Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Change Your Mind {Jane Eyre part deux}

True to my fashion, I've decided to go blogging on the night before my French debate. I should really be preparing my heart out, but no, I have something 'important' to say.

Two entries ago I wrote a positively gushing love note to what was one of my favourite books of all time 'Jane Eyre'. And all was going well until my Literature tutorial last week. And unforuntately I can't look at that novel the same. Now it seems bizarre, contradictory and not quite the celebration of women's rights I once saw (because why does Jane keep insisting on calling Rochester 'my master'. Sure I could once bypass this and even mentally erase it, but not anymore).

Plus, why does the book end with Jane pondering on St. John Rivers, the guy she declined to marry? Is she not happy with Rochester? Suddenly the love she must have felt for him somewhere in the middle of the novel feels like it deteriorated at the end. And did Rochester ever really love her? After all he was planning on making her his mistress. Right now to me he seems predator-like and only wanting selfish desires out of the relationship. By the time he's blind and a shadow of his former life, it feels like he's more happy that he's got someone, and someone who loves him than because he loves her.

Well it's still an intriguing book, but it's not quite the same wildly romantic read it once was. Now I only have cynical lens when I approach it. But upon reflection, that's not so bad. I've gotten an alternative reading out of it, sure, but maybe it's more intriguing and dark this way.

But yes, by a general rule, it's best to steer clear of literature subjects that feature your favourite novels on their reading lists. If you have a malleable perspective like me, you're bound to never look at the novel in quite the same beloved way.

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