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Compare and contrast Jane Eyre to Bertha Mason
Jane Eyre is a very famous novel written by Charlotte Bronte in the Victorian era. There are a lot of characters in this novel. They come from different social classes and have different personalities. The main character in this novel is Jane Eyre. She comes from a different class and finds herself fall in love with Mr. Rochester who is the husband of Bertha Mason. Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason come from different background and have very different characters. Although they are different, we find in the novel that they themselves are somehow similar.
There are some common aspects between Jane and Bertha. By looking to their past, we can find that these two women are similar. In Jane??™s childhood, she was lonely, isolated child and no one accepted her neither her family, nor her society. She was not accepted anywhere. She was rejected by her society because her lack of status and money and she was not fit with servant because her relationship with the Reeds. The same can be seen with Bertha mason. She was not accepted anywhere when she was young. She was British who was born in The West India. This alienated her from both classes as a result of being born in the middle and making her belongs to the half of both, not a whole.
Next, the character who links between Jane and Bertha is Mr. Rochester. Both of them are dependent on him. Jane as a governess works under his employ. Bertha on the other hand, is Mr. Rochester??™s wife. Mr. Rochester loves Jane, and scorns his wife Bertha.
In addition, the most common thing they share is their attitude toward man. During the novel, both Jane and Bertha were influences by male power. They refused to be subjected to men. Jane asks for a relationship based on equalities, similar hearts and souls in the eye of God. She refused to be Mr. Rochester??™s mistress. If she accepted to be, her attitude toward marriage and equality between man and woman will be gone. Men will have the power and the ability to make women under their control and Jane doesn??™t want this to happen. Also, Jane told Mr. Rochester that human beings face some conditions in which they become angry, upset or happy. She told him to not have that acceptation of being happy all the time, smiling or acting as an angle. Sometimes she is happy, others she is not and this is the nature of human beings. Bertha on the other hand, refused to be subjected to male power. For example, the times that she sat fire during the novel, when she sat a fire in Mr. Rochester??™s room and he was saved by Jane and when she sat a fire and burned Thornfield. The fact the that Mr. Rochester was trapped by a woman and saved by another shows that women try to be involved in men??™s world and they want to change the society??™s view toward women.
Even though both Jane and Bertha share things in common, the differences between the two are many. Their reaction toward the things they faces, make them different from each other. On the first hand, Jane is an orphan, not that pretty, lonely and isolated child. Despite the fact that she lives with her wealthy relatives, Jane grew up in poverty. When Mrs. Reed, her aunt, locked her in the Red Room, Jane learned or became aware that it was a hard time when she gave up to her emotions. Being locked in the Red Room symbolizes the society locking Jane??™s emotions and freedom. She cannot express her passion and feelings because women at that time, Victorian era, don??™t have the freedom to do so. She allowed her emotions to control and guide her when she was in the Red Room. By doing that, she became another person and she lost sight of herself. This frightening experience became a turning point for Jane. She started to change and control her passions and emotions. She is strong and self assured woman. Her belief in women rights and social equalities challenged the idea of being controlled under men??™s power. She became an educated person. She worked at Lowood School for few years and then she worked as a governess at Thornfield. There she fell in love with Mr. Rochester who is from different social class. She is not socially equal to him and they have many differences but both of them saw themselves in each other.
On the other hand, Bertha is very beautiful woman and comes from a rich family. She is the wife of Edward and the daughter of a wealthy West Indian family. She has dark hair, dark eyes and was surrounded by admirers. She met Mr. Rochester and he liked her from the first look and he married her in his youth. Both of them were young and married without knowing each other or thinking of their future. She didn??™t marry Mr. Rochester by her own well. Both Bertha??™s and Edward??™s families placed them in that situation. Bertha as a woman who lived in the Victorian time she couldn??™t refuse but comply. She shows that women are controlled by men and they treated as inferior. Mr. Rochester, on the other hand, was pressured into this marriage by his family. After the marriage, he discovered that Bertha is immoral person. She is insane, more animal than a human, as he described her, and very passionate one. Her passion leads her t o be violence and mad person. That was the reason why Mr. Rochester put her in the third floor. Her society rejected her and she married out of her well. All these turned her to that mad woman who is controlled by her passions.
In the conclusion, Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason are two different characters who have different personalities, attitudes and reactions toward the issues they face. But in somehow in the novel both of them share things in common.
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