A Study on Female Consciousness in Jane Eyre毕业论文_英语毕业论文

A Study on Female Consciousness in Jane Eyre毕业论文


摘 要



关键词: 简爱;女性意识;夏洛特·勃朗特


  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 3
    1. Jane Eyre’s awareness of female consciousness 3
      1. Rebelling against Mr. Reed 3
      2. The influence of Helen on Jane Eyre 6
    2. Resisting against patriarchal society 9
      1. Refusing Rochester’s proposal 9
      2. Declining Saint John’s proposal 12
    3. Striving for independence and self-reliance 14
      1. Economic independence and self-reliance 14
      2. Psychological independence and self-reliance 16
  3. Conclusion 17

Works Cited 20

Bibliography 21

A study on Female Consciousness in Jane Eyre

1. Introduction

Charlotte Bronte(1816-1855) is a distinguished British writer of the nineteenth century, and she was born on April 21, 1816 in a village pastor family where she is the third child of her family. She has two sisters, namely Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte. In the history of British literature, they are regarded as”The Bronte sisters”. In Charlotte Bronte’s novel, the most prominent theme is the women’s strong aspiration to independence, which is almost penetrated in all her novels. Thus, her novels can be seen as one of the most significant classic works concerning study literature and gender awareness. It can be said that Charlotte Bronte is a vital writer in the pursuit of women independence as well as social equality in 19th century feminie literature. She has also laid a solid foundation for the performance of women after possessing the spirit of independence, which fosters the development of the twentieth century feminine literature. In 1847, Charlotte Bronte came out the novel Jane Eyre, which gave rise to a sensation in the literary world. The period of Victoria is a male centered era, and men were full of discrimination against women. Nevertheless, the heroine in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre has a sense of female consciousness in order to challenge the authority of men. In 1848 autumns to 1849, her brother and two sisters died one after another, under the shadow of death and confusion, she insisted on the completion of the book of “Cheri” in order to deliver grief to her sister Emily, which also described the early British spontaneous workers movement. Her works otherwise Villette (1853) and Teachers (1857), both of them are written in accordance with her own life experiences.

It is no exaggeration that Jane Eyre is one of the most important novels in the

feminist movement of Victorian period. For one thing, domestic scholars mainly spare

no effort to study Marxism, feminism and the spirit of self-independence and freedom of Jane Eyre, literature criticism and other narrative theories from the perspective of theory of Jane Eyre. For another, the foreign research about Jane Eyre: Foreign scholars’ perspectives of Jane Eyre are complicated and varied. A number of scholars are prone to research and study the religion, feminism and Christianity as well as the position of middle-class women and marriages and love reflected from Jane Eyre.

Looking back on the studies at home and abroad, there are some scholars according much importance to the female consciousness development of Jane Eyre. what is female consciousness? Feminists believe that being female to a large extent determines one’s life. Being female means having certain anatomy, chemistry, genes and other biological determinants. Being a woman means having a certain gender, specifically femininity. Generally speaking, being feminine means being nurturing, responsible, and passive (Wang, 2010:3-4). There are other several different definitions of female consciousness:

  1. challenging the power structure between men and women; seeing men and women as groups rather than individuals.
  2. Rebelling against and rejecting power structures, institutions, laws, or social conventions that maintain women as subordinate, powerless, or second-class citizens.
  3. Working as a collective to fight for women’s rights in all facets of modern life, including the workplace, sexuality, reproductive rights, fair representation, and acceptance of alternative families.
  4. Demanding full rights for all women and men (Wang, 2010:3-4).

Based on the previous studies on Jane Eyre, this paper demonstrates the increasingly delicate transformation and development of female consciousness about heroine via a series of plots. The paper consists of three parts: The first part is to give a brief introduction of Charlotte Bronte, background of women’s status in Victoria

period and a brief description of Jane Eyre. The second part focuses on the changing and development of female consciousness of Jane Eyre, including Jane Eyre’s awareness of female consciousness, resistance against traditional patriarchal society and Jane Eyre’s independence and self-reliance. The third part casts our eyes on the theme and values in terms of Jane Eyre in Victoria period as well as in contemporary society.


    1. Jane Eyre’s awareness of female consciousness
      1. Rebelling against Mrs. Reed

Just as stated above, Feminists believe that being female to a large extent determines one’s life. Being female means having certain anatomy, chemistry, genes and other biological determinants (Wang, 2010:3-4). When I savor Jane Eyre, in my opinion, the so-called female consciousness is that women have a self-cognition in pursuit of equal rights the same as men, dare to resist the unreasonable restrictions of traditional secular society, and by no means give up seeking independence and self-reliance at any time. The content of this part mainly depicts that Jane attempt to shake off the fetters which derive from Mrs. Reed, hoping to being treated equally, which represents the Jane Eyre’s awareness of female consciousness.

Jane Eyre is the most important heroine in the novel. Readers may wonder why she could sprout out the female consciousness at that time. This is inseparable from her experiences. Since she lost parents when she was born, Jane Eyre has to live in Gateshead with her aunt. Mrs. Reed is reluctant to bring up Jane Eyre because she actually does not like this little girl. I hold the view that there are two reasons about it: on the one hand, from such an upper-class woman perspective, Jane Eyre not only has no prominent family background, but also has no huge property. On the other hand, Jane Eyre is a plain-looking girl and has all kinds of eccentric characters. After all, in this materialistic, utilitarian, and secular society, there are countless excuses to despise her.

Consequently, under such background and living circumstance, self-esteem,

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