- Bronte misquotes Thomas Campbell's poem, "The Turkish Lady." Check line 5: HERE.
- The first page or two of chapter 23 can be described easily as Romantic--and not "romantic," as in the 'til-now stymied romance between Jane and Mr.R, but Romantic, as in the written gushing effulgence of emotion and unquenched idealism.
- So, first Romanticism and now Mr.R is pointing out this amazing moth, alien denizen of the night!, and I'm reminded of the albatross from Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." (If you're going to bother with this question, don't read Coleridge's second master piece passively; this is a BIG and IMPORTANT work.) I haven't read ahead and don't know if this moth turns out indeed to be a portent one way or another, but the at-least-partially-aligned imagery and tone are both here. Notice also the mention of the sea foam and imminent voyage to Ireland.
- When Jane complains about her necessary--and necessary by statement from Rochester--departure from Thornfield, what is she really complaining of?
- Is Jane a woman like Lot's wife? Will she look back? And what if she does not depart? What might this indicate of Thornfield, if this is indeed an apt comparison?
- What's with the sudden usage of "Janet"?
- "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you—you'd forget me." Is Bronte referring to the taken rib from Adam to make Eve? Is she referring, strangely, to the umbilical cord? What is going on in this absolutely fascinating quotation?
- More poetry! Considering the period of the book's composition together with the heavy Romanticism of the book and this particular chapter respectively, check out Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale" HERE, a truly masterful and hugely influential poem (at least as much so as "Mariner" above).
- I do love to see the fire of Jane's childhood reemerge here in conversation with Mr.R, but culminating in a kiss!? What is the man trying to do to our poor girl?
- Name the many reasons Jane has to doubt Mr.R's sincerity of proposal.
- What of the change of weather and general tone shift at the point of Jane's acceptance? Remember the weather at the beginning of the book when we spoke of Gothicism, especially as it conflicts with Romanticism. There is a strikingly similar moment in The Sound of Music (today, apparently, is the day of comparative literature).
- What of the lightning-struck tree, so like a tower? If this is indeed reference to Tarot, what of the shift from Tower to Tree?
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Jane Eyre XXIII -- chapter 23: LIGHTNING AND FIRE
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