Essay, Research Paper: Jane Eyre And Fanny Price

Literature: Jane Eyre

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A comparison between Jane Eyre and Fanny Price There are many things that can be
compared between Jane Eyre and Fanny Price, and I will focus on the fact that
they are both orphans that grow up to be independent women. The two are so
different yet also so much the same. In the following analysis, I will compare
these two characters and decide who can be viewed as the stronger character. To
start, we can say that both Jane and Fanny are orphans. They are both sent to
live with family and destined to become outcasts from the start. Jane is not
readily accepted by her family. This is also true of Fanny. They are only
similar in the fact that they are orphans. Fanny’s character is different from
Jane because Jane is an independent individual. Fanny is much more reserved and
independent, while Jane has a much more outspoken personality. Jane Eyre
struggles to resist those around her from changing her. Her self-devotion causes
her many sufferings, but she survives these and becomes a stronger woman. Jane
grows up in a Victorian period where women were not seen as equals. She was born
an orphan into a family that had no more room to love another child. Jane faced
much resentment in the house, but being the strong-minded character that she is,
she confronts Mrs. Reed. She says, “I am not deceitful: if I were, I should
say I loved you; but I declare that I do not love you: I dislike you the worst
of anybody in the world.” Jane Eyre grows up questioning authority. She is an
independent soul with an independent mind. She will not tolerate being walked
over. She shows her strength in all aspects of her life including her love for
Rochester. The fact that she is an orphan shows us how the absence of a mother
contributes to the void of nurturing, therefore, giving the character possession
of internal strength and independence. In Mansfield Park, Fanny can be seen as
an orphan as well. She is sent to Mansfield to live with her relatives because
her mother is unfit to take care of her. She grows up at Mansfield rejected by
her Aunt and as an outcast among her cousins. She is independent but not
outspoken. She only finds true friendship with Edmund. She struggles in the
beginning to overcome her homesickness, and her longing for her relationship
with her brother. Edmund is the only vice that sees her through her struggle.
She is not as outspoken as Jane, but she is as strong-minded. She knows what she
wants and if she could stand up for herself, she can obtain it. Her
determination helps her to gain strength. Self-respect dominates the theme of
Jane Eyre, whereas in Mansfield Park the story deals with more moral issues
concerning class and family. In Jane Eyre, the idea of gender and class
structure is very evident between Jane and Rochester. She is a hardworking
governess and he, her much wealthier employer. In Mansfield Park, Fanny’s
interest in Edmund also tests society. For any kind of interest in each other
would be wrong during that time. The story itself tests society in ways of the
characters going against the “duty” of their lives. For example, Edmund is
jumping out of the lineage by wanting to become a clergyman. Also, his
attraction to Fanny and hers to him was considered immoral in 19th century
England because of their relationship. Returning back to Jane, we can see how
society could feel that her romance with Rochester was wrong. But even Jane is
independent enough to leave him when he threatens her beliefs. She remains true
to her beliefs, no matter what. Even when that means spending three days
wandering around and almost dying for her choices. One theme that remains true
to both novels is that both stories defy the norms of society. In Mansfield
Park, the characters go against all duties and the idea of the structure of
family. The theatrical in the book even furthers their attempts to do everything
against what it right and moral at that time. In Jane Eyre, there are some
problematic issues with gender and class structure. Throughout both novels, Jane
and Fanny remain true to themselves, which proves to be no small accomplishment.
They both struggle with difficult issues. They do not present a picture of
achieving freedom, but yet the dangers of defying societies conventions.
Although both stories capture the strength and independence of the characters, I
personally believe Jane to be the stronger woman. She is defiant and outspoken
right from the start, which would swallow Fanny’s original timid responses.
The fact that they are both orphans contributes to their struggles to become
young women. The motherless approach to writing seems evident in stories of 19th
century England. This may be to show how the characters can survive on
self-reliance.
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