Ladies First Essay, Research Paper
Throughout history women have played important roles in society. Women have gone through much adversity to get where they are today. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bront? are some the pioneers of women’s literature. Each shows their different aspects of a women’s role in society in their books Emma by Austen and Jane Eyre by Bront?. In both of these books the author shows how a woman deals with societies’ norms, values, and manners.
Jane Eyre is an orphaned daughter of a poor family. She is brought up by her aunt Sarah Reed. Where she is teased and tortured by the aunt and the family. She is not very pretty and is barely on the social structure. On the other hand Emma Woodhouse is a beautiful girl and is financially sound. She is raised by her maternal father.
In Emma, Emma Woodhouse is in search of finding the appropriate man for herself is the main theme. As the reader goes deeper into the text Emma slowly progresses into a self-deception. Having since childhood been obliged to manage her father, she still likes to manage things, and particularly people. She manages to manipulate everyone except Mr. George Knightley.
In Jane Eyre, Jane demonstrates a strong need to be herself, to take responsibility for her action. She is put to the test by her daily teasing and abuse from her cousins. When she is brought to a boarding school she soon distinguishes herself through her classes. Eventually ends up in Thornfield where she meets Edward Rochester.
While growing up in Gateshead Hall, Jane is treated less than a servant. Her cousins John, Eliza, and Georgiana Reed remind Jane she has no worth and is an unwelcome relative. Out of the three cousins John was one of the meanest, not only of Jane Eyre but of all living creatures.
“John, no one thwarted, much less punished: though he twisted the necks of the pigeons, killed the little pea-chicks, set the dogs at the sheep, stripped the hothouse vines of their fruit, and broke the buds of the choicest plants in the conservatory:”(pg.9)
Jane becoming unable to withstand her treatment at Gateshead Hall she is sent to Lowood, a boarding school for the poor. Before she leaves Gateshead she tells her aunt how she feels.
“ I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you, but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world expect John Reed; and this book about the liar, you may give to you girl Georgiana, for it is she who tells lies, and not I.”(pg.31)
From that point forward Jane realized her newfound power over other. She stands her ground and refuses to be walked over.
In beginning of Emma, Emma is left alone with her father because her best friend Anne Taylor is being married to Mr. Weston. Now that Emma’s friends and relatives are all married for the first time she is left with herself. No longer having friends to talk to she relies on her imagination, realizing that she could match between Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston and then stating that she matched them up. But George Knightley reasons with Emma that is unjust should not do. This set the tone for the story by setting up the opposition between imagination and reasoning.
Emma begins to shape her self-deception by meeting Harriet Smith, a pretty girl who is orphaned by her maternal parents. Emma shapes her self-deception by taking Harriet “under her wings”. Emma takes on a snobbish look on the social structure.
“A degree or two lower and a creditable appearance might interest me; I might hope to be useful to their families in some way or other. But a farmer can need none of my help, and is therefore in one sense as much above my notice as in every other he is below it.”(pg.29)
In helping Harriet, Emma discourages her interest in Robert Martin because she is from a more conventional family than his. Emma then sets Harriet with Mr. Philip Elton to be his future spouse. This planned fail because of Mr. Elton loved Emma instead of Harriet.
Jane Eyre soon arrives in Lowood, where she becomes friends with Helen Burns, a sickly child whose saint-like encouragement helps Jane with the hardships of school life. Here is…
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