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Monday, January 24, 2011

Jane Eyre XXIX -- chapter 28: LOST IN THE MOOR-LANDS

"The Raven Tree," by Chris Lord
  1. Since the last Jane Eyre post, I am more convinced than ever that Jane is a bird.  Here, in the second paragraph of chapter 28, Jane stands at a crossroads examining her options.  She doesn't know where these paths may lead despite the signs' indications, because she doesn't know what may await her at any of the potential ends.  She is very much like the birds from Bewick's in chapter one: destitute, alone, and sedentary--at least temporarily--in points dark and dreary.
  2. "We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence."  Always?
  3. "Long after the little birds had left their nests...."; "I was a human being and had a human being's wants: I must not linger where there was nothing to supply them."
  4. In addition to her now past life, Jane has left all her fiscal earnings behind.  Considering the manner of her departure, would she have accepted her salary had it  been proffered?
  5. Interesting what one can become habituated to: compare (if you've read the latter) Jane, here in destitution, with the paisanos of Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat.
  6. "Why do I struggle to retain a valueless life? Because I know, or believe, Mr. Rochester, is still living: and then, to die of want and cold, is a fate to which nature can not submit passively. Oh, Providence! sustain me a little longer! Aid—direct me!"  What does she mean by this?
  7. ignis fatuus: I believe this is, by Potter lore, a "hinkypunk," which is a will-o'-the-wisp by the rest of English folklore.  (If you haven't read The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Doyle, this would be a perfect time.  Imagine you're lost like Jane somewhere within this moor-land as described so much more effectively by Doyle.  What might a will-o'-the-wisp or hinkpunk do to your paired hope and despair?)

1 comment:

  1. Alright, I confess that I finished the book last night. I'm sorry. The power was out for 31 hours straight the last couple days. I had no alternative. But I won't give anything away!

    2. Not always, but often. I think about when I got to Cape Cod, or up Mt Washington, or, yeah, looking at a sky without lots of clouds/light pollution. Just awesome stuff.
    3. "Foxes have their holes, and the birds have their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest His head."
    4. I'm not sure. It's such an extraordinary counter-factual, because there's no way that she possibly could have left AND collected the money. It's like having your cake and eating it, too, and conventional wisdom tells us that that is impossible.


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