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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jane Eyre XXV -- chapter 25: A YEAR AND A DAY

  1. Paragraph 1 is a fine example of existentialism.
  2. The cloven chestnut tree in its description here is like, though perhaps only in portent and not eventual outcome, the white tree of Gondor from The Lord of the Rings (either the original textual version or the cinematic.)  Thoughts?
  3. vampyre; vampire  -- application, then?  and is it more or less than the by-now so terribly stereotypical "modern" vampire tropes?  (Fascinating history, of course, but I wouldn't about more than etymologies in this case.)
  4. A year and a day.  This law has always boggled me, as much invented, seemingly, for its poetry as its legal application.  But considering its contextual use here in the book, what is Rochester actually saying (you may include exclude other listed English traditions ascribed to this legalese anapest?
  5. Interesting: once the tale is confessed and quelled (was it really?), the wind too has died down; but how could she possibly accept the lame, or at least incomplete, explanation from Rochester?


  1. 1. Oh good grief, please don't. Too much Nietzsche. Maybe I'll look at this tomorrow.
    2. Yeah, I see the similarity. What is their marriage then? The dread interregnum period? Maybe I'm taking it too far. But I'm not so sure that I am. Also, I saw a young white, leafless tree surrounded by stone a couple days ago that reminded me EXACTLY of this. I wanted to take a picture, but I had no camera. I really need to get over these books. I used the phrase, "There and Back Again" today in my Contemporary Political Thought class. The professor liked the reference at least.
    3. The odd thing about this is that there's usually a sexual element to vampires, at least in the modern sense, certainly dating back until at least "Dracula" although this is before that I suppose. The only way this actually makes sense in that light is if Rochester himself is a vampire. But I think, although I'm not sure, that we've seen him in the day. I think that is just primarily to add an aura of superstition about the events in the novel.
    4. This is really cool. I actually was totally unfamiliar with the concept. I'm sure Bronte wants us to think of that law when we see it. I think that, for Rochester's purposes, it is just a safe enough distance to give him a chance to kind of prove why they should stay married despite the shocking revelation that's going to come out.
    5. I really don't know. Maybe she doesn't want to start a severe argument literally on the day of their marriage that will complicate everything.

  2. 2 -- I need you to clarify your thoughts a little bit here. I'm not following (my fault, not yours).
    3 -- I agree with you last sentence here. The vampire is just like all the other mentions of goblins and ghouls so far.
    4 -- My familiarity with this started in books referring to prison sentences or other torments or exiles to last a year and a day. I've also seen it elsewhere seemingly as symbol for a long period of time -- like the Hebrew use of 40 (it's not literal; it just means a long time).

  3. Sorry. I rambled about a bit. The tree in LOTR has no leaves and looks dead as long as the king is not on the throne, right? I believe that I'm remembering this right. In Jane Eyre, the tree is split as soon as they decide to get married. Someday it may again have life in it, but I wonder if it is dead during their marriage as the Gondor tree is dead while no king is on the throne. If we're going to take the analogy that far.

  4. I believe the dormant tree is that of the movie. In the book Aragorn has to go off into the mountains and find a sapling to replace it. (Or am I thinking of a different story??) I guess, as far as its parallel to Jane Eyre, we'll have to wait and see what happens between her and Rochester.

  5. No, I think that you are right actually. I've only read the books and seen the movies many times, so that influences my memory. Also, by that point, I was speed-reading it to get to the end, so it makes sense that it wouldn't have stuck as much.


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