(Click on the comic to see a bigger version on the artist’s website)
Kate Beaton: “Dude Watchin’ with the Brontës” Hark, A Vagrant! #202.
This comic captures what life must have been like for the Brontë sisters. Let’s face it–Rochester isn’t really going to win any personality awards. He’s definitely a step above Heathcliff, the male lead from Wuthering Heights, if you are familiar with Charlotte’s sister’s novel. He’s kind to Jane and Adele in his way and seems to care about them to some degree. At the same time, he’s grumpy, brooding, and unpredictable. I have trouble getting over the age difference between him and Jane (he’s twice her age–she’s 18 and he’s 35). And what is he doing with Blanche Ingram, eh?
One thing that struck me as I reread the book this time was how lonely and isolated Jane is prior to Mr. Rochester’s arrival. I don’t think that had really stood out to me before. In my head, she was content to be at Thornfield from her arrival until Rochester enters the story. In reality, she’s has more wanderlust and desire to escape her situation than I remembered. Faced with this loneliness (which I imagine reflects Charlotte Brontë’s loneliness), it’s no surprise that she falls for Rochester so quickly.
Having read Jane Eyre before, there’s not a lot more I can add because I don’t want to spoil anything for first time readers. I will cryptically say it’s been enjoyable finding more hints of what’s to come scattered throughout the book.
This post is part of the Septemb-Eyre Read-Along hosted on Entomology of a Bookworm. Be sure to check out all the wonderful posts from other participants.