Given the history of discussions on this forum I have to conclude that my reading of Bronte's Jane Eyre is profoundly incompatible with kiki1982's analysis in the essay Mr. Rochester. My interpretation is secular, while in my view kiki1982's has it's basis in moral judgment of good vs. evil, and uses terminology that is predominantly religious.
Kiki1982 made a very interesting comment , that in reading Jane Eyre one has to have a deep understanding in literature otherwise one will miss the important distinctions that Charlotte attempts to convey in Jane Eyre. I agree that a careful reading is required, but not the one that kiki1982 has made..
Bronte herself points out the importance of semantics. An example is her use of the word 'true' and 'Truth', as in the following – “Before the publication of Jane Eyre, she had said of Lowood section “it is true and Truth has a severe charm of its own. Had I told all the truth, I might indeed have made it far more exquisitely painful.”1 Where 'true' means, 'taken from actual life' and 'Truth' has an artistic, even a mythical connotation.
“The word 'passion' presents similar difficulties. Bronte used the word to describe an undesirable emotional outburst, such as a fit of passion. She has Blanche Ingram discuss the “raging passions” of the Ingram governesses in Jane Eyre, but she uses the word in a different sense a few pages later when Jane notices an “obvious absence of passion” (that is desire) in Rochester's “sentiments” toward Blanche.”1
It may prove useful if we make a distinction in the words 'fiction' and 'Fiction' in a similar way that Charlotte made in 'true' and 'Truth'; 'fiction' would refer to the creative process that is true to nature and 'Fiction' to a subjective construct driven by passion. The distinction will be useful when we tackle the nebulous subject of interpreting the subtext of Jane Eyre.
Such a fine sensitivity of language should be sufficient indication that Charlotte Bronte's interest in the composition of Jane Eyre was of aesthetics and not of a morality play for young women. Her use of religious references is purely an indication of the social milieu in which she was living, not of an underlaying religious message.
Index – temporary
Regrettably a road map is necessary since I can not publish the whole essay at once. I shall divide the posting into 3 parts and post as soon as I can complete the editing of each section. Thank you for your patience.
2.Rebuttal to Mr. Rochester
3.Structure of the novel: parallels in Jane / Rochester
4.Mythological reading based on Jane's watercolors