- Kill your darlings?
Kill your darlings. One of the most common pieces of writing advice – when you love a character – you need to let them go. Put them through horrible, traumatic events for the sake of character growth and storytelling. But is this the only way to tell stories? Why should we put our characters through tragic events just for the sake of entertainment. Why do we inherently find tragedy entertaining? In Jane Eyre – Between her time at the orphanage, in the Red Room, homeless, and all of the other hardships she faced, she still ended the story happy and at peace. What about this ending insists we needed Jane to go through the tragedy of her life for her to be happy. While hardships are more true to life as we all face a multitude of them through our lifetime – isn’t fiction supposed to be an escape? The creation of a world for us to forget about the one we live in for a short period of time. Why should we put the characters we love through the experiences we hate?
- What’s the Bechdel test of the 19th century?
While being seen as one of the first major feminist novels, Jane Eyre really attaches herself to the male figures in her life. From Father to brothers to husband, much of Jane’s life is focused on appeasing masculine figures. Why is this novel seen as feminist? Because it’s one of the few that has a female character at the forefront of the story? Should that be a judge of what’s feminism and what’s not? Should we judge what it is based on our current standards or the standards of the time? The title of my question is “What’s the Bechdel test of the 19th century?”. The Bechdel test is used to test the representation of women in modern pieces of media – should the same apply to pieces of fiction that were released when the common representation of women was non-existent?