I finished reading Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) last night. I had put it aside to read last, as I had read her sister's Wuthering Heights and found it to be rather dark.
Jane Eyre starts off not very happy, but gets so much better. I absolutely loved it. I loved the morality, I loved the passion. There is the perfect balance of both in this book. It is neither permissive nor uptight. To her credit, Jane Eyre does what is right, despite her feelings pulling her to do the contrary, and in the end, she gets her happy ending, a much happier ending than would have been had she followed her feelings only.
If I am ever single again, the next person I fall in love with will have to be a Mr. Rochester. Jane considers her to be equal to Mr. Rochester, not in the sense of class, or riches, but in the sense that her soul understood perfectly his. They share a similar sense of humour, with him, she is absolutely free to be herself, no need to hide a part of herself, there is nothing about her that he does not like nor want, and vice versa.
The banter between the two is something I really enjoyed, for having shared a similar sort of banter a few rare times with a couple of people I have known myself. I rarely identify with characters in stories as I did with this couple. I liked it even better than Jane Austen's books, whose romances are often quite "sensible" as she would put it, but without a lot of "sense" or demonstration of passion.
I also liked it better because the characters in Jane Eyre, the nice ones anyone, the ones I'd have wanted to know, did not think the lower classes so repulsive. Also, Jane Eyre is a hard working woman. She doesn't need to be constantly visiting people and going out for suppers and dinners and parties and balls, because she has nothing else to do, and would be otherwise twiddling her thumbs all day and not know what to do with herself, as so many of the characters (albeit not always the main ones) in Jane Austen's books do.
Jane Austen's books portray an English Upper Class of the time, which I am glad I do not have to live in myself.
As persons, we need to have a purpose in life, some work to do. We need to feel needed, we need to accomplish good works, otherwise we become lost. There seem to have been a great deal of very lost people in the Upper Classes of Jane Austen's England.