March 17, 2011

Thoughts, Re-reading Jane Eyre: Moving to Thornfield

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Another weekend spent with Jane...

Thornfield



"I felt we were in a different region to Lowood, more populous, less picturesque; more stirring, less romantic."

Jane arrives at the estate at night. Notice how she always arrives at a new place in the dark. That's a little strange. Anyway... she meets nice Mrs Fairfax who she thinks owns Thornfield Manor. She learns of her mistake the next day. The master of the house is not at home. Who is this mystery man? I like how Charlotte reveals bits about Mr Rochester through the eyes of others. Adele loves him because he buys her presents (generous). Mrs Fairfax has a hero-worshipping complex around the man. He can do no wrong. Of course, he is both her boss and a relative so what else can she say about him.

Jane and the New Job

"that then I desired more of practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach... Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do..."

Teaching Adele is fairly smooth sailing. Adele sounds like a little darling, actually. However, Jane gets bored quickly. It's not exactly intellectually challenging which is what Jane longs for. Thornfield is a house of women at moment: Mrs Fairfax, Adele and her nurse, Sophie, and the servants. Jane feels that they don't have much of any value to discuss. She spends a lot of time wondering about lost in her own thoughts.


Jane and Rochester Meet



When Jane does meet the master of the house, it's not your typical how-do-you-do. His dog scares her and she scares his horse causing him to fall. Jane shows her courage by trying to help this grumpy stranger. The funny thing is both Jane and Rochester think of supernatural creatures when they meet. Jane thinks he's riding a Gytrash and he thinks she's an elf or fairy.

Mr Rochester learns that Jane has a big juicy brain in that head. She can hold her own with him. Though I love Mr R, he's kind of a pill. I'm seeing some aspects of his personality that are annoying:
A) he really likes to hear himself talk.
B) he goes off on tangent that no one else gets. Jane will have none of it- "I have no wish to talk nonsense." You go giiiirrrrl!

Jane Has Angst Too

"I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer..."

When reading modern books with younger characters, the reader hears a lot of angst. Everybody's got a problem. Angst, angst, angst. Jane's got her own issues too. When Mr R runs off to frolic with Blanche Ingram, Jane is pretty tough on herself.
"You," I said, "a favourite with Mr. Rochester?  You gifted with the power of pleasing him?  You of importance to him in any way?  Go! your folly sickens me.  And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of preference--equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and a man of the world to a dependent and a novice.  How dared you?  Poor stupid dupe!--Could not even self-interest make you wiser? You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night?--Cover your face and be ashamed!  He said something in praise of your eyes, did he?  Blind puppy!  Open their bleared lids and look on your own accursed senselessness!  It does good to no woman to be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it..."
Ouch! Harsh. I wondered if Charlotte told herself these things when she had the hots for her professor. I want to tell Jane not to be so hard on herself. :(

This post is going on forever and I didn't even get into the weird noises or the fire. Next time...

1 comment :

  1. I'm reading this for the first time, and I think we're at about the same spot. The women just showed up for the house party, so I'm meeting Blanche for the first time. She sounds like quite the bitch!

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