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Jane Eyre The Feminist Tract In 1837 critic Robert Southey wrote to Charlotte BronteLiterature cannot be the business of a womans life and itought not to be The more she is engaged in her proper dutiesthe less leisure will she have for it even as an accomplishmentand a recreation Gaskell 102 This opinion was not held byonly one person but by many Indeed it is this attitude onethat debases women and their abilities to which Charlotte Bronteresponds with Jane Eyre The purpose of Jane Eyre not only thenovel but also the character herself as a cultural heroine isto transform a primeval society one which devalues women andtheir contributions into a nobler order of civilization Craig57 The effectiveness of Brontes argument is due to both hermotivation and approach Bronte found her motivation from theexperiences she had undergone while living in the Victorian era Her approach in advocating social reform is to establish Jane asa model for readers Readers are meant to examine Janes lifeespecially the manner in which she handles problems orconfrontations in her relationships and to follow her example intheir own lives Just as we see Jane as a model of a womansuccessful in asserting her self-worth we are also given awarning about the possible outcome of failure to realize self-worth in Bertha Rochester This facet will also be discussedbriefly Bronte uses the motivation of personal experiences tocreate the life of Jane Eyre in which we see the quest for socialbetterment through her relationships Bronte herself experienced the social limitations of thenineteenth century At this time respectable women had fewoptions in life beyond marriage education of children anddomestic service Magill 747 She ventured to explore her ownliterary abilities and wrote Jane Eyre a novel which served toarticulate the new sense of self that in Brontes time was stillemerging and developing against the background of a changingsocial order Schact 423 This novel not only proved thecapability of Charlotte Bronte but also
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