bring on those brooding young men

“Conventionality is not morality, self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.” —Charlotte Bronte.

How many young girls have imagined themselves as a lost Bronte sister, never forgiving themselves for having a childhood devoid of misty moors, petticoats and brooding men in deep thought, capes, and horses. What is the attraction? The creature in the original book compared herself to an infantine Guy Fawkes marked by suffering, and “always accused , forever condemned… a habitual mood of humiliation, self-doubt and forlorn depression.” You can see the connection with youthful radicalism working through identity issues, basically “using” the Palestinian cause as incubator for their own self-development:

---Guy Fawkes: Jane tells readers that Abbot compared her to Guy Fawkes. As part of the famous “Gunpowder Plot,” Fawkes, along with fellow conspirators, attempted to blow up King James I and the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. The reference is made in connection with Jane’s status as an “illconditioned child”--- Read More: image:

Jean Genet:They would set out for victory or death, even though each still remained a man alone with his own sensibilities and desires.” In them he rediscovered one of the central themes that had occupied his earlier work. In The Miracle of the Rose, Genet had written: “Only children who want to be bandits in order to resemble the bandit they love … dare have the audacity to play that character to the very end.” In the Palestinian fedayeen in 1970 he finds young men — boys almost — with the audacity to play the revolutionary to the very end. And with them, this “pink and white” 60-year-old French eminence, although he never thought of himself as Palestinian, felt “at home”.Read More:

---Bessie invited him to walk into the breakfast-room, and led the way out. In the interview which followed between him and Mrs. Reed, I presume, from after-occurrences, that the apothecary ventured to recommend my being sent to school; and the recommendation was no doubt readily enough adopted; for as Abbot said, in discussing the subject with Bessie when both sat sewing in the nursery one night, after I was in bed, and, as they thought, asleep, "Missis was, she dared say, glad enough to get rid of such a tiresome, ill- conditioned child, who always looked as if she were watching everybody, and scheming plots underhand." Abbot, I think, gave me credit for being a sort of infantine Guy Fawkes.--- Read More: image:

Not that Jane Eyre is overly sympathetic. In fact she is a bit annoying; but she is surrounded by cruelty and injustice as mitigating circumstances. And, in spite of the misery, something compelling does shine through: a sense of justice and desire of quality over style and an eschewing of the trite and superficial in favor of principles is endearing. Earnest and anguished, isolated and alone, Jane can be a heroine, a role model for both sides.

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