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Monday, January 10, 2011

Jane Eyre XVIII -- chapter 18: HOW'S YOUR LIFE LINE?

  1. We're in the second chapter of the visitors' frivolity, and I wonder what the guests think of Mr.R's treatment of the governess.  And what of Mr. Eshton's alleged proposal to invite Jane to the game only to be countered by Lady Ingram?  Is Jane's lack of rebuttal or challenge contrary to her character?
  2. Mr.R garnered disgust for Adele's mother when he saw with what it was she was cheating on him.  Jane appears to hold similar distaste for Miss Ingram.  Should this not dissuade her love of Mr.R?
  3. Are her justifications--his marrying for wealth, politics, family, etcetera--valid or delusional as foils against his charming such a lackluster lady?
  4. What is Bronte doing by showing how the ladies are so attracted to the visitor, Mr. Mason, while Jane is fairly repulsed by him?  (Consider her descriptions of both men of her comparison in your answer.)
  5. The Ladies and Gentlemen's attitude toward the Gypsy camp reminds me of the hunter (name?) in Disney's Tarzan.  Anything deemed beneath us is worth only its ability to entertain or by forgotten.


  1. 1. It's an excellent question. I think it's just more that she has matured. She still has somewhat contrarian thoughts. She just chooses not to express them uninvited.
    2. It's a good point. However, I think there's a question of narrator reliability here. He tells Jane, a girl who we presume he loves, that he lost all love for her at that moment. I'm not sure I completely believe him. Maybe the way he treats Adele is something of an attempt to convince himself that he doesn't love her at all anymore.
    4. A. Jane is not an idiot. B. She looks for different qualities than others. C. She is really, really in love with Mr. Rochester.
    5. Not surprising that it does. These are both Victorian elitists who inspired the racist colonization of Africa. Great accomplishment, that.

  2. 5. I love when sarcasm comes through so strongly in such a simple sentence -- well written (and contextualized).

    4.-1. Indeed.

  3. By the way, did the end of the chapter remind you of Samuel asking to see (soon-to-be) King David?

  4. I didn't think of that. That's actually pretty darn compelling.

  5. Yeah, the entire part about her being the last picked, the least beautiful, being asked if there is still one woman left in the room. I can't be sure whether it's intentional or not, but I think that there's definitely a comparison to be made.

  6. Thinking about it, there's another biblical story that rings a bell here. David and Samuel make a pretty macho pair (you know what I mean); yet what about the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah? The parallels aren't quite as poignant, and the "ugly" one is the less desired.... Hmm. I'll have to think that one out a little further. Thoughts?

  7. I see it. The social expectation is clearly that he has to marry Miss Ingram, even though he cwants to marry the "lesser" Jane.


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