Jane Eyre is about a principled, virginal governess who falls in love with her employer Mr Rochester, but cannot marry him, because he has a wife, an insane and dangerous woman who lives in the attic, and appears only to start fires. It is a rescue fantasy - a book about how a plain woman can be saved by a powerful man.In fact, this is the genre that Bronte subverts. It certainly is a rescue novel, only it is one about how a powerful man can be saved by a plain woman - but solely by losing his power and living with her as an equal. A far more interesting theme than Gold suggests.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tanya Gold, in a piece about Jean Rhys, writes about Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: