Why Jane Eyre Is Not A Good Role Model

Why Jane Eyre Is Not A Good Role Model

Striving for a fairytale ending should not be encouraged.

Oftentimes when you are a student in an upper level high school literature course, or perhaps a college English seminar, you are asked to read the novel, Jane Eyre. Considered to be a classic, Charlotte Brontë's creation has for many generations been promoted as an inspiration for young girls across the globe. Eyre is, of course, a young woman who is orphaned and abused by her guardian Mrs. Reed and her cousins. She struggles to survive the horrid conditions at Lowood Hall, wherein she eventually becomes a teacher. Then, after finding new work, she stumbles upon Mr. Rochester, who — spoiler alert — becomes the love of her life. While I can agree that it is inspiring to see that a novel written by a woman can be as successful as Jane Eyre is, I cannot defend the idea that Eyre is a good role model for young girls of today.

For a novel that is deemed "feminist", I personally find the label to be inaccurate on a number of levels. Yes, Eyre is able to escape Gateshead, get an education and find work for herself, but she makes too many choices that do not correlate with the idea of a strong, independent woman. While one could argue that the simple fact that she is able to make choices for herself promotes feminist theory, the argument is not good enough for me.

Firstly, Eyre complains ... a lot. While there was no #reallifestruggles in Victorian England, it is clear that Eyre is unhappy for most of her life. Granted, most of her unhappiness is completely warranted, but for someone who comes from nothing to become a governess and still complain, is ridiculous. Governesses earned the equivalent of both a man's and woman's salary during this time, and let's not forget the fact that she was living in a mansion with Mr. Rochester, so I would say that things were working out pretty well for her. The strongest people are those who can accept their circumstances and work to change them, but Eyre continuously serves others, complains about it, but does not change a thing.

Secondly, Eyre is a total racist. Think back to all of the disparaging comments that she makes upon discovering Bertha Mason. She essentially refers to Mason as a rabid animal who is mentally unstable. Considering Mason is the only character of a race other than white in the novel, and that she is the only character depicted with apparent mental instability, it is safe to argue that the narrator, Eyre herself, is quite prejudiced.

Thirdly, going off of the last reason, Eyre is certainly not a feminist. When does Eyre blow up at Rochester for lying to her for all those months? The man kept his real wife in an attic and never told Eyre about it, but Eyre never tells him how despicable he is. Eyre accepts that Mason's craziness justifies Rochester's actions, though she pities Mason for not being able to control her mental state because apparently white people are the only stable ones. Where is the womanly sisterhood?

Fourthly, Eyre is not a good role model because in the end, she goes back to Rochester. Excuse me, but if I found out on my wedding day that my man had another woman stashed away, there would be absolutely no way that I would run back to him. The man not only lied, but he toys with her emotions every chance he got. He dresses up as a fortune-teller to plant ideas in Eyre's mind about her future, and he even manipulates her into believing that he is marrying another woman and finding her new work in Ireland, all to see how she really feels about him. Honestly, Eyre could have done so much better than someone so insecure.

Lastly, Eyre chooses the life of servitude. She works for others her whole life and hates it, yet the minute Rochester needs someone to care for him, she drops everything to run back to him. Since the man lost his eyesight and is crippled after the house fire, he needs someone to care for him full-time. Eyre ultimately becomes his lifetime slave through marriage, meanwhile she just inherited quite a deal of money that could be used on anything she wants, but she continues to pursue the slave-like lifestyle that she complained about in the past.

There is so much more to life other than a happy ending and a "picture-perfect" marriage. An heiress, such as Eyre, could have had such an important effect on the world, but instead she chose love. While there is nothing wrong with choosing love if that is what you want in life, a story such as Jane Eyre sends a problematic message to young girls that everything will work out perfectly for them if they focus less on themselves and more on others. It is time to stop making girls feel guilty about living a life on their own terms without feeding into others' desires.

Cover Image Credit: The Toast

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12 Beautiful Views Of Purdue's Campus, One For Each Month

A photo story of Purdue's beautiful campus.

Because Purdue University is located in Indiana, the campus experiences many seasonal changes. One thing is for certain, no matter the month the views are always beautiful. The photos below are meant to represent each month of the year in Boilermaker territory.


Large snowflakes are peaceful when the sidewalks are not slick.


Overcast views create a moody view from the top floor of a residence hall.


The Hello Walk is a serene view at dusk.


The white flowered trees blossom to surround the Engineering Fountain.


The campus is coated in fog and mist after a humid day.


The arch casts magnificent shadows during any time of the day.


The sunset glows down University Street from the top of Grant Street parking garage.


Students or little kids can play in Loeb Fountain during a hot day.


The sun during golden hour shines brightly on the Bell Tower.


Bright lights shine down on the Ross-Ade Stadium during a football game.


Colorful trees line campus sidewalks in the fall.


The large tree and smell of the gingerbread house fill the Purdue Memorial Union during the first weeks of the month.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn Milligan

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3 Reasons 'Black Panther' Is A Black Cultural Icon

The cultural significance behind the celebration of blackness

Nobody ever denied the Marvel Cinematic Universe's influence over the masses, and one could look no further than the box office to understand that. Eighteen films in a franchise, though, and you'd be remiss if you thought superhero fatigue would've settled in by now.

Enter 2018, and this most recent "superhero flick" prioritizes political intrigue, race relations, and moral ambiguity in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther film, the highest-grossing film of 2018, seventh in the United States, and twentieth of all time.

The biggest debut by an African American director boasts a predominantly black cast, the best reviews (beating out both Nolan's The Dark Knight and Iron Man) for a superhero movie, and yet still garners the question: What makes Black Panther so engaging to audiences? First, let's start with

1. The Director

Ryan Coogler is a well-renowned film director, similar in vein to Quentin Tarantino only in the fact that both produce, comparatively to other high-demand filmmakers, very few but powerfully-influential works.

His first feature film, Fruitvale Station, gathered acclaim and the majority of audience/grand jury awards in 2013's Sundance Film Festival, a feat he built upon when co-writing and directing Creed, the seventh installment in the Rocky film franchise, and from both films a collaboration with actor Michael B/ Jordan further flourished.

The fact that Black Panther's director who, since the age of twenty-one served as a counselor for the incarcerated youth in San Francisco's Juvenile Hall, has very much so lived out the same life he so often realizes in his films, only further adds to why Marvel's latest feature film rings truer to its audiences.

Coogler is a founding member and avid supporter of Blackout For Human Rights, a campaign designed for the specific purpose of addressing racial and human rights violations in America.

Not simply a film director making a "quick buck" or even just passionate about filmmaking as an art form, Coogler has time and again used his cinematic voice to convey the thoughts and feelings of people of color across the silver screen for all to see. Secondly, we must consider

2. The Ethnocentric Emphasis

While many filmgoers are no stranger to race relations being confronted in a film, this was a case wherein a major company, Disney/Marvel, took it upon themselves to challenge the status quo for mainstream audiences.

This wasn't BET(Black Entertainment Television), a rap video, or a stand-up comedy routine, all of which are tried-and-true methods for people of color to communicate to a wider audience; this was Marvel, the biggest name in movies today, and they were making a move.

For a time, myself included, there was fear the message would become misconstrued or miss the mark entirely, what with impeding studio interference already having plagued prior Marvel movies.

Luckily, the black representation allowed for a rare opportunity for young black children to have a superhero they could not only empathize with, but physically resembled family they already idolized.

This in no way takes away from the many fan-favorite white superheroes, but does provide a comic book character for a subdivision of audiences marginalized on a national and even global scale.

Linking back to Coogler, the director set his sights on the advanced sciences, heightened technologies, and rich cultures envisioned within Wakanda's waterfalls and warring tribes, in contrast to other films centered around black pain and suffering.

The piece handles the racial identity of itself was dignity and pride, a welcome step forward in cinema that highlights the positive blackness can offer. Last, one cannot disregard the impact that came from

3. The Control of Characters

Think back to any Marvel movie, and you can name the Chosen One protagonist, Supportive Sidekick, and Snarky, Smarmy Love Interest-type caricatures with ease, but Coogler's sense of pride and admiration for blackness with a focus on the ethnocentric vision for Wakanda brings the people of his fictional place to life.

All these fully-realized characters make for an exciting, engaging film phenomenon where, as critics have pointed out, even central antagonist Killmonger (Erik Stevens, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) is cast in a sympathetic light.

It is not hero v. villain(again), but a dueling of two ideologies colliding in a struggle that transgresses the physical combat and becomes a philosophically-intriguing debate that, by the film's conclusion, makes for two sides forever changed.

No one character is painted in a negative fashion, or without redeemable qualities, and again creates persons both for and against immigration, in favor of and against union between "people that look like us across the globe"(black) and "colonizers" (white).

Black Panther is a monumental movie with ties to other racially-motivated pieces, a la A Raisin in the Sun, that posits African-Americans in a heroic scene. It is personal favorite of mine, and hopefully, this helps you understand exactly.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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