Compare The Image Of Women In Jude The Obscure With Jane Eyre

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In the novels Thomas Hardy's Jude the obscure and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre both demonstrate the author's attitude towards women are independent which is different than the society's attitude towards women are submissive to their husband and there are similarities and differences between these two novels. During the 1800's, the time period in which both novels Jude the obscure and Jane Eyre were written and the setting of the novel, women were not as much power as men were. The characteristics of women are submissive, dependent, beautiful but ignorant. Women were seen only as trophies, meant to cling to the arms of men, but never meant to develop mind of their own or to venture out on their own. This showed that difficult for women to be taken seriously. Imagine a girl growing up around the turn of the nineteenth century, It is so different that the problem that they are facing now.

In those two novels both shows the author's attitude towards women show that women are independent, strong and follow their own mind. In the novel of Jude the obscure, when Jude and Sue are first getting to know each other, she tells him that she "has no fear of men" and that she has "mixed with them almost as one of their own sex" (Hardy 118). In fact, she could be discussing the undergraduate that she lived with for a short time, who wanted to be her lover, but she saw him as a best friend. This passage depicts a woman who has nothing against men and enjoys their company, but who is in no way sexually interested in them. Furthermore, in part three, Sue tells Jude that she is a virgin: 'I have remained as I began" (Hardy 119). And in part four, Sue tells Jude, "Though I like Mr. Phillotson as a friend, I don't like him--it is a torture to me to live with him as a husband!" (Hardy 169).

In the novel of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte attempted to change it by creating a heroine who possessed the antithesis of these traits. Indeed, Jane Eyre showed that it was possible for a woman in the nineteenth century to achieve independence and succeeded on her own, no matter what odds were against her. The first obstacle that Jane comes across is her own background and her poor childhood. At Gateshead, her Aunt Reed and her cousins John, Eliza, and Georgiana despise her. They never let her forget her lack of wealth or position. They see her as nothing more than a servant. At Lowood school, Jane finds the ultimate "monument to the destruction of the most basic human unit, the family" Stationed with other girls like herself, under the watchful and unforgiving eye of Rev. Brocklehurst, she is further made aware of all that she lacks. But from all of these, Jane is able to overcome. In leaving for Lowood, she escapes Gateshead and all its disorder; in leaving for Thornfield, she escapes Lowood and its disorder. Jane's later return to Gateshead is a victory in that it not only shows how well she has succeeded on her own, without the Reeds, but it also reveals that as she once needed them, they now need her. Both author's attitude toward women, the women are strong and independent which is different that the society's view.

The society's attitude towards women is totally different than the author's view. During the 1800's, the time period in which Jude the obscure and Jane Eyre was written and the setting of the novel, women were stereotyped as being submissive, dependent, beautiful but ignorant. The most prominent obstacle Jane faces is male power. The four men that Jane must contend with throughout the book are symbolic of the sources of male power over women. In the novel of Jude the obscure, For many historical reasons, it is understandable that a woman would be against marriage at this time; Sue indeed was. Up until this point it could be simply stated then that Sue is a sexless, feminist individual--the word "sexless" comes up often enough in regards to her. However, there is a very telling conversation in part five that describes in greater detail Sue's true emotions and capabilities. Sue is telling Jude: "I know that women are taught by other women that they must never admit the full truth to a man. But the highest affection is based on full sincerity on both sides" (Hardy 205). It is implied here that if women aren't telling the full truth to men, but highest affection can only exist with this truth, then these women must be achieving this high affection with other women. Sue's desire for friendship and camaraderie with men is continuous throughout this novel, but she was unable to have a successful marriage or sexual relationship with them. She simply was not interested in sex with men and felt that her best opportunity for a complete, affectionate relationship was with another woman only. In Jane Eyre, The most prominent obstacle Jane faces is male power. The four men that Jane must contend with throughout the book are symbolic of the sources of male power over women. There is John Reed, Jane's tormentor at Gateshead, who represents physical force and patriarchal family. There is also Rev. Brocklehurst, Jane's tormentor at Lowood; he signifies the social structures of class, education, and religion. Rochester represents attraction, and St. John moral and spiritual authority (Mitchell 302). The former two try to take advantage of Jane's seeming defenselessness as a child; the latter two try to take advantage of her seeming defenselessness as a woman.

In these 2 novels there are similarities and differences shown toward women between the author's view and the society's view. Both novels took place at 1900's.there society's background that are same. There is a men's world. But under this both women Jane Eyre and Sue or Arabella are always stand for their self. Also always follow their own mind. The main similarities that I found in both novels are both women are weak when they facing their love. Everything they stand strong but except these. The main differences I found in these two novel are that In Jude the obscure, there have so many different relationship, but in Jane Eyre, the book is only focus on Jane.

It shows the author's attitude towards women are dependent which is different that the society's attitude towards women which are weak and the similarities and differences between Jude the obscure by Thomas Hardy and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Both novels Jude the obscure and Jane Eyre shows that the women are positive and strong, they can stand for there self even though they live a male world. They didn't afraid to them, and they can follow their own mind to do what they want.