Jane Eyre Question!!!

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Ella2001
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#1
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#1
I have an exam question which I need to answer but I need ideas.

"The Excessive obedience of Jane is the primary reason for the lack of sympathy evoked from the reader"

To what extent do you agree?

ALSO, this question is from a marxist perspective so any points about connections of Jane to marxism. and the link between her obedience and marxism.

Also do you have any ideas about her lack of defiance towards authority figures.
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katf
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I'd start off by disagreeing. Jane defies authority figures frequently throughout the book. She clearly defies her aunt in the opening chapters, ending up locked in the room where her uncle dies. She also defies the cruel regime at Lowood. And again when she flees Mr Rochester after finding out about his wife. Don't forget the speech she makes to him where she exclaims that she thinks and feels as much as he does. In the historical context of the book, this is pretty radical.

Jane is shown as a very sympathetic. She is incredibly warm hearted, her friendship with Helen Burns is an example of that. And her later treatment of Adele, the illegitimate daughter of a dancer and (possibly) Mr Rochester is further evidence.
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Gwil
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I agree with @katf; it's a ridiculous question, because the reason why Jane is such a ground-breaking literary character is because of her indomitability in the face of power and the way she challenges authority. Have a look at her outbursts against John ("You are like a murderer - you are like a slave-driver - you are like the Roman emperors!") and Mrs Reed ("I am glad you are no relation of mine"). Her discussions with Helen Burns, who is a stark contrast to her and represents selfless endurance, also demonstrates Jane's determination to resist ("If people were always kind and obedient to those who were cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way").
As an adult, she stands up to Mr Rochester (her superior in age, standing, and wealth, as well as her employer) in quite an extraordinary way and refuses to compromise her personal dignity or freedom ("I am no bird, no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will"). Her need to be free and to be valued, to be recognised for what she is worth, make her relatable on a very deep level.
I don't know a great deal about Marxism, but contemporary critics were disturbed by the oft-quoted "hunger, rebellion and rage" of Charlotte Bronte's books for very political reasons, since they felt they had a revolutionary spirit.
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Ella2001
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#4
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(Original post by katf)
I'd start off by disagreeing. Jane defies authority figures frequently throughout the book. She clearly defies her aunt in the opening chapters, ending up locked in the room where her uncle dies. She also defies the cruel regime at Lowood. And again when she flees Mr Rochester after finding out about his wife. Don't forget the speech she makes to him where she exclaims that she thinks and feels as much as he does. In the historical context of the book, this is pretty radical.

Jane is shown as a very sympathetic. She is incredibly warm hearted, her friendship with Helen Burns is an example of that. And her later treatment of Adele, the illegitimate daughter of a dancer and (possibly) Mr Rochester is further evidence.
Thank you, this was really helpful. Also, for my english literature coursework I'm looking at Jane Eyre from a marxist perspective. Do you have any ideas of a question because I'm really struggling or any areas that I could explore in particular.
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Ella2001
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#5
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(Original post by Gwil)
I agree with @katf; it's a ridiculous question, because the reason why Jane is such a ground-breaking literary character is because of her indomitability in the face of power and the way she challenges authority. Have a look at her outbursts against John ("You are like a murderer - you are like a slave-driver - you are like the Roman emperors!") and Mrs Reed ("I am glad you are no relation of mine"). Her discussions with Helen Burns, who is a stark contrast to her and represents selfless endurance, also demonstrates Jane's determination to resist ("If people were always kind and obedient to those who were cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way").
As an adult, she stands up to Mr Rochester (her superior in age, standing, and wealth, as well as her employer) in quite an extraordinary way and refuses to compromise her personal dignity or freedom ("I am no bird, no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will"). Her need to be free and to be valued, to be recognised for what she is worth, make her relatable on a very deep level.
I don't know a great deal about Marxism, but contemporary critics were disturbed by the oft-quoted "hunger, rebellion and rage" of Charlotte Bronte's books for very political reasons, since they felt they had a revolutionary spirit.
Thank you, this was really helpful, especially with the quotes too. Also, for my english literature coursework I'm looking at Jane Eyre from a marxist perspective. Do you have any ideas of a question because I'm really struggling or any areas that I could explore in particular.
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katf
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Ella2001)
Thank you, this was really helpful. Also, for my english literature coursework I'm looking at Jane Eyre from a marxist perspective. Do you have any ideas of a question because I'm really struggling or any areas that I could explore in particular.
I'd look at Lowood school. What happens there related to class? How are the girls exploited? Prior to that, how differently is Jane treated compared to her cousins? And how is that treatment framed in the book?

I'd also look at St John Rivers. How differently does he treat Jane compared to Rosamund? Is he rewarded for his unequal treatment?

Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books. I've probably read it dozens of times.
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