To what extent is Jane Eyre an angel in the house
There are reasons to argue both points, firstly Jane is not the angel in the house because Jane loves books, the angel in the house was supposed to knit clothes, drew, play the piano, entertain the family by singing, and look after her family. Jane is fluent at languages, an angel in the house was educated to a point, not well read, but Jane is very intelligent.
There are other reasons for her not fitting into the stereotypical image of an angel in the house; she does not sing, she is feisty, she is strong-minded-she has strong opinions about others, smart, intelligent-she loves reading, and independent-she is free to do what she wants to, and there are many more reasons. Referring to the text, the phrase ‘I returned to my book-Bewick’s History of British Birds’, indicates that Jane is educated, whereas the angel in the house is supposed to be educated to a point, she is not meant to be well read; Jane is intelligent and smart.
The phrase ‘With Bewick on my knee, I was then happy: happy at least in my way’, indicates that she is intelligent however; this is completely different to an angel in the house. Furthermore, Jane is smart, ‘Children can feel, but they cannot analyse their feelings’; this insinuates her intelligence, and her smartness, The phrase ‘She is not an uneducated person, I should think, by her manner of speaking; her accent was quite pure; and the clothes she took off, though splashed and wet, were little worn and fine’, this indicates that she is educated, speaks fluently; it proves her intelligence and shows how smart she is.
Jane is well educated, “besides, during the last seven years, learnt a portion of French by heart daily”, indicates that she intelligent; the angel in the house is educated to a point but, Jane is above the point, she is smart! Furthermore, she is feisty. The phrase ‘Wicked and cruel! ‘ I said. ‘
You are like a slaver-driver-you are like the Roman emperors! ‘ indicates that she is feisty; whereas the angel in the house is supposed to be always, willing to sacrifice whatever she must. Man must be pleased; but him to please is woman’s pleasure”; this indicates that Woman must please man, by doing what she can do; she should be willing to sacrifice; she should be quite; she should be the soul of the household; but Jane is completely the opposite. The phrase ‘Hold her arms, Miss Abbot: she’s like a mad cat’, this also suggests that Jane is feisty; and it indicates that Jane is not the angel in the house. ‘Unjust! -unjust! ‘, this also indicates Jane being feisty. She very unlike to be the angel in the house.
Furthermore, Jane is independent; she is free to do what she likes. ‘For one thing, I have no father or mother, brothers or sisters’, indicates that she is independent; she has no support from anybody. Furthermore, the phrase ‘but I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold’, this also indicates that she is independent. Furthermore, Jane is strong-minded. ‘It was quite right, Bessie: your missis has not been my friend: she has been my foe’ this suggests that Jane is strong-minded.
The phrase ‘Tell him to be cautious, sir: let him know what you fear, and show him how to avert the danger’ this indicates that Jane is strong-minded. Furthermore, she has strong opinions, and she gives her own views about things, there is evidence to show her strong opinions; ‘Yet I had not forgotten his faults; indeed, I could not, for he brought them frequently before me’. Ant the other phrase ‘ I believed he was naturally a man of better tendencies, higher principles, and purer tastes than such as circumstances had developed’, this shows that Jane has strong opinions; she is strong-minded.
This is completely different to the angel in the house; the angel in the house is supposed to be quite, meek, and willing to sacrifice, but Jane is different; she has her own views and strong opinions. Jane also has her own views, the phrase ‘How could I possibly prefer the spoilt pet of a wealthy family, who would hate her governess as a nuisance, to a lonely little orphan who leans towards her as a friend? ‘ this shows Jane’s own views. The phrase ‘I never laughed at presentiments in my life, because I have had strange ones of my own.
Sympathies, I believe’, this suggests her own beliefs. Whereas the angel in the house was willing to sacrifice and she keeps quite and does not give her own opinions; but Jane is strong-minded, she gives her own opinions and views. Not only she has strong opinions, she is a strong woman as well. The phrase ‘Not a moment could be lost: the very sheets were kindling. I rushed to his basin and ewer; fortunately, one was wide and the other deep, and both were filled with water.
I heaved them up, deluged the bed and its occupant, flew back to my own room, brought my own water-jug, baptized the couch afresh, and, by god’s aid, succeeded in extinguishing the flames which were devouring it’, this indicates that Jane is a strong woman. The evidence above proves that Jane is not the angel in the house, because she is very different. This differs from the angel in the house because the angel in the house was to be seen and not heard.
She was to be a support mechanism for her husband and family, but of course, she was not in charge. She was the ‘soul’ of the household; always quite and meek, exceptionally modest, beautiful but somehow unaware of it, always willing to sacrifice whatever she must in order to make her family-and especially her husband-happy. The angel in the house was educated to a point, but in music, art and embroidery, and not in science or literature that were the domain of men.