No Break Brontë – Jane Eyre

“Who would think that the Evil One had already found a servant and agent in her? Yet such, I grieve to say, is the case.” (p. 129) No breaks for the underdog. That is the sum of my conclusion on both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. The prose is exacting of a dismal and depressing sort. My mind is turned in awful ways that I think I should reject the assignment given to me by my betters. The author’s influence reaches deeply, even now, into my choice of words that I scrawl here, heavy laden in their gothic style as it were.

What possesses an author to delve into such a dismal story? The psychological dystopia displayed in the Brontë’s works must certainly be taxing on the author. Was it so commonplace in their time to spin dramatic webs as they did, comparative to our modern forms of entertainment, or were the authors’ works of a caliber that sets them apart from commonplace literature?

Despite the answer to the above questions, one thing is certain; the protagonist of Brontë is beaten down in a heavy-handed dose of undue ire. With Jane Eyre as main character and narrator, the reader is dredged through abuse and wrongful conclusions under the circumstances. Or, might the circumstances revealed to the reader be skewed by the main character’s bias as the chosen narrator?

There are hints of circumstantial forgery in such passages as when Jane is stricken with a book by John. It seems as though the whole picture is not given a fair interpretation. What would possess John to simply stick out his tongue at Jane? Any answer would still need justification as to why would he continue to do so for ‘two or three minutes?’ I have three children of my own and one thing I have learned, actions are typically solicited and met with reactions of some sort.

The reaction Jane has when John comes over and picks her up by her hair seems to be a lashing out that causes him injury. Jane was apparently unaware of exactly what her hands did. In several places Jane exclaims that the actions seemed unlike her, as if someone else were speaking, and inward reflections hint at her true feelings of shame for her actions or thoughts. On page 73, Jane sits reflecting on her actions and among them reveals a trait of self-doubt.

The rest of the story may yield further insight, but I have reason to believe that Jane is not as much the victim as the narration bares witness.

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