For those of you who really don’t care about literature, I doubt that this will be an entertaining post; you might want to change pages right now. For the rest of you, I had a very literarily enlightening Saturday! I went with a few friends to see the newest version of Jane Eyre (which I enjoyed immensely) and then I ended my evening with my school’s closing performance of Waiting for Godot.
Either one of those alone would have left my mind reeling, but the combination has my brain ready to explode! So first, a few thoughts on Jane Eyre.
1) A man chasing a woman – is that entirely realistic?
Poor Jane! Her whole life is one of abuse and neglect. I thought that this version of Jane Eyre did a wonderful job of bringing that abuse to the forefront of the plot. And yet, at the end of the day, she finds the man whose soul is inexplicably attached to her soul by a string under his left rib, and when she runs from him, he chases after her with every ounce of speed he can muster (measuring speed by weight is pretty ridiculous, I know). In nearly every romantic movie, the heroine runs at some point – and ALWAYS, her lover runs after her. Unfortunately, in real life, most men just stand stunned when a woman runs – giving up when a passionate flight after her could have saved everything. C’mon guys, RUN after her!
2) Must there always be two proposals?
From here on out, I will be thinking of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. (Speaking of which, does anyone else think that Jane Eyre is, in many ways, the dark, twisted sister of Pride and Prejudice?) Anyway, what is it about classic romantic love stories that require the heroine to be proposed to twice? Isn’t once enough? Share the love, sisters!
3) Must the “wrong” proposal always be right and the “right” proposal always be wrong?
Speaking of double proposals, has anyone else noticed that in both Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, the heroine has to turn down the socially correct suitor in order to claim the suitor society does not want her to have? It takes a strong woman to do that. Maybe that’s the reason we love these women so much!
4) Mr. Rochester will never be Mr. Darcy.
I’m sure that some of you *cough*Katie*cough* will disagree, but I just wasn’t in love with Mr. Rochester. It isn’t that he didn’t play the character well because he did – but he certainly didn’t capture my heart the way Mr. Darcy (in every version) does. I wonder what a psychoanalysis of my love for Mr. Darcy and neutrality towards Mr. Rochester would reveal.
Now to Waiting for Godot. I had never seen an absurdist play before, and I was definitely left feeling a tad uneasy afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it – the acting and the script were amazing – but there was definitely a feeling of uneasiness within me as the production ended. Some thoughts inspired by Waiting for Godot.
1) Godot represents God.
I know, I know, the author said that Godot isn’t meant to be God, and that he doesn’t even know who Godot is… but really? I don’t believe him. I felt like this play was definitely about religion, and the fact that Godot could also be written God, Oh… which if it were a name would be Oh God is just a bit much for me. The author might not have meant for Godot to be God, but from a formalist analysis lens, I couldn’t care less. The author was wrong and pretending that what he intended determines the meaning of the play has a special definition that I learned last semester – “intentional fallacy.” So there! (I’m not really mad if you disagree…)
2) God is absent.
I don’t really believe this at all, which is why I left the play feeling uneasy and a tad depressed. I felt sorry for the characters whose lives were entirely meaningless as they wasted them away waiting for Godot who either didn’t care or didn’t exist. But then I talked to a friend who gave me a different idea that made me feel better…
3) False gods won’t save you.
I know that God would never leave his children helpless and abandoned, but many times we turn to false gods to save us – and they will let us down every time. Technology will inevitably fail when you need it the most. Even the people who love you the most will fail you at some points in the course of your life. If we place all of our faith in false gods, our lives will become meaningless periods of waiting for the next big thing to happen.
I guess I had more to say than I realized. If you’ve made it this far, I commend you. You must be an English major! (or at least someone who cares about literature and/or someone who loves me a whole lot). I hope that you can find meaning in the art around you. Literature and other forms of art are only as good as the thoughts they inspire.
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