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Friday, December 31, 2010

Jane Eyre XII -- chapter 12: Team Edward? Team Jacob? No. TEAM ROCHESTER!

Reading Questions
FH Townsend,
(thanks Wikipedia)
  1. After the first page or so, I have to ask, will Jane ever be satisfied?  She's got an attitude of "Yeah, things are fine, but I'm still not really happy."  Is "restlessness was in my nature" an adequate excuse?  Or is her restlessness okay--right, even--and how does this play into the book's feminism as one of the themes of the book?
  2. Is there any significance to the seeming invisibility--at least as far as Jane is concerned--of the other inhabitants of the hall?  These characters all have evident traits, certainly, but Grace has no physical feature "to which interest could attach;" Mrs. Fairfax, though kind, is entirely ordinary and unremarkable (redundancy intended); and Adele has "no great talents, no marked traits of character, no peculiar development of feeling or taste which raised her one inch above the ordinary level of childhood; but neither had she any deficiency or vice which sunk her below it," among further description.
  3. Another mention of ghost/spirit: "Gytrash."  For my part, I love these little glimpses into local folklore.  ...and the goblins....
  4. Of course, all the blandness of Thornfield could just be device to set up the manful beauty of Mr. Rochester.  (Sheesh!  That paragraph was like reading Stephenie Meyer!)  Interesting to note as well: Bronte has already proven herself skilled at manipulating the voice of the narrator to reflect age and proclivity; how might this description be the voice of the mature Jane reflecting back on the past?
  5. "Like heath that in the wilderness, / The wild wind whirls away."  This quotation comes from a Thomas Moore poem, "Fallen Is Thy Throne," included below.
  6. "Little things recall us to earth: the clock struck in the hall; that sufficed...."
  7. Go back to the "gytrash;" despite the dog, horse, and man not being some strange North-Briton ghoul, how indeed is Mr. Rochester a gytrash after all, as I can't imagine this isn't important.

Fallen Is Thy Throne
Thomas Moore
Fall'n is thy Throne, oh Israel!

Silence is o'er thy plains;
Thy dwellings all lie desolate,
Thy children weep in chains.
Where are the dews that fed thee
On Etham's barren shore?
That fire from Heaven which led thee,
Now lights thy path no more.

Lord! thou didst love Jerusalem -
Once she was all thy own;
Her love thy fairest heritage,
Her power thy glory's throne.
Till evil came, and blighted
Thy long-lov'd olive tree; -
And Salem's shrines were lighted
For other gods than Thee.

Then sunk the star of Solyma -
Then pass'd her glory's day,
Like heath that, in the wilderness,
The wild wind whirls away.
Silent and waste her bowers,
Where once the mighty trod,
And sunk those guilty towers,
While Baal reign'd as God.

"Go," - said the Lord - "Ye Conquerors!
Steep in her blood your swords,
And raze to earth her battlements,
For they are not the Lord's.
Till Zion's mournful daughter
O'er kindred bones shall tread,
And Hinnom's vale of slaughter
Shall hide but half her dead!"



  1. 1. You know, this annoys me, but at the same time, I can understand it. Throughout every stage of my life, I've gotten excited about something only to be disappointed and bored later--college for example. I started out thinking it was great, and now I'm just ready for it to end. But hey, there's no reason that I can't live by a trait and also find it an obnoxious one. I guess what I wish is that the transitions weren't so rough. It's like one minute we're in heaven, and the next, we're back in hell without any purgatory between. The most we usually get for a transition to her recurring wanderlust is one paragraph. It just doesn't feel fulfilling.
    2. Yeah, not to be too negative, but this is another problem I'm having. Even Jane's closest acquaintances don't seem to matter. Not these people, not even her best friend, whom she leaves on the deathbed until the last minute. It could be that we're only 150 pages in or so, and that we'll get to know some characters later, but I've been telling myself this for several chapters now.
    3. Yeah, I'm enjoying this aspect, too. It has me curious about Rochester, too. There's something curious, almost something Satanic about him, but then again, that could be just the general narrative affecting my perception.
    7. As I said earlier, I'm not convinced he's not yet. But we'll see.

  2. The balance of characters' depth is leading me to believe that they're all prefix to one or two significant counterpart characters, one of them is certainly going to be Mr. Rochester.

    As far as the gytrash is concerned, what I like best is the duel nature of the thing: leading lonely travelers somewhere, be it astray or back onto the right way. At this point, and if Mr. Rochester is the gytrash, it could go either way. That fascinates me, especially going into chapter 13 where the two REALLY meet.

    Back to the all the characters--who amount to little more than scenery--I think this can just as easily bespeak of Jane as a character, as much as Bronte as an author. Thinking about it, and know some people as I do/have, there are those whose entire list of acquaintances is only backstory, and forgotten as soon as they're lost to from view.

  3. Oh, did you notice the authorship of poem?

  4. Yeah, I noticed. It must be Thomas Moore Week.

    I agree that we perceive many people in our lives that way, but her best (and only) friend at school DIED at a young age, and she just passes it over. Then, she hardly acknowledges her current employers. And anyway, she's a character in a Gothic/romantic novel. She's supposed to be MORE interesting than us!

  5. I've found the information on the three authors from "An Encounter;" I just haven't had a chance to write them up yet. I'll have a separate post for them in the next day or so -- the books are waiting in the kitchen for cracking and reporting.


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