Thursday, September 22, 2011

on fictional comparisons

When we were little and my brother was being sneaky, my mom called him Eddie Haskel.  When I was acting out or emotional, she called me the first Mrs. Rochester.  I assumed Mrs. Rochester was another sitcom character, maybe one I wasn't familiar with, or maybe a teacher from her elementary school days.  

It wasn't until I read Jane Eyre and flipped the page to the scene where Mr. Rochester brings his almost bride Jane back from their would-be wedding to meet his first wife Bertha Mason that I realized who she was comparing me to.  Not Mrs. Rochester a tv character, but Mrs. Rochester the mad woman* who was caged in an attic, barred from the rest of the world due to her mania, Mrs. Rochester who burns down Thornfield before throwing herself off the roof:

"In the deep shade, at the further end of the room, a figure ran backwards and forwards. What it was, whether beast or human being one could not, at first sight, tell: it groveled, seemingly, on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing; and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face."
I think my brother got off easy with Eddie.

*poor Bertha, being kept in an attic for 15 years would turn me mad too...

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