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Jane Eyre Vs. Bertha

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Jane vs. Bertha

During the Victorian times in England, women were expected to live purely and quietly all under the command of her husband. The book, Jane Eyre, is about a young woman living during the Victorian times trying to live a nice life while still retaining her individuality. As she is growing up however, there are many instances where the males around her try to overpower her. She eventually does learn to suppress her feelings to a petite flame while it seems her more emotional passions are within Bertha Mason- her foil and sinister double. In Sandra M. Gilbert's "Plain Jane Progress," she talks about how Bertha is in fact Jane's darkest double, carrying out all the emotions that Jane herself could show, or else she would have been considered insane. In other words, Bertha conveys the emotions that Jane has to tame during the time where woman who spoke their minds were social outcasts. Bertha is truly Jane's troubling counterpart because almost everything that Jane feels or had experienced with in the past or in the future, Bertha turns out to have experienced a similar incident.

Both Bertha and Jane have suffered mistreatment from men. Jane as a young girl was bullied by John Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst. John would torture and bully her, once he threw a heavy book at her head, taking care not to damage anything in his estate while Jane is bleeding from her head. Mr. Brocklehurst publicly humiliates her at Lowood, denouncing her as a liar and she is to be shunned by all. Rochester is the first male to treat her as an equal and tries to understand her. Bertha on the other hand, was known as a beauty and was admired by all. After Rochester married her, he found out she is actually perverted, unchaste, and she has a genetic mental disorder. She is judged to be mentally deranged because of her temper and Rochester eventually locks her up in the attic in Thornfield because he can't stand her and her rage. He is the main influence in her life; because of her flamboyant lifestyle that is shunned upon in Victorian society, it caused him to become embarrassed, therefore he mistreats her.

Mr. Brocklehurst uses religion as a way to scare the Lowood girls to supposedly be good children or they will burn in hell. However, he himself is a "sinful" man, as he gives little to no food and scarce clothes to girls in freezing cold weather. He basically designed Lowood to be for poor girls learning how to be poor woman in the future. Jane's time at Lowood gained her a friend, Helen Burns, it is partially because of her Jane is able to suppress her passions. Without Helen, Jane probably would have been called insane and locked somewhere for being so passionate about things. Also Helen helped Jane cope with all the troubles in Lowood. Bertha on the other hand has no one to help her; she is in a new country where everything is so different and strict. Bertha was deemed mentally insane since she expressed herself so much. Passionate women at that time were believed to be crazy woman.

After Mrs. Fairfax's warnings about Rochester, Jane starts to fell a bit uneasy about marrying him: "The chill



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