This is an issue that has kept me intrigued for years. In order to solve it, I’ve “forced” myself to reread and re watch Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre time and time again. A hardship, I know, but a woman will do what she has to do!
Seriously, though. I love these two men and they’re so different. Mr. Darcy is stoic, distant and reserved for the entirety of the book, until he declares his reluctant affection for Lizzie. And of course, at her darkest moment, when he takes charge and makes the scalawag Wickham marry Lydia. Even then, Darcy keeps himself apart from his love and only through her perseverance is his love revealed.
Rochester, on the other hand, is angst through and through. He may be rude at the beginning of the book, but he is passionate about his feelings all the same. And as he gets to know Jane more in the book and she breaks down his barriers, so does he force his way past the walls she’s erected to protect herself. When Rochester falls, he falls hard and loves openly and freely, to the extent that he is willing to ignore society’s rules. So, when Jane returns to him and offers herself as his nurse, his love far outweighs his reluctance for her to care for an invalid.
So, why are these two, so different, men so appealing for me? When they love, they love with their whole being. Darcy fell in love with Elizabeth reluctantly, but decided that she was worth confronting what he considered his greatest asset and his greatest flaw, his pride. And Rochester loved Jane enough to be willing to turn his back on all, yet enough to embrace his own weaknesses in the end.
Do you have heroes you can’t forget and have to revisit? Who are they and why do you love them?