Posted by Cassia on October 16, 1997 at 13:52:30:
In response to but are the Rochester types really so harmless?, written by Kate on October 14, 1997 at 13:25:00
] ] Two weeks ago, I as blasting Rochester for his selfishness and insensitivity. I felt sorry for the betrayal that he had suffered, but I could not excuse his treatment of Jane.
] ] Well now I feel that he has paid for his past actions and he seems truly repentant. He now deserves Jane and he really, truly loves her. I think that the loss of his hand and vision were nothing to him in comparison to his loss of Jane.
] ] They both deserve to live happily ever after!!
] I found this whole thread really interesting. One thing I think is that the fascination which women have with the dark and dangerous man(who we perceive to be soft and vulnerable inside), the "Byronic" hero on which Charlotte was basing Rochester, and on which Emily based Heathcliff is that they may just be dark and dangerous.
] What is it about that hint of suppressed violence which women sometimes find fascinating? Is it ok to like this in fictional characters knowing that in real life such characters may be the ones who beat up their wives? I worry that women might be seduced by the idea of a man who loves her "violently" (which is a pretty disturbing metaphor,when you think about it), whose passion is expressed in anger.
] I have always had difficulty with Rochester for this very reason. I think he treats Jane abominably early in the story - while he is trying to make her jealous. I read somewhere that the only reason he can submit to her in the end is because he has basically been emasculated - he is able to be helped by her only because he is no longer a whole man.
] I think I agree with Hinds - I'm not sure why women find a selfish, haughty, arrogant man attractive. If it does cover a centre which is more human well and good. But if it does not, the woman who believes that it might is marrying a very dangerous fantasy.
Ah, there's the nub of the problem. I cannot find Rochester attractive because I cannot find any of his brothers in fiction attractive. The broody type are always more trouble than they are worth. This I know from experience when I went out with one for a few months. Going out with someone who doesn't consider what you would want is not a good experience. And this is what I charge the Brooders with. I think this type exist in the imagination as a kind of emotional DYI project. Long trains of "if onlys" run through the mind. The thing is, this doesn't work; men resent it when women is the attempt to change them. Women don't tend to like it much either. Still, I can see why some might want to take on the task: the attempt to build an ideal man from the clay of his present life, the chance tod be the heroine. Doesn't work.
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