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Friday, January 14, 2011

Jane Eyre XXI -- chapter 21: DEATH AND SECRETS

  1. The words "presentiments, signs, and sympathies" roll off the tongue so well, but do such things exist in the world of Jane Eyre?
  2. Our present and o-so-popular interpretation of the Indian concept of "karma" is not exactly accurate to those who actually practice its source religion.  However, and regardless of the details, is karma--in any of its iterations--what brought about poor Mr. John's untimely death?
  3. (It seems that in nearly all books I've read for which I've written up reading guides or study questions (nigh unto twenty five, I should say, since I began teaching), all have an extended portion, roughly in the middle, leading into which pertinent questions come shorter and shorter in number and often remain so until nearly the end of the book, where things generally pick up a bit, philosophically speaking.  We seem to be there in the discussionary doldrums now, as I go pages and pages with virtually nothing profound to ask.)
  4. Quite a relationship there is between the two sisters, and so different than anything Jane ever saw when she was a resident at Gateshead or might have predicted during her time away.  


  1. 1. The first two exist; the last one not so much. Although even the first two were rather absent from this last chapter.
    2. It wasn't karma that brought about his death. It was the fact that he was a spoiled brat and jerk. These things catch up to you in life.
    3. It makes sense. Like anything else, you start out with a question or two that you want to answer. You see it through, and then you try to figure out what it all means at the end.
    4. I'm trying to figure out how much of the difference is general dislike and how much of it is different styles of grieving. I think that it's probably that the different styles of grieving aggravate and bring forth a latent dislike.

  2. 1. The first paragraph bothered me a little bit with this chapter. It's the type of paragraph I often write and then go back and edit out because I didn't manage to fulfill its promise. I agree with the content of the paragraph, just not its placement here.
    2. Maybe this entry was a moment for me to post pet peeves. I hate the notion of karma. Not the religious believe, but the trend of it. And, yes, sometimes (often) people carve their own fates, especially when its self destructive.
    3. This even happened in East of Eden.
    4. Rarely does stress bring out the best--or anything much better than the worst--in us, and this is big stress. Death of brother. Death of mom. And all that with the slow decline of their fortune.

  3. 2. I agree. This is how the current flippant definition of karma would answer the classic question of, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" "They don't." Analysis that would put the book of Job to shame there.
    4. I agree. I can think of a few rare situations from my life and those around me where it has brought out the best, but it's the exception, not the rule.

  4. 2. Haha, good point!
    4. True, there are situations in which people are able to become better than they otherwise are. I've seen it too.


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