Response to the Books "Jane Eyre" and the "Handmaid Tale". Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-14
Response to the Books "Jane Eyre" and the "Handmaid Tale". Essay Example
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Jane Eyre Writers The Handmaid's Tale Comparative literature
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1920 words
16 min read

Brontë, Charlotte “Jane Eyre" (1847): p. 150-351. University of Adelaide library.

This text is based on the personal experiences of Charlotte Bronte. She describes a strong and independent woman and is on a mission to find true love and equality. Jane Eyre in the novel is not like other women of the Victorian period (Bronte 258). She stands up for herself and even defends herself when she feels necessary. During that era, the society was patriarchal, and men had a say in everything over women. However, Jane breaks these boundaries and defends a new lady who was courageous enough to fight for love and her rights (Bronte 258).

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"Oh, I am so sick of young men of the present day!" Exclaimed she, rattling away at the instrument. "Poor, puny things, not fit to stir a step beyond papa's park gates: nor to go even so far without mama's permission and guardianship! Creatures so absorbed in care about their pretty faces, their white hands, and their small feet, as if a man had anything to do with beauty! As if loveliness were not the special prerogative of a woman- her legitimate appearance and heritage! I grant an ugly woman is a blot on the fair face of creation, but as to the gentlemen, let them be solicitous to possess only strength and valour: let their motto be: - Hunt, shoot, and fight: the rest is not worth a fillip (Bronte 259). Whenever I marry… I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me. I will suffer no competitor near the throne; I shall exact an undivided homage: his devotions shall not be shared between me and the shape he sees in his mirror” (Bronte 259).

This passage in the story shows female consciousness as Jane fights for what is right despite the era's norms. During the Victorian period, society was male-dominated, and the role of women was confined to marriage and taking care of the needs and interests of their spouses (Bronte 269). Women were taught skills such as cooking and cleaning during the Victorian period to prepare them for marriage. Therefore, society taught women to be submissive and nothing else. Jane is an interesting character because she does not follow her time and wants equality and love out of marriage (Bronte 269). Charlotte cleverly uses Jane to enlighten women of the Victorian era to fight for their equality. The passage depicts a straightforward way of protest against women's oppression through patriarchy using the character Jane. The author uses Jane cleverly as a symbol of hope for women in breaking the boundaries of male domination and oppression.

“Women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounce necessary for their sex”.(Bronte 150). In this passage Jane shows her sentiments while criticizing the restricting nature of gender roles in the 19th century. She wants to free herself from these expectations and she by refusing to give up her independence.

In the 19th century, females are desired based on their beauty but Jane breaks this ideal because she is not beautiful. It is argued that Jane’s value does not depend on beauty as Cadwaller advocates that “Brontë uses Jane’s plainness to condemn an upper-class system of values which, by emphasizing the importance of a woman’s appearance, limited her ability to develop selfhood and achieve autonomous action” (Bronte 234). Jane is freed to achieve her worth beyond the value of body.

Atwood, Margaret. "'The Handmaid's Tale." The New York Times 10 (2017).(1985): p. 1-166.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a passage where ladies' privileges have been renounced, and in this way ladies are back in gender jobs taken to the extraordinary, without any rights, no assessments, and no beautifying agents or excellence results of any sort. A once free lady is transformed into an article, a 'vessel' whose sole object is to tolerate youngsters to spare the populace. It is a tragic bad dream which enslaves and stifles ladies to the point of sexual subjection, language impacts and inculcates them in a mentally harming way, and denies them the fundamental opportunities which most ladies in Western development underestimate (Atwood 1). The point of this paper is to contending the portrayal of women's activist oppressed world and the issues identified with female problem, their accommodation to men in the books. It will draw a last image of ladies' battle for opportunity. It has been declared that lady's character is pushed aside and even eradicated in the man centric social structure of religious states.

“Offred’s account comes right out of mass-market bodice rippers (...) Operating within this traditional grammar (men are princes or made of darkness; women are princesses or damsels in distress), Offred can individuate neither herself nor Nick; both fall into roles assigned to them by fairy tales and romances (Atwood 163-4). With this, Offred “accepts these archaic plot lines as model for her own” (Atwood 166).

By utilizing this notable language, these contents and prior plots, Atwood likewise features the performativity of sex and the impact these old stories and sentiments have on how we figure it should be. Offred draws from what she knows and winds up with old adages and generalizations that strengthen the sexual orientation paired. Other 'warnings' corresponding to Scratch is the likenesses Offred sees between the covering on the steps to Scratch's room and the covering at Jezebel's, a spot that particularly energizes the sex chain of importance and the paired sex/sexuality jobs, and the manner in which Offred totally loses interest in Ofglen, Mayday (the opposition), and the chance of departure subsequent to engaging with Scratch. In the event that adoration is the incendiary power of the novel, in the event that affection rises to opportunity for the female character, at that point these realities about Luke, Scratch, and the Authority propose a dull destiny for ladies in sentimental connections.

The first occasion when we see the sentence 'Give me kids, or, I die’ features the consequences of the control rather than the control itself. We see it first during Offred's physical checkup, where the specialist offers to have intercourse with her since he knows there is an opportunity of a lifetime the Leader is sterile, and that would not end well for Offred. "Loads of ladies do it (...). You need a child, don't you?" "Indeed," I state. It's actual, and I don't inquire as to why since I know. Give me youngsters, or probably I pass on. There is more than one importance to it" (Atwood 71).

This is one of the implications Offred joins to the sentence, potentially because of Gilead's controls yet additionally conceivably due to her own girl who was detracted from her. However there is additionally the exacting passing that anticipates her in the event that she neglects to manage the Administrator's youngster, in this way she must choose the option to need kids, except if she would prefer to pass on.

“In the driveway, Nick is polishing the Whirlwind again. (...) The tulips along the border are redder than ever, opening, no longer winecups but chalices; thrusting themselves up, to what end? They are, after all, empty. When they are old they turn themselves inside out, then explode slowly, the petals thrown out like shards. Nick looks up and begins to whistle. Then he says, “Nice walk?” (Atwood 54-5)”

The manner in which the depictions of the tulips happen between two notices of Scratch outlines him as the object of Offred's longing, however potentially subliminally. The utilization of the word 'cup' here infers Offred's remark on how handmaids are 'walking vessels', consequently we can contend that the tulips speak to the handmaids, futile once they become too old to even consider conceiving. Consequently, in an absence of different sources, Offred utilizes blossoms as intends to communicate her sexuality in a protected and 'non-disgraceful' way.

Serena Joy is additionally a significant character in the Handmaid's Story. What is fascinating about her is that she is, or if nothing else she used to be, an enemy of women's activist. Serena Satisfaction needed ladies to become who they became when the new Republic of Gilead was established: housewives. She imagined that it was the ideal situation for a lady. As far as her might be concerned, a lady shouldn't be much else significant than that. It is sufficient that she is a decent housewife, takes great consideration of her home and youngsters. The main issue with Serena is that she doesn't accommodate her own depiction since she doesn't have the likelihood to endure youngsters. Accordingly she isn't considered as a decent spouse by society. That clarifies why she is so baffled all through the novel. Atwood appears to need to demonstrate through this character the shallowness of our biases taking everything into account since, even today, a decent spouse is at times characterized that way. She is by all accounts ready to show who a lady would become on the off chance that she made a decent attempt to be this sort of spouse.

“It is in vain to say that human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise of the faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”(Bronte 261)

A few things are remarkable about this entry, It is an event when the novel certainly embarks to come to a meaningful conclusion or build up a contention. It utilizes testing and political language: 'revolt', 'uprisings', 'restriction', 'biased', 'advantaged'. A portion of this language is applied not to an ideological group, a social class or even a country it alludes to the circumstance of ladies. The political is in this way brought into the domain of sexual orientation and the individual lady. It is derisive about 'what custom has articulated fundamental' for ladies, posting various exercises that are either homegrown or enhancing and which keep ladies from doing more valuable undertakings. The words 'restriction' and 'stagnation' propose the sort of idleness, both mental and physical, to which ladies are denounced.

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