The male gaze in Jane Eyre

I had great fun doing a two hour workshop with A-Level English Literature students at Oaklands School, Tower Hamlets. We were looking at the male gaze in Jane Eyre which they were studying for their course.  This video is an excellent introduction to how the male gaze is used in film.

jane in mirror

Of course it didn’t occur to me when I accepted the workshop that of course, Jane Eyre is written from Jane’s perspective. So where does the male gaze occur? It was actually very interesting examining how Jane views herself and in particular what she think Rochester thinks of her. How Rochester views her but also how she views other women. We looked at some of the excellent film adaptations of the novel and how camera angles are used to show Jane’s view. We looked at how the men are presented and ended up in a great discussion on the female gaze – how Jane ends up viewing herself through the eyes of the men around her. Don’t forget, of course, the motif of the mirror which occurs throughout the novel.

I wont give the game away. If you want to know what we concluded then get me in to do a workshop!