JANE EYRE AND ROCHESTER: SOUL- MATES IN SEARCH OF THEIR ESSENTIAL SELVES by Orah Rosenblatt
"Come Baby find me,
Come Baby remind me
Of where I once begun;
Come Baby show me,
Show me you know me,
Tell me you're the one....
It's like my whole life never happened
When I'm with you, as if I've never had a thought;
I know this dream It might be crazy,
But it's the only one I've got...."
(Bob Dylan, "Emotionally Yours")
Each of us carries within us the seed of a unique plant. When circumstances conspire to caringly nourish that seed in the manner most appropriate to its true nature-- circumstances which, sadly, are as rare as they are fortunate--the germ of our original selves is likely to flourish. When, however, this tender seed receives attention which is insufficient or antithetical to its essential inclination, growth is inevitably blighted in some way. Weaker or more sensitive seedlings may wither outright; others will be irreparably stunted. Stronger plants may yet grow to imposing heights, but they will be bent and twisted at the places where their needs were unmet, and may well feel eternally compelled to somehow loosen the knot of those deforming deprivations, so as to come closer to their originally intended shapes: Jane Eyre and Rochester are two such plants; driven by an indomitable will to find and follow their essential selves, they discover in each other a vital key to the realization of that end. As every conscientious parent knows, a child needs both roots--love and security--and wings--belief in, and encouragement of, his autonomy--in order to mature. While gifted with the latter--the drive for self-realization previously mentioned--Jane and Rochester have been severely deprived of the foundation of the former. They are both outsiders. The identities they have succeeded in forging for themselves thus have a quality of rare integrity, for they primarily have come from within, not from the outer prompting to please and...
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