Done as a final project for my Women’s Literature class, this alternative-ending to the novel Jane Eyre provides a new spin on an old classic. I loved this novel, but in many ways, I found the original ending unsatisfying. So I wrote my own.
As you can probably imagine, I was in quite a state when I discovered the burned ruins of my former lodging. After collecting myself, it seemed the only way to find out the truth of the matter was to return to the inn, which I did at once. There I was treated to a harrowing story. I shall spare you the details, and the spat of emotions that followed them. Suffice to say, it was a grim matter, made only grimmer by my regretful and heavy heart.
Reader, he died. In the great fire that consumed the place, lit by that raving woman he worked so hard for so long to keep from me, my dear Rochester was struck down. All the servants survived, I was assured, but Rochester and his cursed wife—poor wretched creature—perished in the flames.
In my grief, I forgot to ask after Mrs. Fairfax or the rest, beyond their basic survival. I didn’t know where they ended up, but I fancy they were in a happier spot than I found myself. Their burdens were, if anything, lifted by the ghastly fire, while mine seemed only heavier. My one solace was that he, my dear Rochester, died attempting to make up for all those follies of his life. Attempting to save his servants, and succeeding; attempting to save his suicidal and murderous wife, and, alas, falling with her instead.
I had not until then given much thought to the poor creature, that woman who had been half my punishment and half my shame. What kind of creature she had truly been I may never know; I only knew the final result of a cursed life, and I hope she rests easier in death than she did in that windowless room on the third floor. I hope they both rest easy, at last.
I do not remember the day following my journey to the manor, and the final revelation at the inn. I imagine I took a room there, but whatever I did, I was acting out of pure instinct. I have no memory of ascending to lodging, of taking dinner, of even the conclusion of the conversation. In truth, I remember little until many months later, when the dark shroud of grief began to lift, and my life began, slowly, to resume.Continue reading