Jane Eyre Essay

795 words - 4 pages

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre was a novel following the life of the main character Jane Eyre as she overcame early misfortunes and conflicts to develop into a strong, optimistic and independent woman. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is an attempt to expand and rewrite Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre by focusing on a character that was mentioned in the original novel itself, and this character is Bertha the madwoman in the attic. Both of these novels are similar in that they follow the journey of a female character faced with many obstacles, however the two pieces of writing contrast in how each of their characters develop.
Wide Sargasso Sea is an interesting text in that it is split up into two narrators, the first being what seems to be like the voice of Rochester, and the second being Bertha, the madwoman in the attic of Jane Eyre. Bertha is known as Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea. The two novels, Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea, are extremely similar in their primary plots. Both novels take place in a round the same time period and narrate the journey of a female character that does not have a true sense of family. Each female character (Jane Eyre and Antoinette) must live with a relative during their childhood. These relatives are cruel and don’t care at all for the children they have to raise as they see it as a burden. Jane Eyre and Antoinette grow up isolated from much of the world, unloved and with out many friends. Both Jane Eyre and Antoinette are faced with many challenging obstacles in their life they must overcome. However, it is the way each character reacts to the situation they were born into which differentiates the two novels from each other. While Jane Eyre is able to look past her misfortunes, stay optimistic, and overcome challenges to develop into her true character, Antoinette fails to develop further identity as a character.
An interesting thing to note about both novels is how they both address or fit the characteristics of feminism. Jane Eyre, even though she had to face and overcome obstacles to make a better life for herself, had underlying values and ideas on what women should be in society and she aimed to make a better status in society for herself throughout her life. On the other hand in Rhys’ novel, Antoinette does not respond to the world the...

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