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This Sounds Familiar

"Too often she had betrayed this, by the undue vent she gave to a spiteful antipathy she had conceived against little Adele: pushing her away with some contumelious epithet if she happened to approach her; sometimes ordering her from the room, and always treating her with coldness and acrimony."
~Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, page 210.

I wonder if this is where the idea of the mean fiancée disliking the child and the true love came from. I know this novel doesn't take it quite as far as some of the other stories that have this idea, but the idea had to originate somewhere. I know I can name two movies off the top of my head that contain this idea: It Takes Two and The Parent Trap. The first of these two took the idea straight to the alter. The second was probably more along the lines of how it was in Jane Eyre. I was actually half expecting this to turn out that Mr. Rochester would break off the engagement at the wedding. While that scene would have been humorous, I'm glad it wasn't the case. That would not have been as original--by today's standards, anyways.


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Comments (3)

I think that maybe the reason the fiance typically hates the child is that she/he is often a reminder of the man's previous life. Adele is a reminder of Mr. Rochester's past love for a woman. She is also someone who is costing Rochester money, money that could be spent on Miss Ingram. Miss Ingram is poor, but beautiful. She is using her beauty to "financially advance" herself (for lack of a better term, she is a gold-digger).

It is just like a guy...

To break up an engagement at the wedding. Im pretty sure something like that could inbalance the good nature that she has for her "enemies" at Gateshead when John commited suicide and when Mrs. Reed had a stroke. I think a situation like this could seriously challenge how good jane could really be toward people.

I can't say that I ever thought of The Parent Trap or It Takes Two while reading this novel, though I can see where you are coming from. Adele, even while mainly being ignored by Mr. Rochester, is still an extremely important soft spot on his character. Without Adele, Mr. Rochester would have no need for Jane, a need that is rather unspoken.

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