Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Brontë
For I do not allow a woman to teach nor rule over a husband, but to be in silence.
1 Timothy 2:12
Jane Eyre is the new generation. This generation arose in the Victorian Age, where the children and the women started gaining more power and freedom both in private but also in society amongst other people (men).
Jane is independent and an individual. She does not want to be seen as a nobody just because she is a woman or a child. She knows her voice can and will be heard if only she speaks up. Her first rebellion against an authority was when she was just a little girl. She spoke up against her aunt, Mrs. Reed, even though she knew the punishment would be greater with her being disrespectful, she would rather have it that way than to be unfairly treated.
Through this character, Charlotte Bontë can express her views on social acceptance of women and children, and she touches upon a sore spot where she knows she will start a debate in which a lot of people will participate - both disagreeing and agreeing with her views and honesty.
Jane is a modern woman who speaks her mind and rebels against the authorities, who, in this case, is Mr. Rochester, her husband.
This chapter opens with Rochester appealing Jane to stay after she has come to know that he is already married to the crazy lady upstairs. He begs her to stay but she refuses. She does not accept being treated disrespectfully or unfaithfully:
These lines (Line 1 - 3) tell us that Jane is a stubborn, lionhearted, young woman. In lines 7 - 15, we see the same strong-willed Jane standing by her choice of leaving him.
Jane does not even bother to explain herself. She does not need to. Instead, she suggests Rochester to turn to God, like herself, to let Him carry the burden, and when Rochester replies she is still short answered, wishing him the best of luck in the future. This is seen in lines 25 - 31.
The strong and independent, modern Victorian woman is...