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The Oppressed Female in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

Project id 1014703
Subject area Biology
Document type Essay
Words 1166
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The Oppressed Female in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë clearly shows the relationship between morality and sexuality in Victorian society through the character of Bertha Mason, the daughter of a West Indian planter and Rochester's first wife. Rochester recklessly married Bertha in his youth, and when it was discovered shortly after the union that Bertha was sexually promiscuous, Rochester locked her away. Bertha is known as a "maniac" and is characterized as crazy. Confining Bertha for her display of excess passion reinforces a widespread theme in Jane Eyre, which of oppressive sensual Victorian values. Bertha's captivity metaphorically speaks to the male-dominated Victorian society where girls are inferior and scorned for acts of nonconformism. For the first half of Jane Eyre, Bertha is just called the reader through her nearly phantasmal presencethe peculiar laugh, along with the mysterious episode in which Rochester's mattress has been lit on fire. Just after the foiled wedding of Rochester and Jane, where Mr. Briggs and Mr. Mason appear unexpectedly declaring that the wedding shouldn't go, does Rochester explain to Jane that he has a living wife arrested on the third floor of Thornfield Hall. "He raised the hangings from the wall, discovering the second door: this, also, he opened" (327). "In a room with no window" Bertha is located living as a wild creature sequestered from everybody but her caretaker Grace Poole. Like a ferocious monster, she is even tied bound and down. Throughout the novel there are comparable pictures of the restrained female, an example being Jane's detention from the "red-room" in Gateshead Hall. Both Jane and Bertha were.

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