Social class

The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë also explores the theme of social class, and criticizes the rigid social hierarchy of 19th century England. 

 Jane does not fall completely into one of the main social classes, but rather sits somewhere in between. She is poor, but also accomplished and educated. She is not part of the working class, which is highlighted by her superiority when she interacts with Hannah, the Rivers’ servant, who initially mistakes Jane for a beggar. However, Jane also does not belong to upper-class circles, which is shown when she is around Rochester’s rich visitors at Thornfield. Still, Jane’s social position allows her to interact with people of all classes, which makes for a rich exploration of class structures.


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