I stumbled into a conversation on Twitter about Jane Eyre. Well… barged my way into a conversation in which a fellow twitter-er was running lines from the book/movie with commentary.
Well, plus or minus a few asides and a lot of laughter–and let’s be honest, some self-censorship– I’m back on the think about what’s in that book wagon.
Seems to be my week for questioning the classics.
Reader, I married him.
Married him? Why? You have independent means. You don’t have to get married, at all. And if you did choose to get married… why him?
Uhm… because… uhm… Well, I just did, I guess.
Literally, the voices in her head–or some grand, supernatural external voice–tell her to go back. You know… cause the guy who nearly ruined her needs someone to lead him around by the hand.
And, you know… he’s blind and disfigured, so his odds of hiring more mistresses, or misleading the next governess… well, I mean, blind and disfigured. You could call that handicapped… Or… OR… you could call it penitent.
I find myself looking for the modern story in all this, the one that’s just under the surface.
What happened to the girl who snuck into libraries to read books? The girl who was able to stand up to adults (unsuccessfully, but still…)? The girl who got her education? Became a teacher… eventually heads out of the school and into the real world alone?
What about the girl who sees the things that need to be changed in her school, and resents the current authority figures for not doing better?
And maybe, that is the story.
Maybe the moral of the story is that society is wasting an entire human being on leading a man around by the hand, when she could have done… more. The whole first half of the book is setting up the premise that she could do more.
Then again, maybe it really is just a romance.