The novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, are both riveting gothic novels that reveal the unconventional views with their authors. Each of these stories has a protagonist from less social ranking that falls in love with a wealthy, high ranking man. In developing the characters in these novels, both protagonists, Jane and Mrs. de Winter, gain an elevated amount of power by the end of each work. In addition, the development of the novel's main characters reveals each author's diverse views on feminism; Bronte stresses equality, while Du Maurier addresses dangers of a subservient woman in a relationship. These opinions are expressed through the thoughts of the primary characters. There are several gothic elements in each novel like the crazed wife in Jane Eyre, and the ghost of the dead wife in Rebecca. In both novels, the previous wife of the wealthy man negatively influences the partnership. Eventually, the prior wife causes the main character in each novel to become emotionally better than her husband. The plots in both Jane Eyre and Rebecca reveal each author's irregular views on social ranking, feminism, and relationship stability.
As both of the plots of Jane Eyre and Rebecca develop, the key characters evolve from low-class girls to higher-class women. As their rankings in society increase in addition they begin to have significantly more power. In Jane Eyre, Jane begins as an orphan living with her aunt. She then spends years at the Lowood School until makes a decision of her own to take on a new path and get employment at the Thornfield Manor. Here, she falls deeply in love with Mr. Rochester. Throughout their relationship, she makes decisions and makes it important that she does not become his mistress. Eventually, Jane acquires money of her own so she is not dependent on the care of her aunt, the Lowood School, or Mr. Rochester. In Rebecca, the narrator starts off as an assistant to Mrs. Van Hopper. When she falls in love with Mr. de Winter, they get married and move to his mansion called Manderley. She struggles to get the respect and appreciation of folks at Manderley. Because she begins as a servant-like lower class individual, it is difficult for her to gain power and lead the mansion like she should. Eventually, Maxim confesses about his true feelings about Rebecca so Mrs. de Winter becomes confident and can properly run Manderley. The two novels exemplify the concepts of empowering lower-class individuals in society.
Throughout Jane Eyre, the reader is able to see Jane's growth right from the start to the finish of the novel. By the finish of the novel, Jane has acquired wealth, high social standing, and power. When she speaks to Mr. Rochester at the end of the novel she says, "[I am] Quite rich, sir. If you won't i want to live with you, I can create a house of my own up close to your door, and you'll come sit in my own parlour when you want company within an evening I told you I am independent, sir, as well as rich: I am my very own mistress" (Bronte 416). This quote shows Jane's growth in wealth and independence. Her saying, "I can build a house of my very own, " sheds light on her monetary standing. When she says, " you might come visit my parlour", it demonstrates the tables have turned. Rather than her dwelling in his mansion as she did in the past, he will come visit in her own home. When Jane says that she actually is her own mistress, it implies that she is now in a position to depend on herself financially, unlike her lifestyle during her upbringing. This quote proves that Jane has enough money and capacity to create a house and she doesn't need to be dependent on the sources of Mr. Rochester or other people. The amount of money that she inherits from her uncle empowers her to be independent and offer for herself. Her growth from a low class orphan to an unbiased woman that can provide for herself implies that her power has surely increased. Charlotte Bronte's empowerment of Jane Eyre, a lesser class individual, reveals her personal feelings towards societal ranking. Comparably, the key Character in Rebecca, Mrs. de Winter, develops into a far more powerful individual throughout the novel. As she becomes more knowledgeable about her husband's life, she gains more power. After a long time of not being respected in Manderley, Mrs. de Winter is finally in a position to exert her authority: "This room is not looked after this morning. Even the windows were shut. And the flowers are dead. Do you want to please take them away?. . . Don't allow it happen again" (Du Maurier 289). Mrs. de Winter speaks harshly to the housemaid per day after learning the reality about Rebecca. After Maxim confesses about Rebecca's death and his true feelings on her behalf, the couple becomes closer. Mrs. de Winter now knows that he does truly love her, and her new confidence makes it easier on her behalf to be demanding in Manderley for the first time. When Mrs. de Winter finally speaks to the housemaid this way, it is one of the first times that she actually is in a position to voice her opinions in a domineering way. Because she has gained confidence from her talk with Maxim, she is able to enforce her power. Ahead of her talk to Maxim, Mrs. de Winter had difficulty using her power in the mansion due to her feeling inadequate because of her poor background and her feeling inferior compared to Rebecca. Her behaving out of her original character demonstrates she actually is finally gaining power in the mansion. Daphne du Maurier expresses her feelings about social ranking by showing the key character's growth from a powerless young girl to a woman that is really making demands. The authors of both Jane Eyre and Rebecca both develop the main character in each novel from a low ranking girl to a high ranking woman.
Throughout Jane Eyre, the reader as able to start to see the gradual empowerment of Jane throughout her life journey. Deborah Dooley speaks about the many societal aspects in Jane Eyre, including Jane's development in her social standing. Dooley comments on Jane's rise to power:
creating in Jane a vulgar social climber successfully negotiated the limits of her orphaning, her femaleness, and of her limbo between an impoverished if genteel middle class existence and the inheritance of real wealth, to gain a personally and socially successful outcome. Jane earned for herself independence and marriage, a spiritually virtuous and a passionately satisfying relationship that might be both dutiful and self-fulfilling; hers is a Cinderella story with a twist. (Dooley)
Despite Jane's limits, as an orphan and being truly a female, she is able to climb to the most notable by acquiring wealth and marriage. Her story is a "Cinderella story with a twist" because she actually is not only in a position to have a happy ending, but she achieves it by personal means. The novel targets Jane evolving from a poor orphan to her acquiring wealth and using a good marriage. Not only does she gain wealth and power, but also she will it really without depending on anyone else. Charlotte Bronte uses the empowerment of Jane to exemplify her opinion a female heroine can climb to the very best of the social ladder by herself. Rebecca similarly exemplifies the empowerment of the lower class main character, although Du Maurier can it in different ways. In her article, Rosemary M. Canfield Reisman discusses Du Maurier's views on women and classes in society. She explains the main character's rise to power:
As she finally realizes, the narrator is of little use either to herself or to Max until she's developed an identity of her own. It isn't the shy and helpless girl, but a woman-strong, self-confident, and independent-who chooses to aid her husband in his ordeal and, in their exile, to make his life worth living. (Reisman)
After Mrs. de Winter overcomes the burden of feeling inferior compared to Rebecca, she gains power in her household. Her development from a shy companion to a confident woman causes her to have the ability to enjoy her life. Du Maurier empowers Mrs. de Winter to be always a successful women by giving her with a new self-confidence. Her growth from a young inexperienced girl to a powerful woman reveals Du Maurier's feelings towards roles in society. Both Bronte and Du Maurier provide their main character with an clear rise to power by the finish of each work, which reveals that they believe that low ranking members of society should be empowered.
Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier's opinions about feminism are revealed through the outcomes of the situations between the characters in their novels. In Jane Eyre, Jane's decisions in relationships and actions constantly revolve around the problem that she is equal. Throughout her life, she expresses that she longs for equality and independence. Rebecca instead supplies the reader with proven fact that it is bad for a woman to be subservient in a marriage. In such a novel, Rebecca, the dead and unfaithful former wife is a dominant figure in each character's life. Meanwhile, Mrs. de Winter, who is young and inexperienced, has trouble gaining the respect and appreciation of the characters including her husband. The differentiations between your roles of the ladies in both these novels reveal the diversity between your authors' perspectives on feminism.
When reading Jane's thoughts and expressions one recognizes that gender equality is important to her. It becomes evident that she needs equality in a relationship in order for her to be satisfied. When Mr. Rochester buys Jane silk and charms she commences to feel annoyed and degraded: " I'll not be your English Celine Varens. I shall continue as Adele's governess; by that I will earn my board and lodging, and thirty pounds a year you shall give me nothing but your regard" (Bronte 256). The actual fact that Jane is being treated and pampered as though she is Mr. Rochester's mistress offends her. She compares his treatment towards her to just how he treated his former mistress, Celine Varens -whom he pampered with diamonds and cashmeres. She decides to voice her feelings by saying that she'll give herself and she does not desire any changes in her treatment. Although Mr. Rochester feels that Jane becoming his bride includes her stopping her job and being pampered, Jane would like him to know that he she will not be inferior to him in the relationship. As he questions their equality, Jane means that he understands that she needs to be treated equally in order for her to remain in the partnership. Just like Bronte stresses her views that women should be equal in a relationship, Du Maurier stresses a woman's subservience in a relationship can be dangerous. The main character's subservience causes her to maintain danger. The narrator in Rebecca contemplates ending her life: "I used to be beginning to just forget about being unhappy, and about loving Maxim. I had been beginning to forget Rebecca. Soon I would not have to take into account Rebecca anymore" (Du Maurier 247). As the narrator considers Rebecca's legacy and neglect from Maxim and the townspeople, she switches into a state of vulnerability. At this point she allows Mrs. Danvers to coax her into wanting to kill herself by jumping from the window. During the novel, Mrs. de Winter and other characters are constantly comparing her to Rebecca. This frequent comparison shows the result that such a strong-willed, experienced woman as Rebecca can have on people's lives even after her death. Meanwhile, the narrator is still alive but her innocence and subservience causes her to lack authority and respect in Manderley and her marriage. The narrator's insufficient power becomes so dangerous and almost leads to her death. Du Maurier also exemplifies having less the narrator's prominence by making her remain nameless throughout the novel whereas, Rebecca is referred to several times which is the novel's title. The thoughts and actions of both the main characters in these novels reflect each author's distinct views on feminism.
Dale Kramer speaks about the many themes throughout Jane Eyre. Among the key themes that he targets is the idea of feminism. Jane Eyre contains ideas of equality in Jane's relationships. Kramer assesses the relationship between Jane's regard for equality and her desires to submit or rebel:
deeply worried about her absolute equality; the relationships where she is dominated with a masculine figure or is either exerting her superiority over or accepting her inferiority to a female are all in your final sense recognizably incomplete, and unacceptable to her. Only with the chastened and blinded but still virile Rochester, who has suffered remorse for his guilty intentions toward Jane, does she establish a position of equality and of co-identity, where relative powers are irrelevant Bronte emphasizes balance rather than forced adjustment. (Kramer)
Kramer discusses that Jane is not satisfied with relationships in which the male dominates her. She means that she is not inferior in the relationship. When Rochester is finally disabled and remorseful, Jane allows herself to be with him again. She is finally in a position to set up a good relationship with Rochester when she feels equal to him. Bronte emphasizes Jane's dependence on equality in a relationship throughout the novel. She actually is finally in a position to live a happy life and also have a good marriage when she has an equal balance of power in her relationship. Jane having the ability to achieve happiness and success when you are add up to a male counterpart reveals Bronte's strong views on feminism. Sally Bauman evaluates Rebecca from another perspective than most previous critics. This critic looks at the characters of the novel from the perspective of the author. She examines Rebecca and the new Mrs. de Winter and speaks about how exactly their last name and status comes from their husband. Beuman discusses the true irony of the dead, rebellious Rebecca in comparison to the essence of the submissive Mrs. de Winter:
she becomes again what she was when she met him--a paid companion to a tyrant. For humoring his whims and obeying his dictates, her recompense this time is love, not money, and the cost is her identity. This is actually the final irony of the novel, and the last of its many reversals. A story that attempts to bury Rebecca, the "unwomanly" woman, in fact resurrects her, as the voice that narrates this story is that of a ghost, a true dead woman. (Beauman)
Beuman capitalizes on the irony between the dead Rebecca and the "alive" Mrs. de Winter. Because Rebecca was rebellious and refused to check out the "rules of conduct" of Maxim, she was killed. The truth is, Rebecca lives on in the memories and thoughts of the townspeople and the narrator. Even being shot in the heart does not kill her presence. As the narrator submits and obeys, she loses her identity and her true character dies. She becomes yet another woman in Maxim's life. Du Maurier, in her novel, allows the unwomanly character of Rebecca to prosper rather than the compliant character of the narrator. This reveals how she feels about gender roles. She believes that woman should become more liberated and assertive in relationships. The parallels between herself and the essence Rebecca reveal that she feels that it's okay to transport on extramarital affairs. The characters in Rebecca show that Du Maurier thinks subservience in a married relationship is detrimental. In both novels, the feminine characters' role in the relationships reveal Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier's opinions on gender roles.
A recurring theme of feminist works includes making men become subordinate to women; this can be done physically or psychologically. By the end of both Jane Eyre and Rebecca, the primary characters have overcome obstacles leading to them becoming stronger. Both Charlotte Bronte and Daphne du Maurier make their main characters become better than their spouse in several ways. In Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester begins being a wealthy man with a good amount of power. When Jane works for him, he's confident and exults dominance over her. However the gothic areas of his ex-wife, Bertha Mason, lighting his mansion burning, causes his loss of eyesight and one of his hands. This causes him to lose his confidence also. Now, Jane is a solid and confident woman that can serve as his helpmeet. The tables have turned, so Jane is emotionally and physically more powerful than Mr. Rochester. In Rebecca, the narrator begins as a, shy girl who may have yet to find her place in the mansion. The gothic aspects include: Rebecca, Mrs. Danvers, and the murder investigation. These aspects affect the narrators' relationship. Preoccupied by thoughts of Rebecca, the narrator is insecure and constantly tries to meet her husband. When Rebecca's body is washed ashore, her husband must go through a trying court case about her death. The narrator gains confidence; furthermore she serves as an emotional support system for Maxim during his time of need. Both books exemplify the feminine character becoming more stable in the partnership than her spouse, which reveal the opinions of the authors.
By the end of Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester is left injured and poor because of the fire in Thornfield. This causes Jane to be emotionally and physical better than he is. When Jane reunites with Rochester she assures him that she can be useful to him: "I will be your companion -to read for you, to walk to you, to sit along with you, to wait on you, to be eyes and hands to you you shall not be left desolate, as long as I live[I will be] more beneficial to you than in your state of proud independence" (Bronte 416). After the burning of Thornfield, Mr. Rochester has started to feel insecure. He questions whether Jane is making a sacrifice by choosing to be with him. However, Jane is proud to be with the person she loves because she feels that in his new state, she can be handy to him. She promises him that she will continually be there for him because she finds that she can help him now as part of your since he is no longer prideful. During their time apart, Jane is becoming confident and independent, while Mr. Rochester is becoming insecure and dependent on others. She is now physically and emotionally more robust than he's, which explains why their relationship can succeed. Bronte reveals her feelings about female empowerment in a relationship by causing Jane more stable than Mr. Rochester by the end of the novel. A similar shift in strength occurs in Rebecca after Mr. de Winter is accused of murdering his ex-wife. Mrs. de Winter eventually ends up supporting Maxim in his time of need:
We would face this trouble together, he and I. [people] cannot break us now I had not been young anymore. I was not shy. I had not been afraid. I would fight for Maxim. I would lie and perjure and swear, I would blaspheme and pray. Rebecca hadn't won. Rebecca had lost. (Du Maurier 285)
When Maxim is confronted with the murder case of Rebecca, he confesses his true hateful feelings about her to the narrator. She gains confidence, maturity, and knowledge because of this. Therefore, she proclaims her dedication to her husband. Now that she feels Rebecca has stopped haunting her, she says that she will do anything to avoid Rebecca from affecting her husband's life during the investigation. The narrator has announced that she'll support her husband at all necessary. While her husband is suffering from the bad memories of Rebecca and the new accusations, she has developed a newfound confidence. This confidence and maturity causes her to be emotionally stronger than her husband during his trying time. Daphne Du Maurier eventually makes Mrs. de Winter emotionally stronger than Maxim to reveal that she feels that a stronger woman makes a relationship more stable. Both Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier make the female heroine become more robust than her male companion, revealing that they feel that women have to be stronger in order for a relationship to prosper.
Mary Ellen Snodgrass speaks about the feminist qualities in Jane Eyre. She speaks about just how Bronte develops Jane's character and the feminist areas of her relationships. Snodgrass mentions the increase in Jane's strength: "equalizing the former governess and Edward she accepts the pared-down fortunes of an sadly depleted man and tends his physical hurts with affection. She declares her willingness to be his helpmeet" (Snodgrass). Jane accepts the flaws of Mr. Rochester and decides to be in a relationship with him again. He's now physically, emotionally, and financially weak. Jane accepts his flaws and willingly chooses to be with him even though she is more powerful than him. Jane being stronger is significant because when she first meets Mr. Rochester, she actually is the the one which is insecure and poor. The gothic facet of Bertha Mason (living in Thornfield and burning the mansion down) leads to affects on the relationship. The fire causes Rochester to be disabled. The change in their roles, permit the relationship to succeed. Bronte helps it be essential for Jane to be more powerful to allow them to have a happy relationship, which ultimately shows that she feels a woman must be more powerful for a relationship to be stable. According to Mary Ellen Snodgrass, the development of strength in Jane in Jane Eyre and the narrator in Rebecca cause their relationships to boost:
No longer outclassed by Rebecca, the heroine is not only in a position to retrieve herself from the sulks, but also she can get started to support her husband emotionally until he's exonerated of your murder charge. In the same way Bronte levels the social and monetary dissimilarities between Edward Rochester and his governess in Jane Eyre with a conflagration, du Maurier levels Manderley and equalizes power between your de Winters, who draw closer in loyalty and affections Max recedes into a semi-invalid cared for by his competent wife. (Snodgrass 2)
The confession about the evil Rebecca motivates the narrator to be confident and rids her of the worries she has about Maxim's love on her behalf. Making herself confident causes her to be able to help Maxim emotionally as he undergoes a murder investigation. The shift in power is comparable to that of Jane and Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. The Gothic components of Rebecca haunting the relationship and Mrs. Danvers affect the relationship between Maxim and Mrs. de Winter. These mysterious gothic aspects cause Mrs. de Winter to become emotionally more robust than Maxim during the difficult period in his life. Du Maurier uses the gothic aspects to affect Maxim and make Mrs. de Winter become more robust in the relationship. Bronte and Du Maurier, in their novels, will definitely make their heroine become the more robust individual in the relationship; this reveals their unusual beliefs that a woman should be more powerful in a relationship for it to be successful.
The situations Charlotte Bronte and Daphne du Maurier exemplify in their novels, Jane Eyre and Rebecca, respectively, reveal the authors' unconventional views on social class, feminism, and the stability of relationships. In both Jane Eyre and Rebecca, the main characters start in lower ranking social groups, but as the plots develop, they acquire higher social standing. The improvements of the social class of these at first poor heroines reveal that the authors feel that lower ranked social class members should be empowered. Although Bronte and du Maurier share similar views about society, their views about feminism are slightly different. Bronte's novel stresses the value of equality in Jane's relationship, while du Maurier's novel depicts that there are dangers of a woman being subservient. Jane Eyre and Rebecca reveal similarities in the authors' views on the stability of your relationship. In both novels, gothic aspects cause the main character to become more powerful than their husband -whether by physical or emotional means. This implies that the authors believe that in successful relationships, women are stronger. The authors of the two novels share similar beliefs about relationships and society, possibly as a result of effects using their company own lives. Both novels promote women and the less fortunate people in society -topics in which one can infer are essential to the authors.