Or otherwise known as my cage match challenge to Sinead. So as I mentioned I’m writing a blog for Brie at Romance Around the Corner for Heroine Week. While doing so the topic of my two favorite heroines of all time naturally came up.
But in a straight up competition I have to pick Jane Eyre, who is in my opinion the greatest heroine written of all time. Here is why:
1. Way more tragic childhood to overcome. Orphan, horrible foster family, awful school, death of her best friend. Despite all of this she triumphs over these tragedies to find love.
2. Her spirit. While both women share a tremendous spirit, which is why I think we love them, Jane has to really work to hold on to herself while so many forces in her life try to suppress and crush that spirit. I don’t know that anyone tried to crush or reign in Elizabeth.
3. She’s a working woman. Now I know Elizabeth essentially couldn’t work given her status, but this is my pick and I like that fact that Jane has that independent element about herself.
4. More of a risk taker. This no one can deny. Elizabeth really doesn’t risk much, while Jane perpetually risks everything for a better life.
5. Finally, her self-worth. Both women have a strong sense of who they are. Both women fight the expectations of their status. Elizabeth is offended to be called beneath Darcy (even from a practical standpoint she probably knows she is). Jane is willing to marry Rochester, even though she knows it flies in the face of society. But for me it’s that moment when Jane realizes he’s already married, and he proposes to take her away to France, that’s where she rises above Elizabeth. Her determination in not taking the easy path, despite her circumstances, is a much greater sacrifice. Her clinging to her principles, her belief in herself, and what she wants from the man she loves, I think surpasses anything Elizabeth does to have the same.
And now you pick. Jane or Elizabeth?