"... Money and position seemed all that mattered. Charity was a cold and disagreeable word. Religion too often wore a mask of bigotry and cruelty. There was no proper place for the poor or the unfortunate. ..."
If you think that this is a modern day quote, you would be mistaken. It is part of the opening lines of the 1943 version of "Jane Eyre,” starring Joan Fontaine and the great Orson Wells. These words were crafted by writer Aldous Huxley's in his brilliant condensation of the sense and meaning of Ms. Bronte's novel for the screen.
Charlotte Bronte was deeply critical of her society; of the abuse and mistreatment of women and children; of the exploitation and scapegoating of the poor; of the religious hypocrisy and veneration of wealth that fell out from all of the above. As we sit today waiting to see if more of our faux aristocracy, money changers and corrupt politicians will control our Congress while retaining old and winning new governorships, it is worth noting that this moral decline isn't new. It comes to pass every so many years in every century. The same blind followers buy into it, supporting it even when it is against their own interests. The same windmill-tilting idealists speak out against it and are called ungodly, unpatriotic, insane and even criminal – all in an effort to make them sit down and shut up. As it is now it ever has been, and I pray Goddess it won't always be. Still the more I read and learn the less respect I have for my fellow humans, the more convinced I am that it is all we deserve. I live in the hope of being proven wrong.