Throughout Charlotte Bronte's Victorian era novel, Jane Eyre, and William Shakespeare's Renaissance era play, The Tempest, society carries ideals and expectations for its citizens to abide by such as appearance, roles and behavior. If someone does not conform to these ideals they ostracized from society the way Caliban in The Tempest or Mr. Rochester's wife, Bertha, and Jane in Jane Eyre. .
During the time of Jane Eyre, the Victorian Era, society's ideals for appearance for a woman were quite different from the actual appearance of Bertha or even Jane for that matter. The ideal appearance for a woman is perfectly portrayed through Blanche Ingram's character in the novel. Blanche Ingram is a very high class and proper woman. She is, "straight and tall as poplarsBlanche was moulded like a Dian [like a beautiful goddess]. The noble bust, the sloping shoulders, the graceful neck, the dark eyes and black ringlets her face was like her mother's; a youthful unfurrowed likeness: the same low brow, the same high features, the same pride" (147). Blanche is rather pretty and seems to have very beautiful features for these times. .
Jane however is mentioned countless times to be less than pretty. She describes herself as, .
"plain--- for I had no article of attire that was not made with extreme simplicity--- I was still by nature solicitous to be neat. It was not my habit to be disregardful of appearance, or careless of the impression I made; on the contrary, I ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please as much as my want of beauty would permit. I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer: I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, a small cherry mouth; I desired to be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I felt it a misfortune that I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and marked" (84). .
Jane is plain and simple in her appearances, which is quite different from Blanche who fits the ideals of society.