Women In The 19th As Reflected In Jane Eyre Vs Women In The 20th As Reflected In A Room Of One’s Own

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Women are one of the greatest factors influencing the building of society, in antiquity woman was no less influential than she was in later times. Women have participated since ancient times in the work and they were a primary factor in the spread of human groups on earth. Without her, men wouldn’t do anything. It seems impossible to describe women’s great role in society. As we all know that women in ancient decades were forbidden from their simple rights, they don’t have the right to work or even learn. They believed that jobs are just for men, and women’s only job was taking care of their house and children. In old centuries, women were forbidden from writing literature; Legal and social restrictions made it difficult for women to easily take on literary careers and male publishers didn’t think the literary world was a place for women. Bronte Sisters were novelists who have been writing under male pseudonyms, however, who does not know them or read their fabulous works. Jane Eyre is a novel written by Charlotte Bronte in the 19th-century, it is clear that Charlotte established herself as a distinguished feminist woman writer in her treatment of women’s situation. Moreover, A Room of One’s Own is written in the 20th-century by Virginia Woolf who is another feminist woman writer from another century continuous what the feminist writers from old centuries were doing which is their defense of women rights in all aspects of life, especially their labor rights. So, the present research aimed to compare how Bronte and Woolf examines the suffering of women and how they encourage women to overcome difficulties and achieve success through their writings.

Jane Eyre represents women in the 19th-century who were living in entirely patriarchal society. The image of Jane Eyre reflects the feminine stereotype in the society of that time. Her personality is one of the most complicated in a literature. Bronte shows through her novel how It was challenging for women to find success in a male-dominated literary marketplace. She focused on working women of all classes and working roles are also viewed and treated poorly by Victorian society as a whole. However, the society is not giving the women any other option to advance or fix the situation that they are in. Jane Eyre shows the unsafe conditions these working women were faced and the bad treatments they received from society as a whole.

The fact that Jane Eyre was an orphan and need to find a home appeared when she was searching for belonging, however, she does not wait for the kindness of her male relatives, nor does she play the role of a pious orphan. Doubtless, this attitude represents a problem for Bronte. To some extent, she fails to shape an ideal orphan not only to the Victorian society, but also to readers. Jane Eyre refused to be treated unfairly, despite the fact that she is an orphan, her character is unlike women at that time who show weakness. She believes that she must be treated as an equal to her relations and to men. The best thing in Jane Eyre’s plot is that the novel is considered to be Jane Eyre’s biography, and she is the narrative of her own story. The events are centered around five stages. First, Jane Eyre’s childhood in Gateshead, where she was emotionally and physically abused by her aunt and cousins. Then, her education at the Lloyd School, where she gained her reputation and friends but also suffered from deprivation and oppression. After that, she worked as a governor at Thornfield, where she fell in love with Edward Rochester the owner of the place. Then, with the Rivers family, when her cousin St. John Rivers (whom she hated), applied for her reunion, but she refused. Finally, she married her love Rochester. She reflected the image of powerful women who fight to overcome their circumstances to reach what they want. The novel ends happily when Jane Eyre has become self-sufficient, formed her own values and morals by life’s lessons, and matured into her finishing role as the wife of Mr. Rochester. She has grown from an impassioned, undisciplined, and hasty child, into a mature, strong, careful woman, secure in her belief in herself.

Unlike ancient times, women in modern age (20th-century), were starting to take most of their rights including their rights of mention their names on what they have written. Not to mention that they became equal to men in jobs. But they are still depressed, even though they work with men in the same job but they take a lower salary. I don’t know what the reason behind this behaves, but I think that the patriarchal society is still prevalent that time. They lived under patriarchal authority, but when women began to write in the modern age this all changed.

In Virginia Woolf’s book ‘A Room of One’s Own’, she talks about the social injustice which women received in the beginning of the twentieth century in English society. A comparison is made between men and women and how society deals with them if each decides to pursue his / her career in with the same social and economic conditions. Wolf imagines that if Shakespeare had a talented sister like him, and she had a clear mind and creativity, how would she be? According to the prevailing mindset in the 17th century, she will lose her mind, or committed suicide. Because when women write at that time, they will live under nervous pressure and deathly confusion leading to their death, and if they survived from these circumstances and try to write, their writings would be influenced by a strenuous and vulgar imagination.

‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Said by Virginia Woolf. This quote embodying the universal voices of female writers that once were and the ones that never came to be. This book considered to be one of the most important books of women’s criticism movement because of its accuracy in critical analysis, and it explains the evolution of women’s thought and writing throughout history. It shows us how women’s psychological and intellectual emancipation took place, and how women proved their writing ability in a patriarchal society.

In conclusion, both of Charlotte Bronte and Virginia Woolf present women suffering in their writings. They defense women rights through their writings. The novel ‘ Jane Eyre’ presents different views on a number of important social issues and problems that we always face until now. Both books reveal the kind of stereotype that men are the masters in economic, cultural, political and intellectual life, while women play a subordinate and certain role. Even that the 20th c had a lot of changes to women, but the essential inequality still remains. Jane Eyre reflected the image of strong women and it is relevant to society today just as much as it was when it was first published. Moreover, A Room of One’s Own explained the evolution of women’s thought and writing throughout history and how women proved their writing ability in a patriarchal society. This is why these books have remained to be one of women favorites. Bronte and Woolf were and will be the role model to me and to many girls over the years.


  • https://www.enotes.com/topics/feminism/critical-essays/women-early-mid-20th-century-1900-1960
  • https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/how-charlotte-bronte-s-life-reflected-through-jane-12291
  • https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/roomofonesown/


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