Not the mad wife
Posted by Ann on October 16, 1997 at 23:50:41:
In response to I`m not sure about that., written by Luisa on October 16, 1997 at 14:16:46
] Does it bother you? The mad wife in the attic, for example? Well, I guess we have different ways of reading.
I couldn't care less about the mad woman in the attic, as a plot point that works for me. There are just things in the plot that don't scan right. It has been a while since I have read this book, and I only did it once, but I kept saying to myself "this makes no sense!". It was very aggrivating.
The one point I have mentioned elsewhere on the board is the fact that, when JE discovers she not only has a relation alive in the world, but that he is wealthy and looking for her, she does nothing about it! She just sits on the information. This allows her to go on suffereing according to Bronte's wishes, but for me it completely ruins her character.
Either Jane is strong or she is weak. A lot of people see her as strong, but a strong character would have taken matters into her own hands and helped herself. She didn't do this. I can have no sympathy for someone who wallows in an ugly situation instead of getting themselves out of it when the opportunity arises.
At the time she learns she is potentially wealthy, she does not yet know that Rochester is already married. Certainly she would be in a better position to marry him, if she could bring that wealth to the marriage. But instead she goes on playing the role of the poor little, self-pitying girl. An heiress would have no trouble marrying the wealthy Rochester, but for a poor governess such a marriage is just out of reach. If she wanted him, she should have acted to win him.
As a second example, take the non-wedding. Two men come along and disrupt the wedding, telling JE that her rich uncle has sent them. What happens to them next? They were so disturbed by Jane marrying Rochester, that they did all they could to prevent it happening, and then they disappear. Wouldn't they have been equally concerned to leave Jane at Thornfield, wouldn't they have been trying to immediately remove her from Rochester's home? This doesn't happen, because it would get in the way of the Bronte-style suffering.
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