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Role Of Women: Middlemarch and Jane Eyre

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1365 words Published: 8th May 2017

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The purpose of this study is to explore the role or situation of women as it has been explained or portrayed in the two novels that the Middlemarch by George Eliot and Jane Eyre by Charlolte. The implication of women’s role is an important area of interest in this study. The only theme to be covered in this study is that of women’s situation during the 19th century. This is to mean that the study will cover reasons why females were neglected or not recognized in the society based on the theme of these two novels. Summaries of the two novels will enable the reader to correctly focus on the women’s situation as an important theme within the context of the two novels.


The novel is about a young orphanage girl whose name was Jane Eyre who was said to be living with her aunt by the name Mrs. Reed. Eliza, John and Georgiana were narrator’s cousin who lived with her together with their mother. Jane become orphan after the death of her parents, her father was a clergyman during is life time while her mother was a housewife. Her aunt Mrs. Reed was a said to be a rich woman whose character was described as pretentious and also a condescending woman. Jane’s cousins their characters was described as spoiled, cruel and rude since they didn’t obeyed the adults and those above them. The novel describe Jane the narrator as being born of different class to that of her aunt Reed and her children. Jane face or she is confronted by a lot of critics from her aunt and their nurse whose name was Bessie. The critics of Jane are based on her behavior and personality but not something else. It was clear that from the comments made by her aunt, this highlights Jane’s personality and her treatments. The novel argued that at some points in narrator’s life, she got excluded from family events as it has been indicated by Reed’s treatment to the narrator. According to the novel it is true or clear that Jane the narrator was faced by a lot of mistreatment from her aunt’s dwelling since it was said that her cousin john would punish her once or twice a day. According to the novel, every one was against the narrator meaning that she was under pressure from all the members of Jane’s family and thus why she lived lonely. She was viewed as insane and evil person who can not live her own life in the society (Bronte 136).

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The novel prevails how Jane confides her feelings of anger, fear, injustice and pain toward her aunt Reed. The novel highlights how the narrator had been a victim or object t of cruelty, accusation, suffering and condemnation based on Mrs. Reed’s indifference, John’s violence and the selfishness that belongs to her sister. Through the novel it is clear that Jane was said to be an object of abuse because she was completely different from everyone at the Gate shead Hall. Jane was said to be of firm character because despite the mistreatment she got from the Reeds family, she lived her life. Jane’s character was admired by most of her friends in the region that is Gates head Hall. As Jane was about to leave her aunts homestead she promised not to come back nor call Mrs. Reed aunt again because of the mistreatment she got from her family. Jane told her aunt that she never got love , understanding and her feelings were not recognized by the family and thus why she decided to quit with an intention of not coming back for a visit or any thing else. Jane’s words amazed Mrs. Reed since she was not ware that Jane had been experiencing the treatment imposed to her. She thought Jane was coward enough not to speak her mouth but it was all in vain since Jane had declared to quit at her consent and thus she had the right to speak her heart. This novel describes the life history of the narrator with a view of highlighting the situation of women in the 19th century novel. Inequality in gender roles was one of the main themes in this novel (Shorter 175). The novel Middlemarch is a series of books published between 1871 and 1872. The novel is all about the human nature based on the character by the name Dorothea Brooke. The novel tells us the story of Saint Teresa of Avila who was a Spanish mystic and the founder of religious communities (Bloom 45).

The story tells us how Teresa and her little brother were turned back by their uncle as they were leaving their village for the look or search of martyrdom. The central idea presented by the novel is that young people may have vision of goals that are abstract to them hence unable to reach them. Book one of the novel focuses on the young girl whose name was Dorothea Brooke and how she aspired on improving the world. Theme of inheritance has been highlighted in book one whereby Dorothea sister admired her mother’s jewelry and was eager to wear it. This book also portrays how different people are said to react differently to the theme. Dorothea was married to an old man by the name Casaubon whom she came to discover that she was not the one she imagined. The novel also tells the story of Doctor Lydgate who was married to a bright young socialite who later was said to have ruined him (Bloom 65). According to Dorothea, her purpose was to marry a suitable man who is of high intelligent, purpose among others. Her sister Cecilia believed that Dorothea was fool by accepting to marry an older man Casaubon who was a great scholar. After marrying Casaubon, Dorothea came to realize that the man he married was not the one imagined since Casaubon was too afraid.meanign the couples lived unhappy life with each other. Middlemarch novel is about the process of knowing or understanding the experiences and perceptions imposed on others. It also highlights the suffering people face through self deception, disillusionment, class consciousness, social positioning and the ambition for self -improvements in education and money (Bloom 70).

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The novel focuses on human conditions thus allowing the readers to connect with character situation. This connect ions allows Eliot to present convincingly real world thus enabling the novel to convey the truth based on the human nature. Women in this novel are represented as being faced by the same life decisions and responsibilities that are said to have been faced by women in Victorian society. Dorothea is percept to be an intelligent and also an independent woman who is said to differ from other Victorian women who are of her age in that as they are concerned about fashion and marriage, she concerns herself with the issues of spirituality, service and philosophy (Eliot 125). The situation of women in the novel is that they are denied their rights to acquire equal education as their men. This has been showed the character of Dorothea who was said to have not been educated but had aspiration of marrying intelligent man whom can provide the love she was wanted. Women were said to adhere to traditional gender roles of rising family and responsible for the management of the domestic affairs. The novel portrayed women as dependants because it was argued that their main aspiration is to marry intelligent man who can cater for their living through the provision of the basic needs. Victorians women were said to have been worried about fashion and marriage but not how they can develop self-independency mechanism (Eliot 150).

The novel portrayed women as being objects of love in that their main purpose is to marry. In the novel Jane Eyre, women are said to be inferior to their men since they had little possession of resources and that they had no independent means of subsistence. This is to mean that they were supposed to obey men. The situation of women in this novel is that they were forced to be patient by men and those people they live with for instance Jane was forced to be patient by her aunt Mrs. Reed. Women of 19th century are viewed to have embraced change and thus not willing to hold themselves within society boundaries. In conclusion the two novels presented women as being independent but not dependent meaning that they both have common features or similarities.


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