Friday, September 11, 2009

Jane Eyre 1-10

Gateshead and Lowood.

Focus on narration, characterization, plot logic and patterns, and suggestive & symbolic imagery.

Student-led discussion Tuesday 9/8.
Follow-up discussion Wednesday 9/9.


amycarpenter57 said...

I think it's interesting how Charlotte Bronte doesn't give us Jane's personal thoughts in many things but instead just states what's going on. For example-as Mr. Brockelhurst was inspecting the girls we dont' hear Jane's comments on what we immediatly preceive as hypocrasy. Brockelhurst demands a girl's hair be cut off because it is curly yet his daughters both have elaboratly curled hair. The way Jane (as she is telling the story later) does not voice her feelings on this, I beleive, shows two things. First, it already hits at how her nature has (or will be) changed. Jane is no longer that wild, impetuous girl and she does not narrate her story as such. Secondly, Bronte uses a writing technique of letting the reader decided how to react to something. She knows that we will immediatly recognize Brockelhurst's behavior as despicable. Having Jane tell us what to think not only is a slight overkill but it lets the reader think about Brockelhurst more deeply then if they were just told what to think of him. This is important because, as we discussed, different versions of Christianity are up for grabs. Thinking about Brockelhurst's actions lead us to think about the state of religion and what is right and what is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Terri M
Jane wants to be independent, just as everyone growing up does. We all have different circumstance that contributes to our yen to be an autonomous individual. Charlotte Bronte introduces Jane as a character that the reader wants to care for her. She is virtually alone in the Reed family. John Reed, her cousin, reminds her of this constantly as shown in the first chapter when he declares, “You have no right to take our books; you are a DEPENDENT, mama says; you have no money, your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen’s children like us, and eat the meals we do, and wear clothes at our mama’s expense.” Although she is called a “dependant”, she really had no one to depend on as a child. This sped up the time it took for Jane to set her values and establish herself. Childhood is an important part of our development into self-aware adults because our values are set when we are young due to our surroundings.
Jane talks quite a bit about money through out the novel. There are a few passages that prove her depency on having money. She has to have it justly however. Jane does not want to be a charity case. Bronte is suggesting that to be truly independent you have to do things for yourself, and stay true to yourself. As a child Jane says, “ I was not heroic enough to purchase liberty at the price of cast.” This quote is key to understanding Jane. She knows that as a child that she would not give up her dignity for freedom and happiness. To her dignity is having money. Two events that also point to this fact about Jane is when she offered extra pay from Rochester and she does not except it, and how after she receives her inheritance she feels more confident about herself and gets together with Rochester. Jane grew up in situation that inspired her to know herself, and not let anyone bring her down. Bronte is showing the reader that we can all make the best of our situation, and everything that we go through ( no matter how good or bad) pushes us to become the people we are. As children the things we are surrounded by form us into adults with certain specific values that define the way we connect with others. It is a difficult thing to see ourselves clearly, but when we think about our childhood it is easier to see where we get our values, and what our values may be.