Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
College of Humanities and Fine Arts
With so many social and cultural restrictions in place, women had very little opportunity to become complete individuals. This was one of the reasons that Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre received such a powerful response from literary critics and the general public when it was released. Bronte's character Jane Eyre challenged most of the prevailing attitudes about the role of women at the time. Wrote one critic, offended with the novel, "Jane Eyre is throughout the personification of an unregenerate and undisciplined spirit" (Gilbert 337). This novel increased public scrutiny of the "woman question" by making one character's remarkable struggle for independence and equality the topic for the discussion of the entire nation.
Hyland, Jennifer, "I Am Not An Angel: Images of the Independent Victorian Female in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre" (1996). Honors Theses. 227.