When Jane says, "for my part, I liked it better" (p. 141) regarding Thornfield with its master at home, I muttered a hearty, "Hear, hear!" Because my goodness, did this book just get FUN! Almost this entire chapter is spent in spirited banter between Jane and Mr. Rochester. How it delights me.
I do worry a little about Jane and her "heavy, unwelcome thoughts" (p. 142), though. There's that little thread of depression or trauma or whatever, popping up again. Hooray for the arrival of Mr. Rochester to liven up her world, and of Mrs. Fairfax to call her out of her solitude. Oh, this new change in her world is going to be so good for Jane!
(Yes, it is too! Shh, now.)
Rochester and Jane amuse me so much. The margins of this chapter are full of little notations, like "hee hee" and little hearts and stars and smiley faces. And a smiley heart or two at especially delightful spots. I love how Jane finds his abrasive manner freeing rather than stifling. She says that "I could not have returned or repaid it by answering grace and elegance on my part. But harsh caprice laid me under no obligation" (p. 144). In the previous chapter, she reacted similarly, saying that "the frown, the roughness of the traveller, set me at my ease" (p. 135). Aren't she and Rochester admirably suited to each other from the first?
And Rochester accusing her of being a fairy is completely adorable. Almost as adorable as her answering him quite seriously. Love it, love it, love it.
We also end with a some delightful hints about Mr. Rochester's Sad and Mysterious Past. Oh, how tantalizing!
Favorite Lines: "A present has many faces to it, has it not? and one should consider all before pronouncing an opinion as to its nature" (p. 145).
"Arithmetic, you see, is useful; without its aid I should hardly have been able to guess your age" (p. 148).
"As to the thoughts, they are elfish" (p. 151).
Possible Discussion Questions:
This is the second time we've gotten detailed descriptions of unusual artwork. This time, it's by Jane's own hand. Do you think these foreshadow coming events the way the ones she saw in a book at the beginning appeared to?
Mrs. Fairfax claims she "never clearly knew" (p. 152) about Mr. Rochester's past, but has only conjectured a few things. Do you think she is telling the truth?