Monday, December 14, 2009

Jane Eyre Revisited

We watched "Jane Eyre" tonight. Unfortunately, the movie gives us the romance and skips all the "good stuff".

I love the book because in chapter 27 there is the best discussion of temptation that I've ever seen. We see Jane faced with a choice to live in sin or go out alone into the world. She chooses the latter. But only after struggling with herself and winning.
...and while he spoke my very conscience and reason turned traitors against me, and charged me with crime in resisting him. They spoke almost as loud as Feeling: and that clamoured wildly. 'O comply!' it said. 'Think of his misery; think of his danger - look at his state when left alone; remember his headlong nature; consider the recklessness following on despair - soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?'

Still indomitable was the reply - 'I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God, sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad - as I am now. Laws and principles are not for times when there is no temptation: they are for moments such as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth – so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe now, it is because I am insane - quite insane, with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count the throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations are all I have at this hour to stand by; there I plant my foot."

- From Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

I wish a number of young women (and men) of my acquaintance would hold this same conversation with themselves!


Linda said...

So excellent!!! What a quote!!! It's a little long for the quote spot on my blog, but I might steal it for a blog entry . . . totally agree, men and women young and old should have this same soliloquy!!!!!! So missing in the things of today's world!!!!!

Tim and Susan said...

Great to see pictures of your family.