This Advent, I’m attempting to find the gratitude in my every day life and post – every day – about it. I’d love to have you along for the journey!
I am so so grateful that Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre came into my life.
Recently, my friends and I had a white elephant book exchange. When someone selected and unwrapped my offering, I was asked my reasons for picking Jane Eyre. When I mentioned that I still had my copy that I bought at the high school Scholastic Book Fair, there were plenty of eye rolls and choruses of “of course you do.” What can I say? My Book Fair roots run deep.
Seriously, Mr. Rochester?
Jane is not playing with this man.
Where Is Jane’s Happy Ending?
I won’t spoil the book for you, but it turns out that happiness is not meant to be Jane’s just yet. As she traverses the world in search of some peace, she is constantly running into people who are telling her that peace can only be found at the side of a man – any man. She doesn’t buy it. She has known love, no matter how dysfunctional, and she’d rather be alone than with someone she doesn’t love.
I’m just reminding you. Victorian England. This isn’t Sex and the City.
What I love best is that Jane is just living her life by her principles. She doesn’t have an ax to grind. She’s not Scarlett O’Hara, setting out to accomplish big things and prove something to everyone. Jane wants love, but if she can’t find it with the right person, she’s totes prepared to do her thing quietly and somewhat contentedly. This isn’t a “feminist” novel like The Awakening. That novel’s Edna is an overflowing bag of discontent and unhappiness, always whining and seeking out greener grass, when her own lawn is pretty darn green. Jane stands up for herself when she needs to but doesn’t look for things to be angry and unhappy about. She’s entirely secure with her place in this world.
I will leave you with this hilarious cartoon that is found on Hark! A Vagrant. Charlotte and her sister Emily are most famous for writing about women who fall in love with moody jerks. Their less famous sister, Anne, wrote some kick ass literature, too – but her male leads are a little less tragic. You have to be a serious Victorian Gothic lit nerd to find this funny. It makes me laugh every time I see it.