Essay Example about Power and Oppression in Jane Eyre and Robinson Crusoe

Published: 2022-02-22
Essay Example about Power and Oppression in Jane Eyre and Robinson Crusoe
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  English literature Jane Eyre
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1455 words
13 min read

The texts "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe and "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte provide fictional literature in the development of characters, themes, reflection, conflict, and plot with the ability to rouse the audience's wildest imaginations. In the representation of human existence depicts the never-ending encounters of oppression and exercise of power. This paper will discuss the application of power and oppression in the plot and the lives of the characters despite the distinct difference in the narration, conflicts and character personality in both novels to show the similarities and differences in the human conditions that attribute to authority.

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The novels "Jane Eyre and "Robinson Crusoe" present both protagonists in the colonial mindset on a master-slave relationship with other people who places them or they place in captivity or servitude. The orphaned Jane is left in the cruel and oppressive foster care of her aunt Mrs. Reed who exercises her authority to oppress Jane and deny her of her happiness and love as she grows up. On the same note Crusoe exercises his power and authority on the people living with him because of his upper hand in colonial orientation. He treats Friday as his servants and oppresses him off his rights depicting that his white personality gave him more authority over other people in the African coast. The contrast between the type of livelihood lead by the protagonists in both novels show the elements of power and oppression in the positions they held in their respective societies. Robinson Crusoe is more concerned with wealth and power acquisition in his life when he takes dangerous voyages in the seas to and from Europe to increase his possessions despite coming from a wealthy family. He escapes from home to boarding a ship that turns life-threatening and his best friend withdraws from this type of livelihood but Crusoe's desire for power and material possession he takes more risks by bounding the ship again. Jane Eyre on her part faces a lot of animosity from her aunt and cousins because of her passionate childhood, and due to her extensive emotional and rebellious character, she is sent off to a boarding school after a fight with one of her cousins. During her young life, Bronte develops the character Jane as a child who escapes one power and unfair authority and falls in the hands of another cruel authority. When she escapes her aunt's power and oppression she finds herself in the cruel authority of the school's master. The authors in both novels create the protagonist's source of consolation when they are going through excessive there is an antagonist character to comfort the oppressed.

Both texts show the development of different characters and themes to build on the characterization of power and oppression. For instance, the theme of gender in these two categories of societies is depicted to show the role of the characters and the plot. In the characterization of Jane and the challenges she faces early in life and as a mature lady, Bronte depicts the social authority and situational authority where the protagonists at home and in Lowood. In the social consolation, Helen Burns helps Jane Eyre to overcome social oppression and intimidation from the situations they find themselves in the school intriguing her to know the adoption strategies dealing with frustration and over the exercise of authority on her. Later in life when she was due for marriage with a rich Englishman, Rochester, and discovers that he was already married to Bertha Mason, upon discovering she cannot live with Rochester. Through, the narration on the circumstances that of Bertha Mason driving her to insanity because of the situation of oppression exercised on her by her husband.

On the other hand, Robinson Crusoe is in the authority intimidating and oppressing other antagonists in the narration. When he finds himself alone after a shipwreck on an isolated land he is able to rebuild his life on his own because he had the inner confidence to possess authority to nature and humanity because of his English background. Crusoe fights natural odds to survive in the cannibal vested island and acquires a servant, whom he named after the day he found him, Friday. Although, both Crusoe and Friday needed each other equally on all aspects of life and because of Crusoe's perception of authority and power over the non-English people he treated him and made him his slave in form of a servant. Crusoe oppresses his friend with the social oppression mindset because of their differences in background origin. Throughout the entire narration the author, Daniel Defoe, depicts the elements of social stratification in the natural tendency of human beings to presume certain positions and personalities in their life because of their social and economic situations over others. Also, the friendship between Crusoe and other sailors was attributed to the social order of authority because of personality and skin color. Crusoe becomes a powerful master in Brazil where he acquires a plantation and engages in West African slave trade increasing the cycles of oppression to the lives of the people surrounding him.

Hegemonic masculinity helps the characters exercise power and oppression in the male-dominated society which is felt by the heterosexuality of the man by the way he handles the feminine fraternity of the two types of societies in both novels. The compassionate way Crusoe carries the young sisters shows the traditional functionalism sense in him. He also appraises the Widor friend loses his wife as soon as they get married his wife. These aspects were not to oppress the hegemonic pattern of familiar norms on masculinity and feminism but to depict the positivism of family functionality. In the modern functionalism, primitive societies position women in non-hegemonic masculinity to shoulder all family responsibilities within any household to depict the exercise of power and oppression across genders. The sisters are expected to manage gender roles that dictate her position in Marxist phenomena. However, there is a liberation of women depicted in this advertisement. The traditional perception of females break as the responsibilities marked for them is now presumed by men.

Functional theory support societies' equilibrium in the interaction of systems in the development of the narrative about the life of Jane to depict power and oppression as functional elements in the society. The theory postulates that component that makes up any system need to function efficiently for the sustainability of the whole. A family is a single component that forms a functional society. Through a properly functioning family that realizes harmony in any given society. The functionality of a family unit is dependent on the mechanical solidarity for effective communication, interaction, and solidarity. The rapid evolution of hegemonic masculinity has brought about a breakdown of social norms and expectations. Social norms differ from one society to the other, where hegemonic masculinity denotes differently. Traditionally, men were not expected to know or even deal with minor chores like garbage management, while as, in the commercial we hear the dad telling the son on the trash collection. This man is seen to take care of every chore in the family. Primitively, the boys would be taking their dog for a walk, but this is not the case in this family. The hegemonic masculinity of both the man and his sons are questionable as they assume responsibilities socially designated for the female flock in the household.

The perpetual personality of the majority of people is to draw a hegemonic masculinity on the strength and power that motivate their being. The Cultural idealized character naturalizes to that depicts them to deal with more energy consuming tasks rather than simple household duties. This reasoning has in the past inhibited a lot potential that derives from women. The ideal division of gender roles has traditionally placed women in childbearing and care, while men have been expected to handle hard labor. Professionally, women have found it hard to secure masculine training and jobs due to the functionalism of the social norms. Embracing change in the patriarchal society is sentimental to ensure that functionalism of families and the society as a whole evolves to a brighter future with adaptable hegemonic masculinity. Modernization of household functionalism eradicates drawn gender roles for versatile growth and role sharing.

In conclusion, the texts "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe and "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte provides fictional literary of the never-ending encounters of oppression and exercise of power. The contrast between the type of livelihood lead by the protagonists in both novels show the elements of power and oppression in the positions they held in their respective societies.

Works cited

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London, England: Smith, Elder & Co. 16 October 1847.

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe: The Complete Story of Robinson Crusoe. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2004.

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