The Portrayal of Feminism in the Main Characters of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

Yasinta Deka Widiatmi


Since the 19th century, feminism has become one of the most important and popular topics. According to Fakih (1996) at the beginning, the movement of feminism is the assumption that women basically are oppressed and exploited and also an effort to completely remove the oppression and exploitation. However, there are still differences in opinion among the feminists about what, why, and how those oppression and exploitation happen. However, they share the same view that the essential struggle of feminists is for equality, status, and also the freedom of controlling their life, both outside and inside the house.

Charlotte Bronte creates Jane Eyre‘s characters as a poor, obscure, plain, and little person, but she is an independent woman. Furthermore, she also creates Jane as a victim in every place where she lives. She also turns Jane into a heroine. Jane has to struggle against the old traditions to search for her freedom and liberty in her life and society.

            There are three objectives presented in this paper. The first objective is to find out the personalities of Jane Eyre as the main character. The second is to find out the feminism of Jane Eyre’s characters. The third is to find out how feminism in Jane Eyre’s characters reveals the challenge toward the class structure of British society. The method of this paper is a library research to answer the problems and also used the Sociocultural Historical approach to explain more about British condition and society in the novel.

The results of these analyses are firstly, Jane Eyre, as the main character in this novel, is a round character. Her character develops in several phases. Secondly, Jane Eyre is a Liberal Feminist. Jane challenges the old tradition, the males’ domination, and subordination of women. In challenging the old tradition, Jane challenges the patriarchal system, where males dominate in society so that women become subordinate. Thirdly, Jane challenges the class structure of British society with her education.


Keywords: Characters, feminism

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