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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jane Eyre XXVII -- chapter 27: FAREWELL THORNFIELD

  1. What is the greater problem: the deceit or the first wife?
  2. Why would she forgive him so quickly?  Is she is so subject to her own fancy, injected as it is by his supercharged rhetoric and emotion?  Why does such quick revolution say about Jane and/or her love for Rochester?  Finally, how can she consider it forgiveness here if in the end she leaves anyway?
  3. Maybe I watch too many romantic comedies now that I'm married, but I can't help but wonder (and such supposition is, at its heart, ridiculous, since characters of a book or movie do not exist beyond their pages, film, or bits and bites and pixels) if Rochester had some nagging doubt that he might be found out and so planned only the smallest wedding to be as little publicly humiliated as possible.  Contradict me, please: It seems out of Rochester's character, especially in view of his efforts to flood Jane with all the typical aristocratic accoutrement, to not have the grandest of available pomp and circumstance for such an occasion.  
  4. I don't get this: Rochester has houses all over the place, right?  France, elsewhere in England....  Why did he keep his monstrous wife in the abode as his "home base?"  Why not put her elsewhere?
  5. Who is the antagonist of this chapter?
  6. "Birds were singing in brake and copse: birds were faithful to their mates; birds were emblems of love. What was I? In the midst of my pain of heart and frantic effort of principle, I abhorred myself."  Birds were a motif early on with that book she read at Gateshead, which put them in grave- and churchyards, and islands and shipwrecks.  Is there any connection between those birds and these now?
  7. "May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love."  But we all hurt those whom we love.


  1. 1. Honestly, as much as the deceit hurts, practically speaking, it's the first wife. She forgives him for the deceit, but she still can't marry him because he is married.
    2. She's pretty madly in love with him. As for why she leaves if she's forgiven him, it's about avoiding committing a sin. If, in a hypothetical universe, you tried to trick me into joining some fraud that you were able to perpetrate, I could forgive you for deceiving me, but ethically I would have to back out of the fraud.
    3. I see what you're saying, but I disagree. The reason that he hushes it is that there, in reality, two scandals to this wedding. The first one should be obvious at this point. The second one might not seem as obvious with how different the era is, but for him to marry a governess of common birth, while spurning the love of Miss Ingram, that is a huge scandal given his status. He can be as excited about it as he wants, but no one's going to come to see this folly.
    4. Good question. He may feel indebted to Mason enough to at least keep an eye on her. Also, he's hardly ever home at Thornfield anyway until when she shows up. Finally, I think that he views Thornfield as a dungeon and doesn't want to ruin the other, possibly more pleasant homes abroad.
    5. Bertha.
    6. Good catch. I'm sure that you're right. The question is why they are a symbol for Bronte. What are your thoughts? As of now I think that it's at least worth keeping an eye on the rest of the way.
    7. Yes, but I think that there's probably an honest fear for Jane right now that Rochester is at the level of desperation that may lead him to commit suicide. I don't think that we all hurt those whom we love that badly.

  2. 1-2 -- well said
    3 -- point taken, and I think you're right. I forgot the societal issues
    4 -- but did he view Thornfield as a dungeon before Bertha showed up
    6 -- I want to go back and reread that chapter and look at the similarities
    7 -- true

  3. 4. Ahh that's the question. You're probably right. I'll retract that part. I agree. On the whole, it doesn't make a lot of sense.


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