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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


If you are a frequent visitor and reader, you will have noticed the list of blogs and sites which I follow over on the right.  One of my personal favorites is Sentence First, by Stan Carey.  (Read his "about" here, if you're remotely curious.)  Today, surprisingly, his post provided the perfect title for my own and for chapter 19 of our current book, Jane Eyre: "Laughing on the Other Side of Your Face."  So, by combination of Carey's post and in the spirit of chapter 19, be the gypsy and read my mind: what is the connection I'm getting at between Mr. Carey's and my own blog entries?
  1. "The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator."
  2. Shortly after indirectly affirming his love for Miss Ingram, he proceeds to examine Jane's face with such exquisite attention and detail that we may wonder, can it be anything but love that sees her as he does now, for love is as interested in the faults as the assets, and sometimes the more so for them?  After all: "I should wish now to protract this moment ad infinitum; but I dare not."
  3. In the moment of the fortune telling, was Mr.R simply and boldly stating his feelings, or was he lost in the moment and gushing as romantically as unwittingly?  Does it matter?
  4. "Do you forgive me, Jane?"  Well?
  5. Some have said that trust and love go hand in hand, others that they are one and the same.  Clearly Mr.R not only trusts Jane, and to the core, but loves her; he also admitted his love for Miss Ingram.  Can he love both?  Is it possible he trusts Miss Ingram as well?
  6. More questions: who is Mr. Mason?  What is Mr.R's history with him?  Does this have anything to do with Mrs. Poole, with the fire?  Does Jane really know anything about our Mr. Rochester?  If not, what/whom is she in love with (and I don't think Jane is so impractical as to be one who is in love with being in love)?


  1. 3. I tend to think that it was very calculated down to the smallest detail. There's romance, yes, but I don't think there's gushing, as much as trying to stay according to the plan as much as possible, which is difficult because Jane rarely gives straight answers.
    5. Does he admit his love for Miss Ingram? At one point he asks, "You have seen love; have you not?--and, looking forward, you have seen him married, and beheld his bride happy?" Then Jane responds that that's not what she has seen. I think Mr. Rochester is asking whether anyone else sees this really working out because he hasn't fully convinced himself. Then he also says, "He must love such a [plenty of nice traits] lady." Must does not mean that he does, but that he is expected to, whether he wants to or not, forced to. I don't think that he loves her.
    6. I really don't know who he is. I expect that Rochester has some sordid history with him. I think she doesn't know a whole lot about his history, but she knows his personality, which is enough, for now.

  2. 3 - This is one of the reasons I still have a really hard time seeing this as a Romantic novel. I'm waiting for the qualifications as such to show themselves, because I fully agree with you. I think Mr.R is too much in control of who he is and what he says--perhaps by practice borne of the very sordid past you mention in 6.

    5 - Off the top of my head I don't recall. I could easily have misread some of the stuff said. Regardless, he doesn't love Miss Ingram.

    6 - I think this will be source of a significant twist later on.

  3. 6. Yeah, I agree. The closet appears to be opening. Here come the bones.


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