Female Consciousness in Jane Eyre

Before a discussion about the work, it may be rather helpful for us to have a look at the author and her background. The Victorian Era, which began in the year 1837 when Queen Victoria came into power and ended in 1901,is characterized as the age of domestic excellence, epitomized by Queen Victoria who represented a kind of femininity centered on the family, motherhood and respectability. Everything in the Victorian society is defined. Every person has specific roles that they have to play, thus the social classes. But not only so, genders make a key difference too. Queen Victorian during that era had set the suppressive impression that all women should basically reproduce like her and take care of domestic household businesses like her.
Women’s voice in the Victorian society was not very strong either. In the Victorian Era, married women were stripped of all legal rights. After marriage, Victorian brides abandoned all rights to property and personal wealth, leaving these to their husbands. Women were legally incompetent and irresponsible, as defined by law.
In Margaret Fuller’s opinion,

What Woman needs is not as a woman to act or rule, but as a nature to grow, as an intellect to discern, as a soul to live freely and unimpeded, to unfold such powers as were given her. If fewer talents were given her, yet if allowed the free and full employment of these, so that she may render back to the giver his own with usury, she will not complain; instead, she will bless and rejoice in her earthly birth-place, her earthly lot.( Fuller, 256 )

Charlotte lived in the age of Victoria. At that period, England had started its
bourgeois democratic reform. At the time when it was published in 1847, the working class was organizing political protests in England, asking for rights to vote. Charlotte belonged to such a class. With the disappearance of this class, she and her family lost economic status and social status. To Charlotte she had only two choices, one was to adapt...