Example research essay topic: Jane Eyre – 618 words

Becoming a memorable hero in literature is not an
easy thing. Your life is exposed to the public
eye, critics scorn your motives, and, far crueler,
AP English teachers force their students to write
a character analysis about every aspect of your
being. However, once in a blue moon, a hero
springs up that, strangely enough, is interesting
enough that certain ambitious students find him or
her so intriguing that they type a three thousand
word essay praising or denouncing the story. Jane
Eyre is not that kind of hero. Anyone who can
write on the subject for more than two hours leads
a very dull life. The book is four hundred pages
long and full of long-winded details by the
fore-mentioned individual.

The title character in
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre does have her high
qualities, though. She is virtuous, independent,
assertive, and does not accept defeat. These
attributes alone, however, are not what makes this
women admirable. It is the fact that Jane succeeds
in life despite her lack of social standing,
family, independent wealth, or beauty that makes
her a hero of modern The idea that a women could
dare to attempt controlling her destiny is hardly
a new idea. The Bible (written thousands of years
before Jane Eyre) is full of examples of assertive
women unwilling to let the incompetent men around
them ruin their lives. A famous example derives
from the story of Tamar and Judah.

When Tamar
allegedly sinned with an unknowing Judah, he
realized “she did it because I did not give her to
my son Shelah.” (Genesis, 38:26). A few thousand
years later, Sophocle’s wrote about the tragic
tale of Antigone, the princess of Thebes, who
stood up against her wicked uncle Creon to do what
she thought was right. William Shakespeare filled
his plays with brave women willing to die to
follow their hearts (does Juliet spring to mind?)
But all of these women could afford to martyr
themselves for their beliefs and causes. They had
the royal or prestigious blood, great beauty, and,
sometimes, money that allowed great crisis to
encircle their lives and gave many people interest
in the doings. They were beyond wrong, and were
forever immortalized in the works of great
writers. Jane Eyre had none of this.

She had no
great social standing or prestigious, admired
family. “I asked Aunt Reed once (about family),
and she said that might have some poor, low
relations called Eyre, but she knew nothing about
them.” (Bronte, pg. 17) What’s more, Jane had no
independent wealth to fall back on should she make
a mistake in her endeavors. “My purse, containing
twenty shillings (it was all I had), I put in my
pocket.” (Bronte, pg. 304) The only abundance she
had was that of her mind and her drawing talent.
All other forms of riches were not hers to hold.
“You are not anymore pretty than I am handsome,”
Mr. Rochester tells Jane.

And it was true. Even
Jane described her self as small and plain. Had
she possessed comeliness and wished to use it at
the low points of her life, she would have been
selling herself as the infamous Celine Varens did,
living off the money of her “favorites.” It is
because Jane doesn’t use anything to reach her
goals that strikes the logical twentieth century.
Jane achieves her dreams by simply being Jane, a
lowly, little, plain governess who must work to
support herself. Everyone in Bronte’s book who had
good standing, money, beauty, or high family
usually found themselves losing in the end while
Jane, in her humble life, succeeds. Perhaps
Charlotte Bronte wants the reader to believe that
maybe, maybe the meek do inherit the earth.

Research essay sample on Jane Eyre