February 28, 2008

BTT: Heroine

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Booking Through Thursday

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


Reader, Jane Eyre is my favorite. At the beginning of the novel, she is an abused and neglected child. She is passionate, lashing out against the cruelty of her aunt and cousins. After she's sent to Lowood, she learns to take care of herself and gains confidence enough to go out into the world alone to make a living. As governess, she's caring to a girl so different than herself but almost as starved for love as she was as a child. While sparring with the master of the house, she doesn't let him get the better of her. Mr Rochester sees that spark of passion. He falls in love with her not because she's beautiful but because she's intelligent, an intellectual match for him. After her wedding day falls to pieces, she makes the difficult decision to leave Mr Rochester. She could have been his mistress. She loved him but she left him because she knew she'd hate herself later. She's moral but not preachy. I'm not even sure what religion she follows. It takes incredible strength to leave Thornfield, the place she sees as her home. Jane is found, half dead, by St John and makes herself useful to his sisters. Jane could have chosen to marry St John but she knows he doesn't love her and she doesn't love him. Somehow she comes back to Rochester, a woman of wealth, and marries a man as broken as he is because she loves him. Aw, so romantic!

Jane's been my favorite since I first read it in my teens. I love her strength of character. I love her unbelievable happy ending. She's unique in her time as a woman who's not out hunting for a husband, although she gets one on her own terms.

Note: I saw Definitely, Maybe last night. The book comes up during the story and becomes a big part of the plot near the end. It was a great movie, funny and smart. A great movie to see with your girlfriends.

26 comments :

  1. I. Love. Jane Eyre. And ooooohhhh, that whole Mr Rochester thing! I also loved Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane. Fabulous.

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  2. Ah... you're making me want to read this again. I guess it's about time, I remember the last time I read it was when my daughter was born, and she turns nine in a couple of weeks. It's time, right?

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  3. Wow, I realize I'm in the minority, but I basically felt the exact opposite way. I felt that Rochester was a jerk and a manipulator and didn't deserve anyone, let alone Jane. I was extremely disappointed when she went back to him. To me, it felt like she was a woman who was strong enough to get out of a bad relationship, but then fell back in out of weakness.

    I was pleased with Wide Sargasso Sea, since that book seems to have a similar opinion on Rochester - he's a jerk.

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  4. Jane made my list, too, for many of the reasons you mentioned. I love how you said "As governess, she's caring to a girl so different than herself but almost as starved for love as she was as a child." I hadn't thought of that connection, but it's so true.

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  5. I must agree with Cephyn, as I'm really not fond of Jane Eyre for the reasons she stated. I also read Wide Sargasso Sea - that was an intriguing book.

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  6. I loved Jane when I was young, but she doesn't quite make my favourites now. Maybe just because I haven't read it for a while.

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  7. I really like your comments on Jane. She made my list too.

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  8. Hmm, it's been a while since I read Jane Eyre, so I don't remember it well but it seems like I leaned toward cephyn's opinion. Maybe I need to reread it.

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  9. Okay, okay! I'll re-read Jane Eyre. :-)

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  10. Deb- I probably saw it but can't remember.

    Suey- I last read it in 2004.

    Cephyn, Val & Bookfool- Different strokes I suppose!

    Barbara,Nyssaneala & Pussreboots- Glad you feel that way.

    Trish & Geraniumcat- Give it another read.

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  11. Good choice. I haven't given it much thought, but Jane would be in my top 3. I'd like to see Definitely, Maybe at some point!

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  12. I haven't read this yet, but I can see she's one of the popular picks.
    Happy BTT!

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  13. Jane is a popular choice. Your synopsis serves her well.
    :)

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  14. I'm quite fond of Jane Eyre, but then I thought that because it's her 100th birthday this year I should probably pick Anne Shirley. But, to tell the truth, there are far too many great female characters in literature for me to pick a favourite.

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  15. It was hard deciding on a favourite and I nearly added Jane to my list, as she was a favourite years ago. This makes me think I'll re-read Jane Eyre this year.

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  16. I always loved Jane Eyre too!

    And thanks for the film recommendation!

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  17. I love Jane Eyre too. Especially when she tells Rochester, passionately, that just because she's plain that doesn't mean she doesn't have feelings. If I hadn't chosen Lizzie Bennet I would have chosen Jane.

    And thanks for the tip about Definitely, Maybe - I was thinking of maybe going to see it. Now I definitely will.

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  18. I have always loved Jane Eyre as well--although I loved Emily's Wuthering Heights a little more (although I wouldn't call Cathy my favorite heroine!).

    I'm glad to hear something positive about Definitely, Maybe! I haven't heard anything and would love to see it.

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  19. Thanks for visiting, guys! Glad you like Jane too.

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  20. Jane is definitely one of my favorites too. She's the very first to come to mind in fact.

    I won't be seeing Definitely, Maybe with my girlfriends, but hubby and I do plan to see that this weekend. :-)

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  21. Love Jane Eyre as well - your response also reminded me of Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Princess (I can't remember her name). I cried buckets over her when I was a kid!

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  22. Lit Feline- You're lucky. My hubby won't go with me to these kinds of movies :(

    Lesley- I haven't read that one.

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  23. Sorry I post this so late, but I agree...I like Jane Eyre too. Great choice!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you come back and visit me again. Have a great day!

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  24. Jane is in my top five. Mr. Rochester is a bit of an arse, but he was stressed out, what with his crazy wife in the attic and the snobby girl after him and all. Makes me cry every time I read it. And Ive discovered that if I read it out loud to my 4 year old, it puts him to sleep every time.

    Thanks for coming by my blog; I'll be back to visit yours again, for sure!

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  25. Julia- Thanks for the visit.

    Annie- Thanks for dropping by. I like how you said Rochester was stressed out. That's how I think of him too.

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