relationship with Helen Burns, who is a buddy at Lowood, and also with Miss Temple, the head instructor. These examples are people from the lower or working classes. We likewise see that Jane slams Mr Brocklehurst, who comes from a higher class, since of his incorrect and hypocrite behaviour. He informs the ladies at Lowood: “my mission is to mortify in these girls the desires of the flesh, to teach them to clothe themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and expensive apparel” (Bronte 86).
Yet, his own partner and children are dressed elegant. The most important example is obviously Mr Rochester. Jane Eyre typically reflects on his character, but never ever really on his class: “I thought he was naturally a guy of better tendencies, higher principles, and purer tastes than such as scenarios had actually developed, education instilled, or fate motivated” (Bronte 193). Her love for him is based upon his character and not on his class. Jane has a strong character which enables her to ignore the customs of the social class system. In the Victorian era, women were still considered inferior to men.
At a particular point during her remain at Thornfield Hall, she expresses her opinion about this: “Ladies are expected to be really calm typically: but women feel simply as guy feel; they require exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their siblings do” (Bronte 146). This shows that Jane has a various view from the traditional one, particularly that she believes that women amount to males. At a later phase in her life, when she acquires twenty thousand pounds from her uncle, she also reacts different from the traditional standards.
She wants to divide the money similarly with her nephew and cousins (Bronte 505). However, St John calls this “contrary to all custom” (Bronte 507), because typically someone from a lower class would keep the cash for himself. So Bronte reveals that she has a critical view on the social class system by presenting Jane’s advanced character, and letting her break through the traditions of the class system. She is not influenced by the social class system, due to the fact that instead of being repaired to one class, Jane modifications from one class to the other.
She begins as a working class woman being raised in a middle class environment, and shifts back and forth until she lastly ends in the center class. She also examines individuals on their character instead of their class, and her strong character enables her to neglect the requirements of the social class. Works Cited Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London: Penguin Books, 2009. Print Godfrey, Esther.” “Jane Eyre”, from Governess to Girl Bride.” Research Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 45. 4 (2005 ): 853-871. Jstore. org. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.