Thursday, July 14, 2016

Jane Eyre Read-Along: Chapter 16

And just when we were getting used to him, off he goes.  And he doesn't even have the courtesy to tell Jane he's leaving.  Perhaps, as much as she "wanted to hear his voice again, yet feared to meet his eye" (p. 182), so he was also worried about how to react to her the next morning?  He as good as told her he's falling in love with her, and maybe now he's worrying about what will happen next.  Still, as a devotee of plans, I find his zipping around on a whim to be both inconsiderate and incomprehensible.

Jane's pretty spunky in that whole interview with Grace Poole, huh?  I mean, she suspects this is a potential murderess, and she gets all snippy and almost accusatory toward her.  

And remember how vexed Jane was with Mrs. Fairfax for not knowing how to describe Mr. Rochester?  That worthy lady has no such problem describing Blanche Ingram as she appeared six or seven years ago.  Either Mrs. Fairfax pays WAY more attention to frippery and finery, or this is just a super convenient way for Bronte to make Miss Ingram sound ultra-desirable before she ever arrives on the scene.  I must admit I lean toward the latter.

Favorite Lines:

I knew the pleasure of vexing and soothing him by turns; it was one I chiefly delighted in, and a sure instinct always prevented me from going too far (p. 187).

"Order!  No snivel!  no sentiment!  no regret!  I will endure only sense and resolution (p. 191).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Those of you who are also familiar with Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, do you think Jane Eyre and Elinor Dashwood would get along well?

What do you think of Jane's little plan to use artwork to convince herself of the unsuitability of falling in love with Mr. Rochester?  Is it plausible that it works so well for her?

4 comments:

  1. I found Mr. Rochester's "zipping around on a whim both inconsiderate and incomprehensible" as well! His absence the morning after such an intensely emotional evening would have been too much if I were Jane. However, it did make for good story telling.

    On the face of it, drawing herself in all her plain-ness and then drawing the beautiful Blanche according to Mrs. Fairfax's description seemed like a self-imposed punishment. But the task did calm her and give her the right mindset to endure the upcoming visit.

    "I derived benefit from the task: it had kept my head and hands employed, and had given force and fixidness to the new impressions I wished to stamp indelibly on my heart."

    I do find myself excited about guests coming to Thornfield.

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    1. Lucy, yes, it's definitely good storytelling :-) If characters behaved the way I wanted them to all the time, a lot of stories would be much less dramatic.

      I don't care for the guests, but I'm eager for Mr. Rochester's return. Even if he IS going to be kind of a jerk for a while.

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  2. Hahaha, I never realized that about Mrs. Fairfax. :P

    Ooh! "Sense and Sensibility"! One of my favorite books. :)
    I do think Elinor and Jane would get along well. They are both accustomed to having to hide their feelings, especially from the one they love. And, while Jane has to control (or learned to control) her passionate feelings, Elinor tries to control her passionate sister. ;) On that note, I feel as if Jane would perhaps understand Marianne, but I don't think she'd approve of all her actions. I think she would encourage her to listen to her sisters' reason.

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    1. Natalie, I just noticed it the first time myself.

      Interesting -- you're probably right that Jane would understand Marianne better than Elinor does.

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What do you think?

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