It was a time when the majority of women stayed home to raise their children. Outside of the home, many did not have a job or career. Defying convention, Jane Eyre was a fictional character that was completely the opposite of women in the 1800’s. Jane Eyre was a strong woman who had a career as a governess and teacher. Unlike most women during that time, her main priority was not to marry of have children. Jane Eyre focused on her career and then eventually found love with Edward Fairfax Rochester. Written by Charlotte Bronte and published on October 16, 1847, Jane Eyre, a masterpiece of English literature that is still popular today, is a fictional novel about women’s liberation.

Throughout the novel, there are various metaphors representing feminism. One of these symbolic scenes is when Jane Eyre rescues Mr. Rochester after a fall. The accident takes place after his horse falls on the ice. By saving the man, Bronte makes Jane Eyre a very strong character who is equal to the man rather than inferior.

Another symbol in the novel shows that women are not fickle but profound. When Mr. Rochester gets severely injured in the fire, Jane Eyre still loves him. Even though he has lost his eyesight and hand, Jane Eyre still wants to marry him. Rather than simply looking at him superficially, she sees that his inner qualities are much more important.

Just like the fictional persona of Jane Eyre, Bronte was also a feminist. Born on April 21, 1816 in England, Bronte was the third of six children. Bronte’s parents were Maria and Patrick Bronte. Living through a tough girlhood helped her unleash her artistic genius. In fact, all the elements of Bronte’s indomitable spirit are in Jane Eyre’s heroic character. No wonder Jane Eyre is such a relatable persona.

Since the streak of art and feminism ran in the Bronte family, Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte, Charlotte Bronte’s two sisters, were also writers who created strong female characters in their novels. Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights. Anne Bronte wrote Agnes Grey.

After becoming a renowned novelist, Bronte found love. She married Arthur Bell Nicholls in June 1854. Even though their union was happy, it was short lived. On March 31, 1855, Charlotte Bronte died, with an unborn child, due to severe morning sickness. She was just 38 years old when she passed away.

Even though she was gone too soon, she left us the legacy of Jane Eyre, a work of literature that empowers women. In today’s world, there are more ladies with Jane Eyre’s forceful temperament than there were during Charlotte Bronte’s era.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we should all be very proud that women have taken many roles beyond just simply being homemakers. Much more than just a fictitious character, Jane Eyre still inspires women to be feminists today.