Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vampires, Jane Eyre, and the Germs of Love

"Absolutely, sir!  Oh, you need not be jealous!  I wanted to tease you a little to make you less sad: I thought anger would be better than grief.  But if you wish me to love you, could you but see how much I DO love you, you would be proud and content.  All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it remain, were fate to exile rest of me from your presence for ever." ~Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

If the previous quote doesn't move you just a little, you, my Friend, are dead inside.  No, really, you are Vampir.  Get a coffin and throw yourself in!  Alright.  alright.  Maybe, just maybe, I am a little prejudiced when it comes to Jane Eyre.  But, in my defense, how can you not love Jane?  She's such a mess.  Its a comfort.  You see, when I was a kid, and, even now, my cousin, Ginger, was the yen to my yang, flirtatious and flippant to my introverted and scared.  When Ginger wanted a man, she teased, pretended she felt little, and played games.  When I fall for a man, like Jane I do so by accident: "I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me!" I mean what's a lady to do when she overtaken by the Germs of Love?   Well, if you're a Jennifer or a Jane first you hide, then you deny, and finally, you blurt out everything all at once and start cry.  When Jane believes her Mr. Rochester in love with another woman, she tells him straight up:

"Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless?  You think wrong!-I have as much soul as you,-and full as much heart!  And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it has hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you."

No quote comforts me more than this one.  She's just yelling at him now.  This man made her love him without looking at her.  Now, he's obviously with this wealthy chick.  And what's does our heartbroken Gal do?  Flirt and stay in the game Ginger-style?  Nope.  Jane is quite clear.  She has no desire to leave her Mr. Rochester, and since she's on her way out, she won't go without saying so.  Aw, Jane, a woman after my own heart.  I promise I have said "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless?  You think wrong!"  Now, trust me Ladies this draws some looks and, usually, shocks the socks off the man in question.  But I've never been coy.  And subtly freaks me out.  My confession is more like something ripped from me then freely given.  Maybe what I love most about Jane Eyre is that, for awhile, the reader is lead to believe that Jane and her Mr. Rochester won't ever get together, but in the end, they do.  And its wonderful.  I'm a sucker for a happy ending...maybe because I'm hoping for one myself.  So, if you're suffering from the Germs of Love, take heart, the middle of a story always looks more dour than the end.

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