bronte v. austen
Posted by Kate on October 14, 1997 at 22:34:10:
In response to For pity's sake, written by Sherry on October 14, 1997 at 20:15:47
] He makes the supreme sacrifice (that of risk to his own life)
] to save a woman who has been the bane of his existence since first they met. I would say that you have maybe missed his essence. This is a man who longs to be good, to be innocent again, and sees in Jane his way back to some semblance of the youth he once was. Can't you feel a little pity for this man? He is gruff and hard because of his disillusionment with life not because it is his nature to be so in fact it is his nature to be exactly opposite that is what he connects to in Jane. You can not admire Janes soul without admiring Rochesters because they are reflected in each other.
I think this whole discussion is part of the reason why I prefer Austen to Bronte. For Charlotte (and Emily) passions were writ large - everyone felt so much and emoted so much (I mean really, some of the dialogue!!). Rochester is such a BIG character - he has been awfully bad, then he does something majorly heroic, then he suffers terrible injury. And Jane, despite her physical smallness, FEELS things so terribly much.
Austen I think had a more human perspective on people's emotions. While I dislike Darcy at the beginning, I never fear that he might be violent in his rage or passion. With Rochester, I think Jane IS tapping into the desire for risk that exists within some of us. All I was trying to say is that, with the wrong person, taking that risk could have pretty unpleasant consequences.
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