I’d like to have a moment of silence for Julia Severns shorn curls. You remember the horrible moment in Jane Eyre Chapter 7 where Mr. Brocklehurst is scolding Miss Temple for providing bread and cheese for her hungry students. Suddenly the radiance of Julia’s red curls catches Brocklehurst’s attention. He is flabbergasted by what he sees.
‘Miss Temple, Miss Temple, what–what is that girl with curled hair? Red hair, ma’am, curled–curled all over?’ And extending his cane he pointed to the awful object, his hand shaking as he did so.
Brocklehurst insists that the Lowood girls’ hair be “arranged closely, modestly, plainly.” Julia’s curls receive a death sentence as Brocklehurst plans to send a barber the very next day because “that girl’s hair must be cut off entirely.”
Reading this chapter, I pictured my niece as Julia. My niece has gorgeous red ringlets that would rival those of Charlie Brown’s classmate Frieda. Remember Frieda? She was the Peanut with “naturally-curly hair”? What’s going to happen when Julia Severns’ hair grows out again? The poor girl is destined to a childhood of buzzcuts. What a crime to cut off those curls!
So let’s have another moment of silence for Julia Severns’ hair…
PS. Do you think Bronte gave Julia the last name Severns because it sounds like sever? Which is just what Brocklehurst had done to her hair? It was severed off! Whaaaahhhh!