By Chet Yarbrough
By Charlotte Bronte
Narrated by Lucy Scott
CHARLOTTE BRONTE (ENGLISH NOVELIST AND POET, 1816-1855)
The story of “Jane Eyre” is an example of someone who relies on reason and moral certainty to believe and act on what is right, and to live decently. “Jane Eyre” replays the tautology of “life is not fair; i.e., it just is”.
In this era of “click bait” media, we can easily lose our way. The difference between a lie and truth is harder to recognize when bombarded by viral postings on the internet. We need to remind ourselves-there is no correlation between popularity and truth.
The author, Charlotte Bronte, captures life’s joy and hardship. The story emphasizes the importance of having a moral “inner compass” to guide one to choose between right and wrong. By making right choices, fulfillment comes from working through good and bad things in life.
Jane is an orphaned girl raised by an uncaring Aunt that feels burdened by her filial obligation. The orphaned girl directly confronts her Aunt’s resentment. To escape further confrontation and embarrassment, the Aunt boards Jane Eyre in an indigent’s school.
Jane Eyre is formally educated. She becomes a teacher at the school. Later, she is hired by a wealthy landowner to tutor a young girl that is alleged to be the landowner’s illegitimate daughter. The wealthy landowner is revealed as a man with too many secrets who covets Jane Eyre’s mind and body. Jane Eyre, driven by her inner compass, flees to endure new hardship and temptation.
At the end, Jane Eyre returns to merry the wealthy landowner. She finds him blind, chastened, and older, but still in love with the Jane Eyre he had hired as his daughter’s tutor.
An ever present refrain in “Jane Eyre” is that all life decisions and actions have consequences. The many themes that run through Charlotte Bronte’s book are what make it a classic.
Every listener will identify with some part of Charlotte Bronte’s story. The audio version of “Jane Eyre” is a tribute to Charlotte Bronte’s story telling skill.
In the 21st century, an inner moral compass is needed to offset the blizzard of falsehood disseminated by a largely unregulated internet. Social media hides behind a distorted understanding of the meaning of free speech. Free speech in America has always been conditionally defined.
Peter Thiel (Trump supporter who believes fact checking of Facebook postings is an attack on the Constitutional Right of free speech.)
Unregulated free speech spreads hatred. People are seduced into believing truth is defined by social media’ clicks. Notoriety is as important as popularity or truth.
The next mass murder or school shooting lays at the doorstep of unregulated free speech.