"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return." ~Philippians 1:9-10~
Both orphans, brought up by people who despised them.
Both stories are rags to riches tales.
Cinderella and Jane Eyre both disguise themselves to keep safe.
Both were shunned pretty much, and both were poor, and both were heiresses.
Both of their hearts were broken, Cinderella by the death of her mother, Jane by the death of her only friend.
Both worked hard. I'll mention this later in the post.
Both had help. Jane was given comfort and encouragement from the angel-like fellow school girl Helen, who later died, and a teacher. Cinderella of course was given help from a fairy Godmother in some versions, a red fish in others, an ox in another, a tree in the Grim brothers' version that she watered with her tears (sound like Rapunzel a little? Life-giving tears).
Both stories are love stories.
Both have uses of birds for symbolism. A bird freed from a cage.
Both Cinderella and Jane Eyre fell in love with the first young man they had ever really met in their lives who was civil to them, and they both never really knew much about men.
Now I will begin to separate the tales.
Jane Eyre is not a love at first sight story.
Cinderella cries a lot in the tale.
So does Jane, but Jane has a fierceness about her, a passion to live independent.
Cinderella doesn't do anything against the people who were mean to her.
Jane on the other hand fought back. She fought for justice.
In Cinderella, I feel like they make it seem that working and doing chores is LOW, not something we should be doing. Just an opinion though, I could be wrong.
But Jane feels no shame about working. She wants to live independently and must make a living of some sort.
While Cinderella does little else but work and run away to the ball and leave late (or early if you look at it from the Prince's point of view), Jane makes a big decision that breaks her own heart but she knows it's for the best, and it turns out better in the end.
Cinderella was loved for her physical beauty (though in fairy tales it sometimes is presented like the outward appearance represents the heart).
Jane Eyre was loved because she was plain, not pretty, and her beauty was on the inside. Cinderella fell in love because he was hansom.
Jane fell in love not because he was hansom (well, perhaps but she keeps that a secret from us).
HE ASKS HER HIMSELF, "Do you think me hansom?" When we were watching the movie at the movie theater 2011, we heard a young lady in the audience say, "Yes!" we all laughed. But Jane said, "No." Mr. Rochester is very surprised by her bluntness, her honesty. "Beauty is of little consequence," she says. It's one of the many reasons why I love the classic book/movie.
In the story of Cinderella, the goal is fulfilled when she marries the Prince.
But Jane's story goal is fulfilled when she becomes independent. Marrying the one she loves was icing and a cherry on top of a cake.
But to bring the stories together again, perhaps Jane Eyre drew me in because the tone felt like the true Cinderella story, a more realistic one, unconsciously at the time. When I picked the old book up off my librarian sister's shelf when I was twelve or thirteen, I knew nothing of the story but what the preface told me: an orphan girl. It was very special for me because it was probably the first old book I read (though I read it in a year's time in between other books, But. It was seven hundred pages long (with bigger print though)) that was written in the 1800s.
Stories of orphans have always intrigued me. I don't know why. And so my adventure began and I was swept off my feet and gripped and torn and healed along with Jane. I was to be very proud of myself when I finally finished it. In the end I was very much changed, I believe. For stories do change the world. Ideas have consequences. Words do kill and heal.
Thanks for looking closer at these two complex webs with me!
What do you think of the two stories? What do you think brings them together or separates them?