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In Conflict with Conformity: The Protagonist’s Struggle against Victorian Institutions and Gendered Behavioral Norms in Jane Eyre
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the theme of conformity in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre. It highlights in particular the protagonist’s conflict with conformity as criticism of social inequality in terms of gender. The analysis builds on the patriarchal concept of the angel of the house, as described by Lois Tyson and Alastair Henry and Catharine Walker Bergström, which is a definition of the governing codes of behavior women of the nineteenth century were expected to follow within both the domestic and professional sphere. Specifically, these spheres are organized through significant Victorian institutions such as the household, the education and employment of women and the marriage. The behavior of Jane is discussed in relation to these institutions as a means to support the argument of the protagonist distancing herself from contemporary gender norms. The conclusion of the essay shows that Jane’s circumstances within these institutions leads to her deviation from behavioral norms as a deliberate action.

Abstract [sv]

Den här uppsatsen undersöker temat konformitet i Charlotte Brontës verk Jane Eyre. Den framhäver i synnerhet protagonistens konflikt med konformitet som en kritik riktad mot sociala ojämlikheter mellan könen. Analysen bygger på det patriarkala konceptet ängeln i hemmet, så som det beskrivs av Lois Tyson och Alastair Henry och Catharine Walker Bergström, vilket är en definition av de rådande uppförandekoderna som kvinnor under den viktorianska eran förväntades att leva upp till inom familje- och yrkessfären. Dessa sfärer utgör viktiga inrättningar inom det viktorianska samhället. I synnerhet hemmet, skolan, yrket och äktenskapet. Jane Eyres uppförande diskuteras i relation till dessa inrättningar som ett led i att understödja argumenten för protagonistens distanserande från samtida könsnormer. Uppsatsens sammanfattning visar att Janes omständigheter inom var och en av dessa inrättningar leder till hennes avvikande från uppförandekoderna i form av medvetna handlingar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 15 p.
Keyword [en]
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, behavioral norms, conformity, gender, nineteenth century, patriarchy, Victorian
Keyword [sv]
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, konformitet, könsnormer, patriarkat, viktoriansk, uppförandekoder
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39766OAI: diva2:901032
Subject / course
Educational program
Secondary Education Programme: Upper-Secondary School: English (300 ECTS credits)
Available from: 2016-02-08 Created: 2016-02-05 Last updated: 2016-02-08Bibliographically approved

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