Ethos of suffering
Posted by Erin on October 15, 1997 at 21:17:32:
In response to well said but there's more, written by Sherry on October 15, 1997 at 14:05:57
I certainly agree with you Helen but don't you feel there's so much more underlying this work? I can't express it well but this is from Aeschylus and it says what I want to exactly.
"He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our despair, against our will comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
It is this hard won wisdom coming out of their individual and eventually mutual suffering that is the cord (which Rochester speaks of) that binds them. It is so painfully beautiful.
Sherry---------- in a quoting kind of mood
I think you're correct to point out the idea of suffering-brings-redemption and apply it to both Jane and Rochester --they share a certain poignancy of experience, which has re-forged their selves into an union.
Yet, I also believe that we (as individuals) can't change fundamentally what we are. That in the end, and through it all, we remain the same. We can modify how we deal with our impulses, habits, desires, predilections; but we cannot entirely dispose of them. (This is a philisophical statement, not a pyschological claim.)
Therefore, when I consider the deformed, muted Rochester who marries Jane, I cannot accept a fundamental transformation. He still can be brutal. I may add that he has always carried the capacity to actualize the love and devotion has for Jane, however unwillingly his brutality surrenders it.
Now, somewhat unrelated to this train of thought:
"But even Solomon says, 'the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain, (ie., while living), 'in the congregation of the dead.'Give not thyself up then to fire lest it invert thee, deaden thee; as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness"(Melville, Moby Dick)
The ethos of suffering can lead many to destruction rather than redemption. I think this is my problem with Romanticism in general.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.