But students are likely to differ in their reactions to Jane's position at the novel's end: Has Bronte reduced her intelligent, passionate, and courageous heroine to an ordinary wife and mother? Has Jane achieved nothing but a woman's traditional place?
OH MY GOD. There just hardly aren't any words for how angry this makes me. In the first place, nobody's asking whether Rochester has been reduced to anything by becoming an ordinary husband and father. It's not like anybody thinks Mr. Rochester is going to do anything surprising with his life from here on out; looks to me like Mr. Rochester has pretty much devoted himself to his wife, whom he adores, and their sweet little baby with the big black eyes, and that's all he's going to be getting up to from now on.
Sidebar: Hey, look. Four out of the five last words of that sentence are prepositions.
In the second place, really? Reduced the many-good-adjectives heroine to an ordinary wife and mother? I'm sorry, but don't all the good adjectives seem to imply to you that she's amazing forever no matter what job she takes? How is becoming a wife and mother going to make her unintelligent and unpassionate and uncourageous? And also, is this woman implying that most wives and mothers out there are unintelligent and unpassionate and uncourageous? Like, they all started out without the benefit of these good adjectives and that is why they achieved "nothing but a woman's traditional place"?
And not to go back over already-covered ground, but reduced? Reduced? Indeed, reduced? That's what happens when a woman marries and has kids, she's reduced to ordinariness? Seriously, what the hell? This is why I get cross. It seems like there are all these feminist thinkers who are of the opinion that any woman who decides to get married and have kids and stay home to raise them is settling for some pathetic male-dominated life. Because of course there's no way anyone could actually make an intelligent informed choice to be a full-time parent. Nooooo. It's oppression that makes you think it's your choice when really all along you're just giving in to The Man.
Barbara Thaden who wrote this article, I don't want to be friends with you. You're a big insulting jerk. This is like the reasonablest crankiness there has ever been since I started this blog.