Mol (mollyringle) wrote,
Mol
mollyringle

A small thought on Charlotte Bronte novels

teenybuffalo, in discussing Charlotte Bronte's Villette, made this insightful remark comparing it to the Jane Eyre/Edward Rochester relationship:

"Lucy and Paul Emanuel have the same kind of abusive-relationship-played-for-laughs that Jane did with Mr. Rochester. In this iteration, I felt really uncomfortable with it, even as M. Paul reenacts a lot of the same bullshit Mr. Rochester tends to pull: he locks Lucy in the attic to learn her lines for a play, puts her in humiliating situations with third parties, finds fault with her character, plays head games, etc. The funny thing is that when Rochester and Jane Eyre go through this, I actually really enjoy it, because they do. They're both positively kinky about how much they like tormenting each other, and I never quite take it seriously when they call each other ugly and screw with each other's minds. With Villette, though, the fun has gone out of the game for the equivalent characters."

Jane and Edward are kinky! Hah, they are! I never thought about it like that, precisely, but it's totally true. They're kind of proto-BDSM, in a way--and actually, the same can be said for a lot of Brontean romances. (Oh hi, Cathy and Heathcliff; or do you two fall into actually-BDSM?)

Meanwhile, agreed about the utterly depressing nature of Villette. As commenters over there said, the novel is well worth reading--once. But Jane Eyre, oh, how many happy double-handfuls of times will we women read that one in our lives?
Tags: books, love
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