What do classic rocker, Neil Young and Charlotte Bronte’s brooding character, Mr. Rochester, have in common? Young’s 1971 hit “Heart of Gold” could very well be this hero’s theme song.
Post Format: Quotations
Bronte wrote Jane Eyre in 1847. This love story about a young governess and Mr. Rochester, her hardened, mysterious employer, took the world by storm. It’s been made into numerous films and television shows and discussed in the highest of literary circles. There isn’t much I can add to the conversation. I can say that Jane was a revelation to me as an awkward 15-year-old reading the book for the first time.
She’s a plain-looking, abused orphan when the story opens. But she grows up to help the very people who mistreated her, she endures loneliness and poverty upholding her beliefs, and she forsakes riches for family. Oh yes, and she wins the unflinching, passionate love of Mr. Rochester, Master of Thornfield Hall. It seemed an encouraging but unbelievable plot twist to me at the time.
However, in rereading this classic as an adult, I too treasured Jane. Rochester, though wealthy and respected, has endured years of betrayal and heartache. He’s traveled the world looking for happiness. When he meets the young Jane with her beautiful heart, he sees her as the rarest of creatures. (Indeed, the older I get the more I treasure such people.) And so I leave you with a quote from Mr. Rochester and Mr. Young’s lyrics, words written more than 100 years apart but embodying the same spirit.
For ten long years I roved about, living first in one capital, then another…I sought my ideal of a woman amongst English ladies, French countesses, Italian signoras, and German grafinnen. I could not find her.
A verse from Neil Young’s 1971 hit, “Heart of Gold.
I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
for a heart of gold
I’ve been in my mind,
it’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
BONUS BIT: Please enjoy this recording of Young’s song.