Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jane Eyre Read-Along: Chapter 24

So much foreboding in, with, and under the happiness.

Jane wakes up feeling like his proposal was a dream.  His pronouncement that she will be Jane Rochester strikes with something akin to fear.  She's convinced that "Human beings never enjoy complete happiness in this world" (p. 302).  And his insistence on telling her she is beautiful makes her uneasy.

Speaking of which... do you just want to take Rochester aside and tell him to stop treating her like a new toy, already?  Cuz I do.

In other news, Rochester is familiar enough with Hamlet to semi-quote it.  He says, "I lay that pleasant unction to my soul" (p. 307), which of course refers to Hamlet telling his mother to "lay not that flattering unction to your soul That not your trespass but my madness speaks" (III, 4).  It's a telling reference, isn't it?  Hamlet is warning his mother not to lie to herself that the guilt she's feeling is due to his madness and not her own conscience accusing her.  Mr. Rochester's conscience must be bothering him, don't you think, that he uses that particular phrase?  

By the way, that song Rochester sings... if you feel like wow, it just fits this whole situation so perfectly!  Yeah, Bronte wrote it, this wasn't a popular song or anything.  

And then we have a bit more foreshadowing, with Jane admitting that she was so wrapped up in Mr. Rochester that she basically worshiped him.  To quote Hamlet myself, "it cannot come to good" (I, 2).

Favorite Lines:  

Nature must be gladsome when I was so happy (p. 301).

Possible Discussion Questions:  

Jane says, "I like rudeness a great deal better than flattery" (p. 306).  What does that tell us about Jane?

Why does Jane object so much to Mr. Rochester showering her with gifts?

8 comments:

  1. Nice observations! I've always had a love/hate relationship with Rochester's character, and all that you're mentioning are very telling moments.

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    1. Thanks, Hannah! And... you're back?! I must go check your blog! (I've fallen totally behind on all the blogs I follow this summer.)

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  2. This was the first romace I read, so I was impressed but also a little confused by this part. I know what it tells us about Jane! She and I think the same!! :-)
    I really love the book cover you found of this chapter, it really shows this chapter. I am sorry I didn't post earlier, I thought I did!

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    1. MovieCritic, it was one of my first grown-up romances too, oh so long ago. I can't remember if I read this or Pride & Prejudice first.

      I've been having a lot of fun finding book covers that pertain to the chapters some how :-)

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  3. I think Jane shows her deep appreciation of honesty by liking rudeness over flattery. In a world where people can often act fake or say things they don't mean, I can easily agree with her, although perhaps tactful kindness would be better than just plain rudeness. :P I try to always remind myself to act and speak as honestly as possible, because it's a trait I value in others.

    I'm honestly learning to dislike Mr. Rochester more and more, although I'm sure I'll still be happy with him once he changes. He just does so. many. things. wrong!

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    1. Natalie, that's a great take on it!

      Mr. Rochester is one of those characters I can't help but love, but of whom I do not especially approve, if that makes sense ;-)

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    2. Heehee, I understand. I can definitely think of more characters like that! (For instance, I love Guy of Gisbourne in the BBC Robin Hood show, but I disapprove of 95% of what he does and how he acts. :P)

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    3. (Oh look, I'm starting to catch up on all the comments that have been languishing in my inbox while I was on vacation!)

      Natalie, yay! I'm glad you can understand. I love a lot of characters of whom I don't approve, or of whom I only sometimes approve. Mr. Rochester, Han Solo, James "Sawyer" Ford, Sherlock Holmes, various film noir unheroic heroes...

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What do you think?

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)