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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jane Eyre XXXVI -- chapter 35: GRILLED ALIVE

  1. Is St. John indeed punishing Jane?  She believes he incurs no guilt for what he is or, in this case, isn't doing.  What do you think?  --Or is Jane just reading her own impressions into the situation because she feels guilty for scorning him?
  2. St. John's obstinacy, in the form of his intentional misunderstanding of Jane, is baffling.  Is his interest in marrying Jane exactly as simple as he pretends?  Or is it even really obstinacy?
  3. "It remains for me, then, to remember you in my prayers; and to entreat God for you, in all earnestness, that you may not indeed become a castaway. I had thought I recognized in you one of the chosen.  But God sees not as man sees: His will be done."  By this very declaration, does not St. John believe himself to "see" as God sees, thereby alluding to an inhuman godliness in and of himself?  In context of the story, has God called Jane to the ministry, or has St. John; is there a difference here?
  4. "grilled alive in Calcutta" -- I'm surprised how early this shows up in literature.  (etymology of "grill")


  1. 1. I think that it's fair to say that he's punishing her. He's admonishing her as he believes that he's called to do because he thinks that she's committing a grave sin.
    2. Again, I really don't think that he loves her as a wife. There are two dynamics at play. One is that she would be very useful to him. The other is that it seems as though he has convinced himself that the only way to save Jane's soul is for her to perform this missionary work. Unlike her sisters, she would be able to serve God effectively if she chose to do so, so he views her rejection of that service as a rejection of God.
    3. No, I think the opposite. He sees in her one of the elect. However, it looks as though he is wrong, so therefore he admits that God must see differently. St. John has called Jane to ministry, and based upon a misreading of the Scriptures, he thinks that she will go to hell if she refuses.

  2. 3. I see what you're saying. I don't think his self-righteousness is intentional, but he certainly comes across pompous. His assertion that Jane is committing some heinous sin by not going to India, however, is absurd.

  3. Yeah, I was kind of upset at this point because I really liked him until he became so hellbent on Jane going to India.

  4. I can't say that I ever REALLY liked him. Like Jane I admired him--his efforts and behavior are noble, after all--but he is absolutely humorless. At the point of his condemnation of Jane, however, my impassion shifted toward dislike, and the dislike is growing.

  5. That's what I liked, the nobility. To sacrifice so much for an idea, that is what I like. But it doesn't excuse sacrificing OTHER people for your idea.


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