Another point at issue in this chapter is the comparison between Jane's situations are Gateshead and Lowood. Are the motives behind the privations of each adequate to justify one over the other?
Finally, this whole chapter exaggeratedly reminds me of administrator evaluations in my classroom. You may remember your principal with clipboard in hand coming into one or more of your classrooms to judge your teachers. These episodes are generally frustrating, often intimidating, and never accurate. Really. Never. Even when they're good! (*tongue in cheek*) More frustrating, many principals actually believe they can get an accurate measure of the classroom, the teacher, and their product in naught but two or three quarter-hour visits. No! One wrong thing in the classroom is as likely to draw conclusion on an entire year's work--successes and failures--as one good thing, and I've experienced both. It just doesn't work that way.
(Note to principals: I've been one, and I've been guilty of the same. Feel free to defend yourselves and/or complain HERE.)
- The act of issuing a mandate of conformity against the natural curls of Julia Severn's red hair (ought it not to be dyed also?) is an example of Brocklehurt's stupidity / wisdom (circle one). Explain your selection.
- * hair as an excrescence
- "Madam," he pursued, "I have a Master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world: my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh; to teach them to clothe themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel; and each of the young persons before us has a string of hair twisted in plaits which vanity itself might have woven: these, I repeat, must be cut off; think of the time wasted, of—" and I interrupt him as did the three conspicuous visitors: This remonstrance smacks of chauvinism and even cruelty to our contemporary sensibilities, but even now, contemporarily, isn't this part of what any good Christian claims to believe? Is it so wrong to chop off one's hair and live in sackcloth and ashes? Additionally, however, and considering the identity of the guests, whom is Mr. Brocklehurst favoring; whom is he slighting? Does this not show what he truly believes?
- Is it just for physical effect that Brocklehurst is regularly described as a feature of architecture? Something about this imagery, coupled with the essence of the man, reminds me of Claude Frollo, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I can't speak of the Archdeacon as represented in the Disney movie, as I haven't seen it; I mean the book, which, by the way, I highly recommend. It often drags, but the characters and setting are vivid, and the ending is perhaps the greatest I've ever read.)
- Brocklehurst's description of Jane as an "interloper" beggars a comparison: Take ten minutes and read "The Interlopers," by Saki.
- "You must be on your guard against her; you must shun her example: if necessary, avoid her company, exclude her from your sports, and shut her out from your converse. Teachers, you must watch her: keep your eyes on her movements, weigh well her words, scrutinize her actions, punish her body to save her soul, if, indeed, such salvation be possible, for (my tongue falters while I tell it) this girl: this child, the native of a Christian land, worse than many a little heathen who says its prayers to Brahma and kneels before Juggernaut—this girl is—a liar." Are the Brocklehursts hypocrites? If so, take a second and fundamentally compare "hypocrite" to "liar."
- And what of the girls in the school? How do they impart strength to Jane, and why does this affect Jane likely more than they know? What of the teachers?