What do you think of the new colour scheme? I’m absolutely loving the warm weather at the moment. It’s so nice to feel the warmth of the sun instead of the cold wind for a change. And spring is my favourite season because of all the blossom trees budding everywhere. My grandma has a big one in her garden (hence the pictures), it’s inspired me and cherry blossoms are slowly leaking into everything I do!
Anyway onto today’s post. Discussion Point! I haven’t done one in a while, the last one being White Bread or Brown Bread? so I thought it would be nice since I’ve finished reading Jane Eyre now! I didn’t get round to writing a book review, maybe soon…
WARNING: Huge plot spoilers, I only recommend reading if you’ve read or watched Jane Eyre.
Some readers and critics have dismissed Jane Eyre and Jane herself as “soppy” because she is infatuated by a man of the strong, dominant type and because her happiness is bound up with her eventual marriage to him.
I disagree completely with such criticisms that claim Jane to be a “soppy” character. There are so many parts in the novel that show Jane’s vivid characteristics but what I can’t see is where she shows weakness. I feel Jane made reasonable decisions throughout the novel and although I partly agree that the happy ending was slightly unrealistic, I think ‘soppy’ is too strong of a word.
I think we can clearly see that Jane was a brave and strong-willed character from the beginning of the novel right through to the end. Her childhood wasn’t easy, she lost her parents at a young age (people who loved her) and was forced to live with cruel and unfair relatives. Not only was she strong-willed but also had to keep her patience. Jane’s time at Lowood must have been testing, for all the girls who attended too. I don’t think a ‘soppy’ character would have survived those conditions and Jane had come from a wealthy background!
Our clothing was insufficicent to protect us from the severe cold; we had no boots, the snow got into our shoes, and melted there; our ungloved hands became numbed and covered with chilblains, as were our feet. I remember well the distracting irritation I endured from this cause every evening, when my feet inflamed, and the torture of thrusting the swelled, raw, and stiff toes into my shoes in the morning.
Moving onto her adulthood, where I believe she still holds strongly to the aforementioned qualities, I can see why people think Jane fell for Rochester’s strong and dominating personality. For most of Jane’s life, she’s been surrounded by very hostile situations.
“Take her way to the red-room, and lock her in there.” Four hands were immediately laid upon me, and I was borne upstairs.
Mr Brocklehurst hemmed.
“Ladies…Miss Temple, teachers and children, you all see this girl?…it becomes my duty to warn you that this girl, who might be one of God’s own lambs, is a little castaway…but evidently an interloper and an alien. You must be on your guard against her; you must shun her…avoid her company, exclude her from your sports…scrutinize her actions, punish her body to save her soul… this girl is – a liar!”
She was never with someone who cared for her or loved her truly. Then she is suddenly met with great kindness and respect from this man who accepts her for who she is, despite her flaws. I understand that Rochester’s strength, intelligence and experience is attractive but Jane wasn’t ‘soppy’ in the way she looked at him. I thought that Jane was quite the opposite, she liked and appreciated Mr Rochester’s personality but she didn’t overlook his flaws. Mr Rochester wasn’t a handsome character, he’d had a bad past and had many mistakes that he’d made in his life, now Jane doesn’t overlook these things and drool over him like a ‘soppy’ lovestruck teenager, she takes them into consideration – even to the point of risking Rochester’s anger when challenging them. Yet despite his flaws and contradicting nature, she understands him and loves him for who he truly is. Which is something that she’d been looking for herself, someone who understands her. Despite Jane’s and Rochester’s opposite personalities, I think this is why their romance works so well.
Note: Everything I said here is purely my own opinion backed up by text from the novel. Feel free to share your opinion in the comments, do you agree or disagree with me?
~ The World is Quiet Here ~