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Thread: Jane Eyre vs Pride and Prejudice

  1. #16
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Clarke View Post
    If Darcy wasn't all that bad to begin with, then is there anything about his personality that was worth falling in love with? And Elizabeth making him more self-aware, its kind of sad that that needs to happen to make the story a happy ending. In Jane Eyre, one can argue either way if Jane changed Rochester or not, but the beauty of it is that it doesn't matter because Jane loves Rochester even with his all of his flaws. In Pride and Prejudice, we know that Elizabeth despised Darcy's original personal nature and only liked him after he "changed." Hmm... I don't know if this marriage is going to last...
    I do not think that's the point - it is not how bad the flaws are, but that there are flaws at all, and other obstacles to overcome before true love can be declared. Elizabeth has her shortcomings too at least from Darcy's point of view - her lack of money and her embarrassing family for instance, and he is socially awkward, stiff, and a bit of a snob. As Sheldon Cooper puts it, "Oh, it turns out Amy’s beloved Pride and Prejudice is a flawless masterpiece. He’s got too much pride, she’s got too much prejudice, it just works."
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  2. #17
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mona amon View Post
    As Sheldon Cooper puts it, "Oh, it turns out Amy’s beloved Pride and Prejudice is a flawless masterpiece. He’s got too much pride, she’s got too much prejudice, it just works."
    Austen sets the reader up to believe that Darcy's flaw is his pride (characters complain of it), and Elizabeth's her prejudice. But the two are flip sides of the same coin. Elizabeth's prejudice is born out of her pride -- she herself suggests that she is proud of her perspicacity and quickness of judgment. Darcy's pride is a form of prejudice -- prejudice in favor of certain values and associations. So both protagonists are proud AND prejudiced, and their pride and prejudice are inseparable. Here Darcy and Elizabeth discuss the matter:

    "Certainly," replied Elizabeth -- "there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without."

    "Perhaps that is not possible for any one. But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule."

    "Such as vanity and pride."

    "Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride -- where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation."

    Elizabeth turned away to hide a smile.

    "Your examination of Mr. Darcy is over, I presume," said Miss Bingley; "and pray what is the result?"

    "I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise."

    "No," said Darcy, "I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding -- certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost for ever."

    "That is a failing indeed!" cried Elizabeth. "Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me."

    "There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil -- a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."

    "And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody."

    "And yours," he replied, with a smile, "is wilfully to misunderstand them."
    Surely being "too little yielding" is a form of prejudice.

    Also, who wouldn't like listening to such conversations, filled with humor and wisdom? I wish my real-life friends were as interesting, and as much fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    But she does gain her prince (is he a buried treasure?)
    Ack, her prince? Her buried treasure?

    He just seems so superficial! Yes, he probably does "qualify" as a prince because of his looks, wealth, and the fact that he is a gentleman, but now it sounds like an "accomplishment" that Elizabeth snagged him. In fact, other then him being a "prince," what else is Elizabeth attracted to? If he was robbed of all of his money, lost his "pretty face" in an accident or something, and was no longer a "gentleman," would Elizabeth still want to marry him?

    Hint hint - This is pretty much what happened to Rochester. Yes, he did not lose his money, but he did become extremely unattractive (I know he was not handsome to begin with, but becoming blind and one-handed? I think most girls would run...), and pretty much secluded himself like a wild animal. And yet, Jane Eyre still loved him. Now that is true love.

    because of her wit, her energy, and her moral courage [...] and she (not yet one and twenty) stands up to dragon-like Lady Catherine, and intimidating Mr. Darcy.
    Once again, being the underdog, Jane Eyre shows all of these characteristics even more so. Once again, its not Elizabeth's fault, she did do some good things, I'll admit, but its on a much smaller scale compared to Jane.
    Last edited by Laura Clarke; 10-13-2015 at 09:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mona amon View Post
    I do not think that's the point - it is not how bad the flaws are, but that there are flaws at all, and other obstacles to overcome before true love can be declared. Elizabeth has her shortcomings too at least from Darcy's point of view - her lack of money and her embarrassing family for instance, and he is socially awkward, stiff, and a bit of a snob. As Sheldon Cooper puts it, "Oh, it turns out Amy’s beloved Pride and Prejudice is a flawless masterpiece. He’s got too much pride, she’s got too much prejudice, it just works."
    You see, I never liked that idea. Have you heard the saying that people don't change for a marriage? I understand that nobody is perfect, but marriages should stand on the basis of accepting each others flaws, not on "changing" oneself like Darcy apparently did. If Darcy was snobby before marriage, he will stay that way. And remember that Elizabeth does not like the prideful side of Darcy - she only marries him after she thinks he changed.
    Last edited by Laura Clarke; 10-13-2015 at 09:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Also, who wouldn't like listening to such conversations, filled with humor and wisdom? I wish my real-life friends were as interesting, and as much fun.
    Nah, call me crazy, but I'd rather listen to one of Rochester's monologues - filled with love, desperation, passion, and playful teasing...
    Last edited by Laura Clarke; 10-13-2015 at 09:23 PM.

  6. #21
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Well, both Rochester's monologues and Darcy's wit have their charms, if you ask me .

    I've got a long-standing love-affair with Rochester, but I can stomach Darcy as well. The difference between the two in my mind has to do with a difference in time: Regency v Victorian. Although strictly speaking, Rochester was still a kind of Regency man, the novel he features in is clearly Victorian and the social environment the story plays in is that as well (conversation is less to impress). Darcy is a Regency man who moves around in a Regency world: everything is very regimented, very much segregated and for someone who isn't as sociable as Bingley, or dare we say Rochester (as he is portrayed when he has the Ingrams over), it's very difficult indeed.

    The combination of the two theories about Darcy as Ecurb mentioned (?) is probably best, I agree. Darcy is probably both shy and aloof, maybe taught so by his parents. If his mother was at all a bit like her sister Lady Catherine, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree... But on the other hand, I don't think he is totally unwilling to associate with people with less money, though at arm's length: associate as friends and acquaintances, yes (after all Bingley only has half his income and Wickham before they fell out had even less), marriage, though, is a bridge too far. The second category is probably where he changes opinions, because he is caught out by a perfect match for him, only she is of lower stock.
    That said, Austen indeed sets up an opinion about Darcy from the start, even before the reader encounters him for the first time, he's the man of 10,000 a year and must be ever so proud, because he never converses. In that respect he is somewhat treated unfairly, because not everyone can be as easygoing as Bingley in a big crowd with people whispering about your income.
    From her side, Elizabeth's pride gets hurt by Darcy when he says he doesn't see anything handsome in her to tempt him. She considers herself the beauty of the area and such a view expressed by such a man vexes her terribly.
    Though both characters change over the course of the novel, the changes they go through are not that profound, it's rather the way they act in public that's different.

    Rochester, we must remember, is at a different phase in life. Where Darcy Is coming up to 30 and has never really been disappointed in life as such (apart from his spat with Wickham, whom he must have known very well, indeed), Rochester has been cheated and disappointed and by the age of 40, has become disillusioned and frustrated with the world as a true Byronic hero. He manipulates people and plays with their feelings. He has a major issue with trust and although Jane does truly love him, including all his flaws, she is wise enough to leave when his flaws would have a major and dire impact on her own life and lot. Brontė solves the issue with the removal of his sight: if he can't see, he is compelled to trust others to care for him. Initially he trusts John and Mary to do this, but ultimately he needs to be loved as well ('I want a wife') and as he marries Jane he needs to trust her with his heart. As Alcott makes Professor Baehr say so adorably: "Now I shall haf to show thee all my heart, and I so gladly will, because thou must take care of it hereafter," Rochester needs to open himself to Jane as he has not done to anyone possibly ever (or at least since he decided to close himself because he got hurt so badly). Before he loses his sight, IMO, he loves but still keeps his deepest feelings to himself. Brontė symbolises this offering of his heart in the semi-voluntary and semi-compelled nature of him giving Jane his watch 'because he has no use for it' and stretching out his hand to be led (how else would he be able to get home?). Only after three years, his sight returns somewhat, once his trust and heart is firmly in the care of Jane and he can longer take it back.
    I'm not sure what makes him so adorable to me: his intellect or the fact he's so dependent on Jane at the end. There's something in men who need to be cared for...

    Darcy's conversation is of course more exciting, but for all intents and purposes it's a bit shallow, although Austen never really lets her characters talk proper stuff. Such conversations must surely have taken place in Regency times, but they never feature in her novels in so many words, maybe because she is a woman or just because they didn't fit the context (Darcy and Elizabeth are not going to discuss at length the Protestant ideal of self-improvement at the Netherfield ball, although IMO Darcy alludes to it in that quoted passage).
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'āme ne se vide ą ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scčne VII)

  7. #22
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Clarke View Post
    You see, I never liked that idea. Have you heard the saying that people don't change for a marriage? I understand that nobody is perfect, but marriages should stand on the basis of accepting each others flaws, not on "changing" oneself like Darcy apparently did. If Darcy was snobby before marriage, he will stay that way. And remember that Elizabeth does not like the prideful side of Darcy - she only marries him after she thinks he changed.
    It's a difficult argument to counter because it makes no sense. Austin wrote them as changed, (grown into their true selves if you like) She created them and had them change, their ability to act contrary to Austin's intent doesn't exist. She granted them contentment, it's a given.

    You see, I don't think Rochester really loves Jane at all. We see everything through Jane's eyes and she wants to believe it. He teases her cruelly and makes her miserable for his amusement. He sets up the false marriage. He acts exactly like a rake intent on seducing an innocent - there is plenty of literary precedence for that. Then, just when he needs someone to look after him, in walks Jane. "Aha" he thinks, "who better?" (He knew she was a rich heiress through their para-normal communication.)

    Ok, for that last paragraph I may also have drawn conclusions Charlotte never intended. The real question is can the writer make you believe in the characters as they are written?
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 10-14-2015 at 11:03 AM.
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  8. #23
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Clarke View Post
    Nah, call me crazy, but I'd rather listen to one of Rochester's monologues - filled with love, desperation, passion, and playful teasing...
    I have often thought that were Hamlet not a Prince, nobody would have put up with his monologues. Rochester isn't royal, and he isn't as eloquent as Hamlet. Why should I (or Jane, for that matter) listen to him. He's a pompous, cruel windbag, and so is St. John Rivers.

    Unfortunately, I can't find my copy of Jane Eyre right now, so I have to search for evidence in the e-book on this site, which I dislike doing. It is well known that women who were subjected to domestic abuse as children often repeat this by finding abusers in later life. So it is with Jane Eyre, who falls for the abusive Mr. Rochester. He teases her, torments her, and (when she threatens to leave) talks about how he could crush her with his powerful hands, although (of course?) he would never do that to his "beloved" Jane.

    When Rochester calls Jane is "elf" or his "witch" his attempts at pet names betray his true nature as a narcissist and egomaniac. Is Jane Eyre a "witch" because she has "bewitched" Rochester? Rochester cannot think of anyone except by thinking of himself.

    Rochester has abused his wife, has failed to love his daughter (surely nobody can condone his treatment of Adele, whom he promises to ship off to school as soon as he marries Jane. Perhaps Jane has forgotten Lowood.).

    Rochester is (I think) a man that only a fool could love. We may excuse Jane for loving him because she has had so little love in her life. But why should an objective reader love him? The only reason I can think of is that some women (and, especially, teenage girls) identify strongly with Jane. Adolescent girls (so I've been told) feel alone, unloved, and unworldly (unaccustomed as they are to their new bodies and new roles).

    Nonetheless, even Jane Eyre is something of a snooty bigot. Considering her background, we might expect more charity on her part. Here, after Rochester offers her half his property, is her response:
    "What do I want with half your estate? Do you think I am a Jew userer, seeking good investment in land?"
    So much for racism, but Jane is not immune from class bigotry (despite being penniless herself). Here Jane unburdens herself with her opinion of her students at St.John's school:

    "... Some time elapsed before, with all my efforts, I could comprehend my scholars and their nature. Wholly untaught, with faculties quite torpid, they seemed to me hopelessly dull; and, at first, all dull alike: but I soon found I was mistaken ... I found some of these heavy-looking, gaping rustics wake up into sharp witted girls enough. ... These soon took a pleasure in doing their work well; in keeping their persons neat; in learning their tasks regularly; and in acquiring quiet and orderly manners. "
    Modest, plain Jane Eyre seems to be a bit full of herself here. Transforming those dull rustics into actual human beings must take some doing. Let's all give her a hand!

    Later, Miss Eyre continues in the same vein:
    "... I stood with the key in my hand, exchanging a few words of special farewell with some half-dozen of my best scholars: as decent, respectable, modest, and well-informed as could be found in the ranks of the British peasantry. And that is saying a great deal; for after all, the British peasantry are the best taught, best mannered, most self-respecting of any in Europe: since those days I have seen paysannes and Bauerinnen; and the best of them seemed to me ignorant, course, and besotted, compared with my Morton girls."
    Charlotte Bronte lived briefly in either France of Belgium (I can't remember which). Did she find the peasantry "ignorant, course and besotted", I wonder? As for her scholars being "decent, respectable, and modest", if they are, they differ considerably from Mr. Rochester, who is indecent, conceited, and utterly unworthy of respect. He's a whore monger, a wife abuser, and a cruel, egotistical excuse for a man.

    By the way, the Jane Austen novel which can be reasonably compared to "Jane Eyre" is "Mansfield Park". Fanny Price (like Miss Eyre) is sent to live with her aunt and uncle, is abused by one aunt (Mrs. Norris), and has a romance with a moralizing clergyman (Edmund Bertram). While Miss Eyre revels in her "plainness", the equally plain Fanny blossoms. That's because Fanny actually loves people and appreciates them. The blossoming of her personal beauty mirrors that of her soul. (Fanny is my least favorite Austen heroine, and I can never forgive Edmund for his cruelty to Mary Crawford at the end of the book, but neither is as bad as their counterparts in Jane Eyre.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    That said, Austen indeed sets up an opinion about Darcy from the start, even before the reader encounters him for the first time, he's the man of 10,000 a year and must be ever so proud, because he never converses. In that respect he is somewhat treated unfairly, because not everyone can be as easygoing as Bingley in a big crowd with people whispering about your income.
    Kudos, Kiki! I never thought of it that way, but you're right. I didn't think it was possible, but now do I feel some sympathy for him...

    Rochester, we must remember, is at a different phase in life. Where Darcy Is coming up to 30 and has never really been disappointed in life as such (apart from his spat with Wickham, whom he must have known very well, indeed), Rochester has been cheated and disappointed and by the age of 40, has become disillusioned and frustrated with the world as a true Byronic hero. He manipulates people and plays with their feelings. He has a major issue with trust and although Jane does truly love him, including all his flaws, she is wise enough to leave when his flaws would have a major and dire impact on her own life and lot. Brontė solves the issue with the removal of his sight: if he can't see, he is compelled to trust others to care for him. Initially he trusts John and Mary to do this, but ultimately he needs to be loved as well ('I want a wife') and as he marries Jane he needs to trust her with his heart. As Alcott makes Professor Baehr say so adorably: "Now I shall haf to show thee all my heart, and I so gladly will, because thou must take care of it hereafter," Rochester needs to open himself to Jane as he has not done to anyone possibly ever (or at least since he decided to close himself because he got hurt so badly). Before he loses his sight, IMO, he loves but still keeps his deepest feelings to himself. Brontė symbolises this offering of his heart in the semi-voluntary and semi-compelled nature of him giving Jane his watch 'because he has no use for it' and stretching out his hand to be led (how else would he be able to get home?). Only after three years, his sight returns somewhat, once his trust and heart is firmly in the care of Jane and he can longer take it back.
    Gotta love those Byronics!

    Darcy's conversation is of course more exciting, but for all intents and purposes it's a bit shallow, although Austen never really lets her characters talk proper stuff
    That's exactly how I've always felt. While some of the conversations are entertaining, a lot of times I feel like he's just talking for the sake of talking

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    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick View Post
    It's a difficult argument to counter because it makes no sense. Austin wrote them as changed, (grown into their true selves if you like) She created them and had them change, their ability to act contrary to Austin's intent doesn't exist. She granted them contentment, it's a given.

    You see, I don't think Rochester really loves Jane at all. We see everything through Jane's eyes and she wants to believe it. He teases her cruelly and makes her miserable for his amusement. He sets up the false marriage. He acts exactly like a rake intent on seducing an innocent - there is plenty of literary precedence for that. Then, just when he needs someone to look after him, in walks Jane. "Aha" he thinks, "who better?" (He knew she was a rich heiress through their para-normal communication.)

    Ok, for that last paragraph I may also have drawn conclusions Charlotte never intended. The real question is can the writer make you believe in the characters as they are written?
    Haha, well done prendrelemick - that shocker Jane Eyre analogy really drew my attention. Maybe I do speculate a little too far off the mark with Darcy...

    I think that my main problem with Pride and Prejudice is that its ending is just...too happy - Like a too-sweet desert that makes you sick. I mean, come on, the handsome rich guy marries the beautiful girl in the end? It just feels so artificial, like Cinderella, Snow White, etc. (I know Jane Eyre also had a happy ending, but it was bittersweet enough to feel more "real").
    Perhaps my discontentment with the ending did make me go too far, but I stand by the fact that it was "too perfect" for my liking.
    Last edited by Laura Clarke; 10-14-2015 at 09:43 PM.

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    Oh, and Ecurb - just letting you know that I'm not ignoring you. I read your post earlier (filled with good points I disagree with by the way), but my server is glitching and I can't see it right now. I'm planning on responding as soon it comes back up though, so I can scrutinize it closely

  12. #27
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Clarke View Post
    Haha, well done prendrelemick - that shocker Jane Eyre analogy really drew my attention. Maybe I do speculate a little too far off the mark with Darcy...

    I think that my main problem with Pride and Prejudice is that its ending is just...too happy - Like a too-sweet desert that makes you sick. I mean, come on, the handsome rich guy marries the beautiful girl in the end? It just feels so artificial, like Cinderella, Snow White, etc. (I know Jane Eyre also had a happy ending, but it was bittersweet enough to feel more "real").
    Perhaps my discontentment with the ending did make me go too far, but I stand by the fact that it was "too perfect" for my liking.
    That's fair enough. I have a similar problem with Jane, the woman has no faults! she's so perfect she makes you sick. When she runs off after the "wedding" I lost all patience with her - I mean preferring death by exposure and starvation to an extra marital romp with her beloved Rocky ? C'mon.
    Then she stumbles upon her cousins (oh really!) and finds she is rich (you're pulling my leg) and that "call" from Rochester (oh stop it now).

    I wouldn't mind those plot twists if I was being sucessfully carried along - It's a fiction after all, it's all about maintaining a suspension of disbelief. I can't manage it, Charlotte loses me in that last quarter.

    ps. P&P is essentially Cinderella.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 10-15-2015 at 04:20 AM.
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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick View Post
    That's fair enough. I have a similar problem with Jane, the woman has no faults! she's so perfect she makes you sick. When she runs off after the "wedding" I lost all patience with her - I mean preferring death by exposure and starvation to an extra marital romp with her beloved Rocky ? C'mon.
    Then she stumbles upon her cousins (oh really!) and finds she is rich (you're pulling my leg) and that "call" from Rochester (oh stop it now).

    I wouldn't mind those plot twists if I was being sucessfully carried along - It's a fiction after all, it's all about maintaining a suspension of disbelief. I can't manage it, Charlotte loses me in that last quarter.

    ps. P&P is essentially Cinderella.
    I thought the last section was a bit weak for those reasons. I think it is fair enough for her to run away considering her mental state, but to stumble upon her cousins after roaming around at random. It would not be so bad if she decided to get off at that town because there was something about the town's name, like it had a familar ring to it, but that is not how it was written. The inheritance was rather fortunate too. I suppose the idea was to put her on an equivalent footing to Rochester, but it does not do her any credit. Her uncle was the successful merchant, not her. Then there was the telepathic cry for help. On the other hand, CB managed to make St John Rivers seem very creepy.

    I do not think Jane was all that perfect neither. I thought she was somewhat prejudiced. She appears to put down Mr Mason's weakness of mind and Bertha's madness down to their mixed creole blood. In addition, I noted she was a little prejudiced to Europeans (i.e. not British). She is a little brittle too.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Yes, Charlotte could've written a less incredible ending quite easily and kept the resolution as it is - so we have to assume she chose not to. Why???



    I often wonder if Jane could have coped if Rochester's brother in law had turned up after her wedding night - could her faith and those unbending morals have coped ? Would Rochester end up with two wives in the Attic? A much better ending I think.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 10-16-2015 at 07:05 AM.
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    Okay Ecurb... Here we go:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Rochester isn't royal, and he isn't as eloquent as Hamlet. Why should I (or Jane, for that matter) listen to him. He's a pompous, cruel windbag, and so is St. John Rivers.
    Let's start with St. John. I honestly respect him. He is honest, hardworking, and devoted to his beliefs. Yes, he does have faults - he is a little to cold and unfeeling to be considered a "likable" character, but I would not call him cruel.

    And "eloquence?" Rochester is a passionate character, and his monologues reflect that. They are filled with emotion - they truly show what he is feeling. Whether he is the most refined speaker or not, I think it matters more what he says and means than how he says it (though I would argue that his monologues are beautifully written). And the dialogues in Pride and Prejudice? Yes, the dialogues are pretty elegant- (well-written by a talented writer, I'll admit) but do those dialogues really say or express much? I mean, sometimes I feel like they were more written to sound eloquent, rather really express something meaningful.

    So it is with Jane Eyre, who falls for the abusive Mr. Rochester. He teases her, torments her, and (when she threatens to leave) talks about how he could crush her with his powerful hands, although (of course?) he would never do that to his "beloved" Jane.
    Teasing her: I would not consider that abusive - I always saw it as good-natured, and Jane does not seem to mind it
    Torments her: When? I assume that you are referencing the time when he made her sit and watch him flirt with Miss Ingrim? I would not consider that "torment."
    Sure, maybe it was not the best thing he could have done, but his intentions were not malicious - He was in love with Jane, and wished to see if she had any feelings for him. He, unlike readers like ourselves, had no idea of Jane's pain.
    Threatening her: Once again, not one of his highlights. But, this is who he is - a Byronic with flaws. Rochester is a passionate guy, both in times of happiness and times of desperation. However, I would like to note that he does not harm her - I honestly do not think he ever would. Is there any evidence in the book that would suggest otherwise? He lived with his mad, violent wife for 15 years, the bane of his happiness, but refused to strike or harm her in any way. Moreover, he had many opportunities to take his anger out on Mason, one of his "deceivers" in the whole operation, but did not. Rochester is not a violent guy, just very passionate.

    When Rochester calls Jane is "elf" or his "witch" his attempts at pet names betray his true nature as a narcissist and egomaniac. Is Jane Eyre a "witch" because she has "bewitched" Rochester? Rochester cannot think of anyone except by thinking of himself.
    Sorry, Ecurb, I think you went too far on this one. I seriously doubt that every time he called by one of these names he thought about himself.
    I've always seen these names as terms of endearment, showing Jane's uniqueness. Witch, elf, changeling, fairy? - Jane is no traditional girl. She is small and childlike in appearance, yet has a fiery personality and a strong sense of self. Jane is an interesting combination, and I think that Rochester's "irregular" pet names for her are well-deserved.

    Rochester has abused his wife, has failed to love his daughter (surely nobody can condone his treatment of Adele, whom he promises to ship off to school as soon as he marries Jane. Perhaps Jane has forgotten Lowood.).
    Rochester never abused his wife.

    And with Adele, yes I'll admit, I never liked his treatment of her. On one hand, though, she is most likely not his daughter - he certainly does not think she is - and yet he takes her in. Think about it, if your "girlfriend" cheated on you with someone else, had that person's child, and then presented you with the kid, how would that make you feel? I respect the fact that he took her in and gave her home, even though she was not his responsibility. However, in terms of his personal treatment of her, I do wish had been a little kinder to her. I understand if he still felt resentment for Adele's mother, but I don't think he should have projected some of that resentment onto Adele. Overall, he tempered a benevolent act with some negativity - not the worst thing in the world, we know he is not perfect.

    In terms of sending her to boarding school, we do not know whether he was aware of them being good or bad. We do know, however, that Jane does not forget about Adele. Remember at the end when Jane found Adele's current school a bit too strict, and switched her into a more indulgent one?

    Rochester is (I think) a man that only a fool could love. We may excuse Jane for loving him because she has had so little love in her life. But why should an objective reader love him? The only reason I can think of is that some women (and, especially, teenage girls) identify strongly with Jane.
    You are right, I do identify strongly with Jane. However, Rochester is also romantic, passionate, strong, protective, and slightly vulnerable - all qualities that make me adore him (And he's head over heels in love with Jane).

    So much for racism, but Jane is not immune from class bigotry (despite being penniless herself).... Modest, plain Jane Eyre seems to be a bit full of herself here. Transforming those dull rustics into actual human beings must take some doing.
    Yes, Jane is still influenced by the patterns of society - never said she was not. When in the presence of Rochester and Miss Ingrim, she recognized that she was of a lower social class, and then behaved accordingly. Therefore, when exposed to uneducated farm girls of a lower social class, we cannot blame her for assuming her place as "above" them. However, I would not characterize this as being "full of herself;" she allowed herself to be impressed by her rustic students and was properly humbled by them - later she acknowledges that she was mistaken in her initial assumptions.

    [...] if they are, they differ considerably from Mr. Rochester, who is indecent, conceited, and utterly unworthy of respect. He's a whore monger, a wife abuser, and a cruel, egotistical excuse for a man.
    Rochester is rough around the edges, but not ill-intentioned. He is proud - not conceited. He made inexcusable mistakes as a young man, but learned from them. He is not a wife abuser. He is not cruel, and is described as a "kind, generous master."

    By the way the Jane Austen novel which can be reasonably compared to "Jane Eyre" is "Mansfield Park".
    Noted - will add that to my reading list.
    Last edited by Laura Clarke; 10-16-2015 at 09:45 PM.

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