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Feminism in the novel Jane Eyre The word feminism today can conjure up any number of images and nasty thoughts of left-wing bra-burning man-hating radicals or women in politics fighting for pro-choice options It seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to the word feminism and many of them are somewhat negative However recently feminism has calmed down and gained a quieter reputation Although feminism seems to the modern reader a phenomenon of the 20th century with the suffragettes of the 20s and the womens liberation movement of the 60s and 70s it has always existed It was not always called feminism nor did believers in equality always have a refuge with like-thinkers In Charlotte romance novel Jane Eyre the protagonist Jane had a definite feminist bent In 1800s behavior followed such straight-laced regulated standards that most modern women would be considered excruciatingly radical and unconventional Thus Janes version of feminism was much milder by our expectations but it exists nonetheless Jane strove for what Websters dictionary describes as the doctrine advocating social political and all other rights of women equal to those of men except of course there was no doctrine in the 1840s But seeing as there was no standard to follow why was Jane a feminist She was not exposed to men while she was growing up she had no female role models to learn submission from when she tried being independent and demanding equality it worked and her education perpetuated her beliefs There are many reasons why Jane Eyre was a feminist Although it seems logical that not being exposed to men would eradicate the need for equality with men Jane was never one to follow expectations Throughout her entire childhood and adolescence she never interacted with men in a way that would be conducive to submission As an orphan she lived with her uncles widow Mrs Reed The only male figure in the
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