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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jane Eyre XXXVIII -- chapter 37 and 38: THE END

from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty"
  1. Why the contrivance of separation  from Thornfield and Rochester (I think this is a pretty big questions, and I use "contrivance" here for immediate lack of a better word and happen to disapprove of its assertive negative connotation), not the absence, but what/who filled that absence?  Did it do anything more than provide space for the crime of burning down Thornfield?  I think it did, and support Bronte's decision.  Thoughts?
  2. Why blindness, of all available handicaps to impose on the poor man?
  3. Jane the skylark.  More freaking birds!  (And what of the crows/rooks last chapter?)
  4. Despite what Jane says in response, how is Rochester indeed like the lightning-struck chestnut?
  5. "I love you better now, when I can really be useful to you, than I did in your state of proud independence, when you disdained every part but that of the giver and protector."  This seems unjust!  Is there a means for his love to increase by the new engagement?
  6. "Never mind fine clothes and jewels, now: all that is not worth a fillip."  Has Rochester changed, more than immediately so by his injuries?  Were the jewelry and dresses so important to him at the first go-round?  (Answers here, I think, can easily build from those of the previous question.)
  7. Both suitors make assertions regarding God's will for Jane.  Who, if either, is right?
  8. After the thoughts/discussion of supernatural communication: "I kept these things then, and pondered them in my heart."  Quite a juxtaposition!
  9. What of the conclusion and all those neatly tied loose ends?

And that's it.  The book is done.  Final thoughts?

For an excellent and succinct review of Jane Eyre
please visit James Smith's Unmoderated Caucus, here.


  1. 1. I think that Thornfield was evil/haunted and had to go. Furthermore, the simplicity of his new digs puts him more on an even playing field with Jane.
    2. Calls to mind "Amazing Grace", doesn't it? I think that the blindness means that he can't focus on adorning Jane with a more beautiful superficial appearance.
    4. He's stricken down, but there's potential for new, healthy growth now.
    6. He's been completely humbled, by her leaving and then by the blindness.
    7. What are the assertions? Sorry, it's been a week or so since I finished.
    8. Yes, I love Jane, but she's not the Virgin.
    9. Superbly done, I think. Rochester had to be brought down to size, but without losing his essential character. I think that Bronte did well.

  2. Also, for final thoughts, I really enjoyed the book. It did take a long time to get going, but I thought that once it found its stride, it was quite good. Jane is a likable character in every way, and, I think, a good role model.

  3. 1, 2, 4, 6: Yes. Blindness and the smiting of the tree are perfectly drawn, I think.
    7: Pathetically, I can't remember now either. I've gone back and forth through the given pages, and I can't find what I intended. Must not have been very important!
    8: I thought this allusion was, honestly, ridiculous. Too much.
    9: I'm usually in favor of leaving some loose ends loose. And I think people who claim "Happily ever after" don't know how much work a family really is -- either they're glossing, or they're not there yet and basing their assumptions on dreams and fairytales. Really, "The Princess Bride" has it right.

  4. 5. There is something to be said about giving and receiving as it ties to love. I totally understand what Jane is saying here--it is so nice to feel needed. And Jane likes/needs/wants to feel needed in practical ways, rather than only the "you are the love of my life, so of course I need you" type way. You always end up loving the people that you serve. And I think the more you can serve someone, the more you can love them--so Jane's love here can grow. Then again, receiving service can cause love towards the receiver, or a growth of love. Mr. Rochester now has a chance to experience being served by a person he loves, which I think will make his love grow as well. Obviously both will be helping/serving each other for their love to grow--one person giving and one receiving is not a good way to go.

    7. Both are right. Jane wants Mr. Rochester, so God wants what Jane wants for her.

    I had to take a sort of pause with my Jane Eyre reading--I am still just before the "wedding"! I am excited to resume with full force this week and check out the rest of the discussion questions that I have missed!

  5. Carson! Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your thoughts on 5, and I agree. I had only partially considered (that probably sounds weird, but the thought occurred to me, but I didn't do anything with it -- typical) that Rochester has never, that we know of, been the recipient of service, and certainly not of the sort he requires, Thankfully, he remains in the position to "serve" Jane virtually the same as he did before his injuries--financially and with security, only the latter of which Jane really needs anymore.

    Eager for your input on the other questions!


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