Other critics interpret this passage in a more positive manner. It can be read as Jane’s affirmation of the equality between her and Rochester, as testimony that she has not “given up” anything. The passage is followed in the novel by a report on St. John Rivers. Jane writes: “his is the spirit of the warrior Greatheart . . his is the ambition of the high master-spirit. .” (Greatheart serves as guide to the pilgrims in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. ) Emphasizing St. John’s desires for “mastery” and his “warrior” characteristics, Jane describes a controlling patriarch. While Rochester may have been such a figure at the beginning of the novel, his character has changed by its conclusion. He has lost his house, his hand, and his eyesight to a fire, and the revelation of his youthful debaucheries has shown him to be Jane’s moral inferior. Rochester can no longer presume to be Jane’s “master” in any sense. Moreover, Jane has come to Rochester this second time in economic independence and by free choice; at Moor House she found a network of love and support, and she does not depend solely on Rochester for emotional nurturance. Optimistic critics point to Jane’s description of St. John as her reminder that the marriage she rejected would have offered her a much more stifling life. By entering into marriage, Jane does enter into a sort of “bond”; yet in many ways this “bond” is the “escape” that she has sought all along. Perhaps Brontë meant Jane’s closing words to celebrate her attainment of freedom; it is also possible that Brontë meant us to bemoan the tragic paradox of Jane’s situation.
How much does Saudi Arabia hate women? So much so that 15 girls died in a school fire in Mecca in 2002, after “morality police” barred them from fleeing the burning building — and kept firefighters from rescuing them — because the girls were not wearing headscarves and cloaks required in public. And nothing happened. No one was put on trial. Parents were silenced. The only concession to the horror was that girls’ education was quietly taken away by then-Crown Prince Abdullah from the Salafi zealots, who have nonetheless managed to retain their vise-like grip on the kingdom’s education system writ large.