Jane Sets the Standard: Making Connections From Literature's Leading Lady to Pop Culture

Posted by Eric Jensen on

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Rachel from Friends, Lily from How I Met Your Mother, and Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, all of these wonderful women are connected by one root, one psychologically complex character who changed fiction forever that character is Jane Eyre.

You may be asking yourself? How are these characters possibly linked? I say they are! Is it a flimsy connection? Maybe!

They were both forced by the one they love, to leave that very person! Rachel and Jane end their relationships as they need space to grow.

Mr. Rochester/Ross shout, "WE WERE ON A BREAK!". Ross referring to the print shop girl, Rochester to his situation, you know, the ex-wife he has locked in his attic.

Did Anyone Else Watch Friends When Rachel Was Hella Pregnant GIF | Gfycat

Lily, like Jane, and Rachel, ends her relationship to find herself and her purpose as an individual, outside of the relationship. The men don't fair as well... Marshall and Rochester fall into devastating states, nothing without the woman in their world.

himym gif | Tumblr

And fighting the system like Katniss. Jane's weapon is education and independence which is not quite as cool as a bow and arrow... but still.

Katniss Everdeen The Hunger Games GIF - KatnissEverdeen TheHungerGames JLaw  - Discover & Share GIFs

 Are these conclusions a stretch? Of course! Is there any real comparison or reason to pursue this train of thought? Who cares! It gives us a chance to blur genres and media. We love books! We love pop culture! Let’s see what we can see…

Every single one of these women fought her way out of difficult circumstance.  Rachel fled her privileged life for a challenge and a chance to choose her own fate. Sounds a lot like Jane to me! Rachel’s decision to flee the horribly banal orthodontist Barry (Barry and St. John, oblivious men that want to marry women out of convenience...need I say more...) only to find out how harsh life was as a barista, similar to what Jane found at the Lowood institution. See! Not too much a stretch...right??

Lily, the happy-go-lucky kindergarten teacher shares more with Jane than their knack for nurturing young minds. Seemingly content with their fiances both Lily and Jane find themselves fleeing matrimony. Lily leaves Marshall to pursue her art and Jane cannot marry the already married Mr. Rochester. Both find their way back to the relationship a little stronger than they were before, in my opinion. I don't know about ya'll but I find Mr. Rochester just as cute as Marshall, all that brooding!

Without a doubt Katniss faced more danger than the two sitcom queens above. Probably more than Jane. Although, I would argue poor Jane put herself through a similar amount of psychological trauma. Both characters fight from the bottom to assert their independence in their society. They accept love on their own terms and challenge authority. If it wasn’t for Jane I don’t think there would be a Katniss.

Jane Eyre is one of the first novels to focus so intensely on the hero’s moral and psychological development. The intensity through which we see Jane’s psyche has colored all protagonists that follow.

She is one of the greatest of all time and deserves an edition to match. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway this month and you could win the whole set!

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