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  • Titill er á ensku Jane Eyre and Sarah Woodruff: Heroines Who Paved the Way to Modernity
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This essay compares and contrasts Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë and Sarah Woodruff from The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) by John Fowles. The novels are set in the Victorian era, a time when women’s main role was to stay at home and be there for their husband and children. During this time, many conduct books, where women were taught to behave appropriately, were written and published and they were therefore under a great pressure to behave in a way society had decided was best for them. They were to be “the Angel in the House,” passive and meek. However, the two heroines, Jane Eyre and Sarah Woodruff, go against the rules and conventions of this patriarchal society. They are independent and strong women who follow their own heart and intuition. This essay shows how their attitude and actions made them into role models for women in real life and how they helped pave the way to modernity. Both Jane and Sarah are the complete opposite to the “typical” Victorian woman. They long for gender equality and act accordingly. Jane for instance always speaks her mind and Sarah is not afraid of behaving in an “improper” manner in order to get what she wants. Although Jane Eyre and The French Lieutenant’s Woman were written in two completely different time periods, the two heroines share the same values and they are very similar when it comes to their visions and longings. In fact, they prefer to be outsiders rather than having to yield to the pressure society put on women. As women were gradually beginning to gain more rights during the Victorian era and the gap between the gender roles was narrowing, Jane and Sarah’s attitude and behaviour can be seen as a foreshadowing for the new and better times ahead.

  • 10.5.2017

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