Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Jane Eyre Read-Along: Chapter 22

One of the things I've always liked best about Jane Eyre is how non-compliant she is.  That may be a horrible thing, but I myself am not at all a compliant person, and so from the first time I read this book, I identified with that aspect of Jane's personality very strongly.

The whole part where Jane returns to Thornfield really hit my emotions this time, especially when she said that she "had never experienced the sensation" of returning home before (p. 283).

Does it ever bug you when old books like this don't give names for towns or even counties?  Like here, where Bronte rights, "The evening arrival at the great town of ---------------- scattered these thoughts" (p. 284).  For some reason, that always annoys me.  I want to know WHAT town they're talking about, even if it's a made-up place.  

I really love how Jane thought for a moment that Mr. Rochester was a ghost, and felt "every nerve I have is unstrung" (p. 285) because it so clearly echoes their first meeting, when he accused her of bewitching his horse.

Also, I love that he here nicknames her Janet.  It's so  small a thing, but so sweet, and I like how it shows his regard for her without an outright declaration.

Favorite Lines:

But what is so headstrong as youth -- what so blind as inexperience? (p. 285)

His last words were balm.  They seemed to imply that it imported something to him whether I forgot him or not (p. 287).

"Pass, Janet," said he, making room for me to cross the stile; "go up home, and stay your weary little wandering feet at a friend's threshold" (p. 287).

...there is no happiness like that of being loved by our fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort (p. 288).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Why do you suppose Bronte switches to the present tense for a few paragraphs when Jane first sees Mr. Rochester again?


  1. I know! It drives me crazy that they don't say the town's name!!!
    Sorry, I know this is almost over but may I join? And are there any rules for joining? Thank you!

    1. MovieCritic -- nice to know I'm not alone in that :-)

      It's never too late to join one of my read-alongs! The tab up at the top of the page that says "Jane Eyre Read-Along" has direct links to each of the chapter posts so you don't have to scroll back through all my posts.

  2. The towns-with-no-names bug me, too! I've noticed how both Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen does it, but I can't think of any others at the moment.
    Janet is such a cute nickname. :)

    I think the change from past to present tense must be Bronte's way of putting us directly in the moment of seeing Mr. Rochester again. She wants us to feel what Jane feels, and see and hear him just as Jane sees and hears him. That's my take, anyways. :)

    1. Natalie, haha! Glad I'm not the only one. A lot of authors back then did that, not just Bronte and Austen.

      That was kind of my thought too on the change in tense. There's another one in the next chapter, I just found, which seems to serve the same purpose.

  3. I'm listening to an audiobook for this read-along and the reader pronounces the missing county names as 'Blank-shire'. That makes me snigger now and then!

    1. Birdie, that is awesome! I hadn't even thought of how you would deal with it when reading it aloud. So funny.

  4. I loved that Jane chose not to disclose her exact date of return and that she opted to walk the last mile or so home through the countryside. The chance meeting with Mr. Rochester and his remarks gave me the biggest smile:

    "And this is Jane Eyre? Are you coming from Millcote, and on foot? Yes--just one of your tricks not to send for a carriage, and come clattering over street and road like a common mortal, but to steal into the vicinage of your home along with twilight, just as if you were a dream or a shade."

    1. Lucy, yes, that was quite spunky of Jane. And their evening encounter is just delicious.


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