There are a few significant feminist aspects of the novel that I want to make note of. Gender roles are frequently reversed: Jane helps Rochester when he enters the novel and falls from his horse, and saves his life when she wakes him from his fire-lit bed (reversing the typical damsel-in-distress/knight-in-shining-armour roles). Jane resists conforming to the feminine role society placed upon women at the time (which still creates pressure for women today). When Rochester asks her if she thinks him handsome, she bluntly replies, “No, sir” (instead of kindly flattering him), and upon their engagement, Jane does not allow Rochester to adorn her with expensive silks and jewels.
Rochester looks to Jane to save him from ruin and bring joy back into his life, but Jane maintains that they are each responsible for their own lives. She refuses to be a part of Rochester’s fantasy that she, in his eyes the “pure female”, can save him, telling him that she is “no angel”. Continue reading “Jane Eyre and Feminism: Role Subversion and Women’s Freedom | Part Two”