After completing Jane Eyre I read through the different literary criticisms that I was provided and found one to be very appealing to me, this was the criticisms by Helene Moglen. In this criticism, Helene points out some events in Jane Eyre that I also found very interesting. Helene states how amazing it is that Jane succeeds in the world that she is living, and the way in which she overcame her obstacles. She also points out the fact that the fantasy element was not totally eliminated from the novel. Helene also brings up the idea that this could not only be a story of how things are and how they can be overcome, but a story of how things can be. .
The world that Jane Eyre had grown up in was one in which a woman's chance of success was not measured by her skills or her personality, but rather by her economic status and her beauty. This made a woman's chance of success determinable at birth. To overcome this prejudice takes more than someone who is strong, it takes someone who can cope with all of the many times she will be told how impossible it is to succeed. Jane Eyre was a woman born into poverty and wanted to overcome these preordained obstacles set by society. By the end of the novel, Jane has inherited money, has a loving husband, and has successfully defeated every obstacle that society has presented her with. Helene Moglen says that "Jane tests the limits of social, moral, and psychological possibility," and this could not be more true; Jane has defied all that has been thought to be impossible of a woman in her time, and proved to society what is truly possible of a woman. .
Jane Eyre is fiction and has not totally lost touch with fantasy. Helene states, "The fantasy elements of the juvenile stories are not eliminated altogether," and I agree with Helene. The story of Jane Eyre's life is very touching and amazing. How one woman can overcome the prejudices of society, and have everything work out for her seems farfetched.