See, I have to write this research paper on Jane Eyre. Which is fine, whatever, because there are actually a ton of resources on Jane Eyre, except none of them are about what I want to write about and I don't actually agree with any of them. Because I really don't care what a bunch of academics say, Jane Eyre isn't a feminist novel, it's a stupid story about stupid people being stupid about the stupid problems they have because they're stupid! That's how I feel, and no number of articles arguing otherwise is going to change my mind.
Okay, so Jane refuses to be Rochester's mistress. Bully for her. You know, he's only tried to trick her into bigamy because, to paraphrase, "I knew if I told you the truth, you wouldn't marry me, and I wanted to marry you because I love you so much, so I didn't tell you the truth, but now that it's come out accidentally, even though I tried to trick you into doing something I knew you wouldn't want to do, will you be my mistress anyway?" And then when she refuses, he physically assaults her. Yeah, I can't imagine why she runs away from him after that. </ sarcasm>
Having said that, when she does run away, she does it in the most idiotic way possible. Yeah, I get that she doesn't have time to contact her uncle or gather money or whatever, but at least take your jewelry to hock along the way. My god, woman, do you have any idea how to be fugitive? What the hell is your plan?
And then - and then - she finds these long lost cousins (and let's not even get into how convenient that is) and her guy cousin is a total controlling asshole, and she lets him control her. "Oh, I want to learn German but you want me to learn Hindustani even though that will be of absolutely no use to me in the life I've planned for myself? Guess I'll learn Hindustani then." Wow, what a strong, independent woman! </ sarcasm> And the only reason she doesn't give in to said asshole cousin's demand that she marry him and become a missionary with him (and in the proposal he not only insults her in every possible manner but attempts to emotionally blackmail her by telling her she'll be damned to hell if she doesn't do what he says)? Because she hears the voice of Rochester! That's right, she doesn't give in to one manipulative bastard because the hold of another is stronger! Hurrah for women being able to think for themselves! (And that's not even talking about how afterward she hopes her bastard cousin will forgive her, even though she has nothing to be forgiven for and he should be the one begging her for forgiveness!)
And then she goes back to Rochester and immediately starts back into referring to him, even in her head, as her "master", which is way creepy, and he's all, "Why did you run away? I know I said I would break you in half if you didn't comply with my demands, but I only said it because I'm so in love with you! Of course I would never hurt you (even though I totally did)! I was so worried about you! Why didn't you just trust me?!?!" Oh gee, I can't imagine! Maybe because you tried to trick her into bigamy? I mean, just possibly. Also, great, so in real life, Rochester is totally the guy who beats his wife and then cries about it and blames it on her. Awesome. Yeah, this one epic love story right here! </ sarcasm>
And you know what? I get it. I get that it's fiction, which means when Rochester says he's reformed, he probably has. But in real life, that doesn't happen. In real life, Rochester is so very much the guy you don't want to date. I can make that distinction, but a lot of people can't, and it disturbs me. It's what disturbs me about Twilight and The Notebook and a lot of other "Epic Love Stories" that in real life would be very bad news. And it's why I have a problem with Jane Eyre being held up as this paragon of feminism when in real life we'd probably be trying to get her into counseling for Battered Wife Syndrome ASAP.
But the most frustrating part is that I can't write any of that for my research paper because I can't find any research that fucking agrees with me! Because everyone thinks Jane Eyre is this amazing feminist declaration. And you know what? It isn't!