Friday, August 25, 2006

Strong Stuff

Jane Eyre is a fantasy; a fairy-tale; complete female flippery that would NEVER happen in real life. However, 150+ years later people (like me) are still reading it and thinking about it.
The book is such a part of our literature heritage you probably already know the basic plot, so there will be no re-cap, only musings.
Our heroine, JE, was a strong woman. She wasn't strong only because she overcame some really bad situations, but because she actively avoided making a bad situation worse.

Two flawed guys tried to pressure her into marriage and she turned them down in a time when single women were treated like freaks.

After JE's engaement fell apart, she fled temptation without taking anything that didn't belong to her. She left the pearl necklace Rochester gave her and didn't even ask for the wages she was owed. She ran away from her fantasy love and his crazy wife and went out into the cold cold world all alone.

I would have taken the pearl necklace a few pieces of silverware on the way out.

Not Jane, she was going to make it by herself. Sure, she had to sleep in the forest and eat pig slop, but it was a small price to pay for a clean conscience.

Strong and pure Jane already knew she couldn't have lived with the guilt of being an illegitimate wife and living in a false luxury.

A weaker woman would have run away with Rochester, self-medicated the guilt away, nagged the jerk out of her life, and ended up miserable anyway.

JE stayed strong, made the hard but good choices and it all turned out OK in the end.
Even if JE hasn't gotten back together with Rochester, you know her life would have turned out well because she had conviction.
She made decisions that were good for her in the long run. To hell with Rochester and his lies and St. John and his 'you were made for work not love,' Jane was gonna take care of Jane.

If you've read JE, what do you think?


Post a Comment

<< Home