Friday, April 30, 2010


I haven't posted in a bit, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading. It's more of a reflection that my life has been hectic and traumatic and full of emotional upheaval which as caused me to question my very sanity and well being. Plus I was in Washington, DC for a week. At any rate, despite the soul-crushing last few weeks I managed finish "Jane Eyre". I raise my glass of 15 year old Kentucky bourbon to Jane and her creator Charlotte Bronte! Here's my highly intellectual literary criticism: This was a really good book. Talk about your plot twists: There's a crazy woman in the attic! Holy crap, it's Mr. Rochester's wife! Oh no, she's burned down the house and wounded Mr. Rochester and took a face plant off the building! Oh yeah, sorry about the spoilers, in case you're the one other person on this planet who's never read this book.

There's a lot of stuff in this book that I, as a scientist, didn't quite get, as I was probably too busy trying to comprehend the molecular structure of Mr. Rochester's hair. For example, what's with the crazy wife in the attic? Is that a commentary on the sad state of marriage in 19th century England? Is there some larger symbolism? Or is it just that Mr. Rochester is a dick, and keeps his looney wife locked up there against her own will while he's putting the moves on the young governess and asking her to marry him even though he knows damn good and well that he's got that crazy wife in the attic and how could Jane not find out? Indeed she does find out and she runs off, and she should because of the dick-like bigamy moves that Rochester is trying to pull. So then she escapes to another part of the country where she is taken in by a poor family who, SURPRISE, happen to be her cousins. Why does this always happen in Victorian novels: there's some big plot twist that hinges around the most improbable of events. One example from the top of my head is Ham dying to rescue Steerforth in "David Copperfield". Anyway, where was I in my rambling? Oh yeah, so one of the cousins starts hitting on Jane and asking her to marry him, because he thinks Jane would make a good missionary wife. Jane says "No" several times, mainly because he loves someone else and because he's an even bigger dick than Rochester. He doesn't really care about Jane, he just wants a missionary wife/companion. Anyway, Jane finally hears the ghostly voice of Rochester calling her through some spiritual ghostly connection they have, so she seeks him out. He's now blind and gimpy from when the ex-wife burned down the house, but Jane loves him anyway and forgives him and marries him, because in the end, true love conquers all and allows for forgiveness, just as Jesus loves us all and forgives us our trespasses. There's a lesson to be learned there. This is an odd and sweet book. True love conquers all. Is that true in real life? Stay tuned...