Jane Eyre: Sexism

In the cases of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice and Emily Bronte's Jane Eyre, the ideals of romantic love are very much the same. In both 19th century novels, women's wants and needs are rather simplified. However, this could also be said for the roles and ideals of the male characters. While it was obvious that this era was responsible for a large amount of anti-female sexism in society and the economy, can it also be said that male-female partnerships were simplified from the male perspective?
In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, it is widely agreed that the character of Jane Bennet is, in all aspects, the perfect 19th century woman. She has beauty, charm, manners, a little ...

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of these characteristics throw the Bennet house of women into a frenzy over who will be fortunate enough to marry Bingley. While this may show a certain dominance/subordinance relationship due to the women clamoring for the hand of a "good man", it also simplifies a man's place as to be rich, handsome, and strong. Thereby, all men who are not these things are judged according to what they do have to offer in terms of these three or so categories.
In the very beginning of the novel, the Bennet girls' mother says, when asked if Bingley is married, "Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!" (p3, Austen). This shows a simplicity of role for a female, but also an undermining of any personality a man may have. Nothing is known about Bingley except that he is rich, yet Mrs. Bennet is already prepared to allow him to marry any of her daughters. Albeit she is being made fun of for this mindset, she ...

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of marriage and courtship. However, to judge the decisions of characters 150 years ago would be unfair. To a certain extent, people are all free to choose whatever path they want. However, some paths at certain points in history are more difficult than others.

The ideas of who is "agreeable" to the opposite sex are similar to the ideas of who is not. Near the beginning of the story, Darcy is introduced with Bingley. Darcy is also rich and handsome however his character seems to be the polar opposite of Bingley's warm demeanor. "Bingley was sure of being liked wherever he appeared, Darcy was continuously giving offense." (p10) When considering his opinion of Jane, Darcy thought she was ...

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Added: 2/3/2007 01:55:55 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1844
Pages: 7

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