Jane's female role models

Throughout the novel, Jane encounters a number of women who offer her either positive or negative role models. In a book which is so concerned with the narrator's own development, it is perhaps inevitable that these role models should be represented in ways that emphasise the role they have in the formation of her character and opinions:

  • Since the issue of gender is central to the novel's thematic content, role and significance is not easily separable in these characters
  • The women Jane meets tend to move in and out of her life quite quickly
  • In those cases when she knows them over a longer period of time, the relationships are never described in great detail
  • None of the women characters are represented in as much detail as are Rochester or St John Rivers, who are discussed elsewhere in this section
  • It is also notable that, ultimately, Jane does not want any permanent female companionship: her relationship with Rochester appears to be sufficient.
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