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janey eyre

Jane Eyre challenges the widespread Victorian concept of woman as the domestic goddess. However, upon closer inspection the novel upholds this belief, which is demonstrated by the heroine who conforms to this role by the end of the novel. Jane presents a problem in the beginning of the novel because she cannot fit into this narrow model. The domestic woman is a middle-class belief and Jane is by birth of this class, but she does not possess the monetary means to assume her place in it. She is rebellious and temperamental in her youth and is financially dependant on others throughout most of the novel. It is only through her continuing education from other women in the novel, such as Miss Temple and the Rivers sisters, and eventual financial independence that she comes to embody the middle-class ideal of a domestic angel.Prior to the Victorian era, in the English literary tradition, writers like Milton and Shakespeare depicted angels as heroic male characters. Throughout Paradise Lost and Shakespeare’s major plays, angels were shown as having a definite purpose, which usually involved performing some heavenly errand like delivering a message from God. In the nineteenth century this began to change as the notion of a domestic goddess came to life. The domestic goddess was to provide a comfortable sanctuary for her husband after his long day of work. As a result, the woman became transformed into the guiding light of the family sphere.Jane, however, is not yet the angelic middle-class wife. She is financially dependant on her employment by Mr. Rochester. Although her birth status is middle-class, she does not possess the monetary requirements to technically be of that class. In the first half of the novel, she is not on a comparable social footing with Mr. Rochester. This is the barrier she must overcome to fully assume the role of angel of the house. Even if Jane is not conscious that she is not yet an angel, Mr. Roc...

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