Thursday, April 15, 2010

Volume 2: Jane Eyre blog posts

Attention to Detail! by Noriko Ambe

2008
Cut on catalogues of "Attention to Detail - Curated by Chuck Close" at Flag Art Foundation
12 1/4 (H) x 14 1/2 (W) x 11 1/2 (D) inches
31(H) x 36.8(W) x 29.2(D)cm

Flag Art Foundation collection



In full disclosure: I did not come up with these topics, but I do like them. I would cite or reference this, but I don’t know from where it came.


  • Choose one of the following four blog posts


Group A: In Chapter 10, Jane provides a summary of her feelings and mental state at this point. What is the significance of this passage as a description of Jane’s inner state, and how does it match what we have learned of Jane’s character? What is the significance of her going to the top of the building to make this self-assessment? Is it significant that, almost directly after making this plea, her wish is granted? Does it not seem as though events seem almost to be caused or precipitated by her subjective feelings?

In an equivalent passage, the opening paragraphs of Chapter 12 (the famous “stiller doom” passage) Jane again craves excitement, and very shortly afterward it happens when she encounters Rochester for the first time. What does this passage say about Jane and her ‘self’? Does it confirm her as a ‘Romantic’ character? What is the significance of her ‘Feminist’ sentiments (and it might be worth noting that, in Mary Wollstencraft, there was a close affinity between Feminism and the Romantic movement)? Are both passages further examples of Jane’s sense of frustration at feeling ‘imprisoned’, and how accurately does this tally with Rochester’s assessment of Jane in Chapter 19?


Group B: In Chapter 12, Jane first encounters Rochester. What significance do you find in the way that he is introduced, the background, use of imagery, etc.? In what ways is he established as a ‘Byronic’ hero from the start?

At two key points, in Chapter 13 and Chapter 27, Rochester and Jane have a discussion, culminating in the moment of choice for Jane. What do you think is revealed by these exchanges? How relevant is it here to bring in ideas of Rochester as the Byronic hero who must be educated?


Group C: In Chapter 13, Jane shows Rochester her paintings. What do these tell you? What significance do you find in the imagery and description of these? Does the novel give any clues as to the source of these paintings?

What are we to make of Jane’s responses to the reality of Blanche Ingram? Look at the end of Chapter 16 and then at Chapter 17 “Genius is said to be self-conscious…”. You might also look at Chapter 18: “I have told you, reader, that I had learnt to love Mr. Rochester…”. What do these passages tell us about Jane? What are we to make of Jane’s point of view as the victim? What are the effects of the change of tense in the second extract? Do you detect any elements of masochism or self- martyring in these passages?


Group D: What do you think is the significance of the retelling of dreams by both Jane and Rochester? What do they show? Look at Chapter 25: “No, no, sir: besides the delicacy and richness of the fabric…”, “I dreamt another dream, sir…”, at Chapter 27: “That night I never thought to sleep…”, or at the final paragraph of Chapter 15.

What strikes you about the use of the ‘Gothic’ passages in these chapters, particularly in Chapter 15, “I tried again to sleep…’”) and the beginning of Chapter 20.


Finally, what do you notice about the use of imagery and symbolism in these chapters? You might look at the lightning episode at the end of Chapter 23.


Each post should be about 750-100 words. I'm much more interested in the depth and specificity of your answers (analyzing how the text works) than generalities. Click here for passage explication handout. You should use some of these strategies. Also, you will be graded on the APE Rubric.


Post here and please remember to put an extra space between paragraphs for easier reading.


21 comments:

Kellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephany J. said...

PART 1: GROUP A

The departure of Miss Temple Jane feels as though she cannot remain content in Lowood any longer. In Chapter 10 Jane expresses how she misses her dear teacher. She was one of the only people in Jane’s life that treated her kindly. Jane believes that “from the day” that Miss Temple left she “ was no longer the same: with her was gone every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowood in some degree a home to me” (Brontë 92). Up until this point, Jane’s life played out like the same old typical routine. Miss Temple served as the factor that kept Jane’s mentality in order.

Afterward, she begins to depict her environment in a way that would make the audience believe that she is dissatisfied with the way that her life as been going for the past eight years of her life. She is finally able to realized how ordinary her life has been all this time. During a past student run discussion, Gaelle mentioned that Jane reminded her of the old childhood fairy tail, Cinderella. Like Cinderella, Jane often wondered about what her life could be. Just as Jane thinks about acting on her rebellious thoughts, she is interrupted by her teaching duties.

Previously, Jane would be the type of character who sat back and let life pass her by without any protest. The audience is able to view the preceding of her transformation process. During which Jane matures from an angry girl bent on self-survival into a self-reliant young woman seeking to serve others. This process triggers when Jane goes on top of the building. She does this in order to “allow [her] mind’s eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it” (Brontë 116). Going to the top of the building allows her to rise about what has happened in her past. Jane comes to terms which the conflicting demeanors within herself. She is able to configure a brand new perception of the situation that has been laid out before her.

Still Jane is fully aware of the fact that her feelings aren’t considered to be political correct because “women are supposed to be very calm” (Brontë 116) in this type of society. Jane’s desire for experience aside from the stereotypical female experience is explained by exposing the far fetched duties of males and females. Unfortunately, the Victorian era does not leave room for Jane to venture off into a life of action and independence. By revealing her thoughts the audience is able to see Jane’s true self. The person who has been so submissive in the past years is finally somewhat emerging past her life of passivity. Jane’s past has taught her to be a master of disguise when it comes to functioning successfully within this Victorian society.

Stephany J. said...

PART 2: GROUP A

At this point in the novel, it is apparent that Jane is clinging to any type of excitement that she can get her hands onto. This could possibly be the reason why she appears to be so taken with Mr. Rochester when he is introduced to her. The romantic prospect of a female who has nothing going for her in the eyes of society emphasizes her vulnerability when it comes to allure. Mr. Rochester’s mysterious introduction into the novel serves to intrigue Jane into future interactions. A romantic character in literature refers to a character that rejects the established norms and conventions. As a result, the author configures Jane so that she is rejected by societal whims. Brontë primarily focuses on Jane’s thoughts rather than her actions to accentuate the fact that she is a romantic character. Yet, the detailed exploration of a strong of her subconscious can also be an indicator of Jane Eyre being a feminist text. The author uses Jane’s situation to depict the struggle for women in the Victorian society through a use of narration. In chapter fourteen, Brontë puts Jane and Mr.Rochester in a situation in which both of their emotions are heightened. The audience knows that they both hold some sort of attraction for each other, but they have still failed to admit it. Brontë does this to dramatize Jane’s internal struggles against competing temptations that go against her morals. Mr. Rochester’s attempt to draw information out of Jane regarding her personal feelings about him does not prove to be very successful. In actuality, the author eludes that Jane may eventually indulge her sexual and romantic desires at the expense of her own moral code.

As a reader it is no surprise that after Jane reflects on her life her plea is granted. In past chapters she yearns to have a life full of action and excitement. The chapters preceding her plea were filled with exactly what she so desperately desired. Do you guys think that Brontë waited until Jane reflected on her life to make things change ? Or do you think that the author’s decision to shake things up within Jane’s life was sporadic?

Kellie said...

GROUP A: Part 1

In chapter 10, the most important aspect of Jane’s feelings can be found on page 92 where she talks about Miss Temple’s exit, “From the day she left, I was no longer the same: with her was gone every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowood in some and much of her habits: more harmonious thoughts: what seemed better regulated feelings had become the inmates of my mind. I had given in allegiance to duty and order; I was quiet; I believed I was content: to the eyes of others, usually even to my own, I appeared a disciplined and subdued character”. The significance of this passage of Jane’s true character serves as evidence that Jane really loved and was supported by Miss Temple. Through all the years they were together, Jane fed off Miss Temple’s nice and kind character. Miss Temple even had the power to change Jane’s mischievous and canny behavior into something “harmonious”. Once Jane is in contact with Miss Temple, all of her mischievous and rambunctious characteristics disappear. This harmony that Miss Temple brings Jane proves to be something solely exterior to Jane, because once Miss Temple leaves, Jane realizes her true feelings weren't of her true self, just adaptations made while Miss Temple was present. Miss Temple calmed Jane down, but she did not completely change Jane, because once Miss Temple left, Jane returned to herself, looking for more of an adventure.

The significance of Jane going to the top of the building is very metaphoric. There, she can see the vast distances, the “hilly horizon” and the “blue peaks”. Now that Miss Temple has left Jane, she is craving the excitement she once knew, and wants to get out of this trapped and compact place. In Jane looking out at the vast distances, it reveals that Jane wants to leave Lowood’s peaceful and safe area, and find new and exciting places. This scene highlights the calmness and tranquil state of Lowood, something that Jane wants to get away from. In this scene, nature plays a huge part, especially in the imagery used of the "hilly horizon" and "blue peaks" found everywhere. In Jane stating that she wants to get out of the wilderness, she is inferring that she wants to put herself in society again. In leaning away from Lowood, Jane is saying that she wishes to go back into society, and make herself accepted by the people that once shunned her from society because of her social class.

Kellie said...

GROUP A: Part 2
The beginning of chapter 12 outlines Jane’s restlessness and her lack of appreciation for her life filled with “an existence whose very privilege of security and ease” fails to fulfill Jane’s needs for excitement. The words that Jane uses shows how unappreciative Jane is with her life right now. She views her life as merely an "existence", not something joyous and exciting. This "existence" she is forced with is merely one filled with "security" and "ease", something that Jane has been surrounded with since she was in the presence of Miss Temple. This quote touches on the point that Jane did not mind being so sheltered in the presence of Miss Temple, but right when she left to get married, Jane decides that the secured and safe life is something she wants no part of. This confirms Jane as a romantic character because Jane always feels alone in the world, and can never be satisfied with what she is surrounded by. She is constantly looking for something more. This search that Jane is on serves as her purpose in the book. Although Jane has been trapped and under the care of Miss Temple for some time, Jane makes it known that she does not want this life anymore, and she returns to being her former self.

In relation to Jane's feeling of "imprisonment", it is true that she has been cooped up from everything during her time at Lowood. Even in the imagery described, Jane knew that there were things beyond the "hilly horizon" that she wanted to be a part of. On the other hand, I do not think that Jane was entirely imprisoned by others, but sometimes by herself. Jane bundled up her feelings and her true self when she was with Miss Temple. Miss Temple did not put any restraint on Jane, or made her feel as though she could not be herself; that was all Jane's doings and her decision to be in the environment she surrounded herself in. I feel as though Jane is more imprisoned in society, and society holds that restraint that Jane is trying to get away from. This brings in some irony, because Jane is being restricted by society, but she longs to return back into society and away from Lowood. This brings up another theme found in the book, of Jane wanting to prove herself to others, regardless of her past.

Stephanie A. said...

Group A: Part 1

Jane experiences transitioning emotions in chapter ten that lead her to deciding where her life should go next. She starts out relatively happy although she contradicts her happy state when she called herself an “inmate of [Lowood’s] walls” (Brontë 92). Jane saying this seems ironic because she then goes on to say “my life was uniform: but not unhappy” (Brontë 92) and then continues on to explain how she enjoyed the education she worked hard to achieve. When the word inmate is said, thoughts of prison come to mind, and being a prisoner is not an idea that should evoke happiness or fulfillment, but somehow Jane is able to put the two ideas, happiness and imprisonment, into the same idea of what she thought was happiness. But this state of happiness does not last for long because once her mother figure, Miss Temple, leaves by getting married and moving away, the transition in Jane Eyre begins. Jane Eyre is also well aware that there was a change in her that began as she says she was “no longer the same” (Brontë 92) once Miss Temple moved and acknowledges that she did change as a person during that relative time of her life as she says that she “altered” (Brontë 92).

Jane went from happiness to completely being lost. She lived her life as if she was in a constant daydream. Jane was too comfortable with how her life was at Lowood and once one little part of her stable life changed, Jane did not know how to function because of how dependent she was. Instead of focusing on herself and how to live her life she would reflect for too long and see that “the afternoon was gone, and evening far advanced” (Brontë 92). But Jane comes to an important conclusion. She does not realize that she lives dependently on others, and that she does not know how to live for herself, but does realize that she was only at a comfortable level of peace because Miss Temple was in her life and that Miss Temple had “taken with her the serene atmosphere” (Brontë 92) Jane had gotten use to.

What’s interesting about Jane’s character is that her emotions seem to completely dictate her life and what she does with her life. Of course people often allow their emotions to dictate their days but usually regardless to what emotion a person is feeling, they don’t just stop living their lives. They continue on with what needs to be done during their day. A person would not just skip work because they were in a bad mood because they still need to make money regardless of how they’re feeling. Jane seems to spend a lot of time in thought and through her feelings and long self reflections, she makes her next moves. Only when she completely thinks things through can she make her next move. But when she doesn’t sort out of her thoughts to herself, she seems to be stuck. She doesn’t make her next move until her plan sits right in her head for example when Jane decides to put an add in the newspaper she says “this scheme I went over twice, thrice; it was then digested in my mind. I had it in a clear practical form” (Brontë 95). Of course there is nothing wrong with thinking plans through but she often lets her thoughts get in the way of her moving on with her life.

Stephanie A. said...

Group A: Part 2

But interestingly enough, once Jane makes up her mind, opportunity follows her instantly. Her life seems to move along once her thoughts are sorted out which suggest that Jane could have a very productive life if she did depend on herself rather then find comfort in others.

When Jane encounters Rochester after he falls of his horse, Jane finds excitement right after she wishes for it. She really takes her encounter with Rochester in because she seems to be impressed by him as she describes him as “handsome” and a “heroic-looking young gentlemen” (Brontë 120). At that point Jane doesn’t realize that this man is Mr. Rochester but ends up developing feelings for him later on, but this is where her feelings seem to begin. As a romantic character, Jane being intrigued by Mr. Rochester who himself is also an interesting character does confirm her to be a romantic character. Rochester’s household seems to be secluded and no one seems to go in and out very often. The household seems to be in its own little world and Jane is now apart of that little world. Not only is she in this new place that’s sheltered but Jane is always stuck in her mind with her constant thoughts.

Stephanie A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy. J said...

Group A Part1

In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Bronte characterizes Jane as a romantic hero. She doesn’t conform to society, and she’s portrayed as alienated from society and its norms. In chapter 10, the reader learns about Jane’s inner state. The reader sees how Jane feels inside, and how different it is from what she shows to the world. Jane confesses her feelings on page 92 “I had given allegiance to duty and order; I was quiet; I believed I was content: to the eyes of others, usually even to my own, I appeared a disciplined and subdued character.” This passage is significant because it shows how Jane’s character changed over time. She was less rebellious as she got older, which showed that society began to have an impact on her. It’s not as if she lost herself, but she’s growing as an individual and she’s having different perspective on things. Bronte allows us to look at Jane’s inner self, and how she really feels versus the façade she puts on. She expresses what human emotion is through Jane, and how each individual expresses it differently. Jane speaks with a passion that makes the reader understand her, and sympathize with her. Her feelings are a guide to explain her behavior, which allows the reader to further understand Jane.

Jane going to the top of the building to make this self-assessment is significant. It’s symbolic because it shows that Jane is making a vow to change her life. Although it’s a physical action, it’s also something mental. It shows her perseverance to begin a new chapter in her life. Jane proves this when she mentions “all other objects to rest on those most remote, the blue speaks, it was those I longed to surmount” (Bronte 93). She expressed the obstacles she wanted to overcome, and that would contribute to her new character. They would make her stronger, and make her a likeable character. Bronte characterizes her as someone on a journey to find his or herself, she shows that humans have to go through journeys in life to find who he or she is. It is significant that her wish is granted after her plea because it shows that she has some power. It also demonstrates how the author is setting up a new aspect of Jane Eyre and her journey. She introduces it, by Jane asking for a new servitude, and immediately after, she gets it. It does seem that everything happens because of her feelings. On page 94, when she asks for a new servitude, she did get it in the next chapter. It shows how she has control over the events that occur in her life.

Samantha J said...

Group B Part 1

In Chapter 12 Jane is first introduced to Mr. Rochester, though she does not realize his identity at the time, from the beginning he is set up as a Byronic hero. Beginning with the introduction of the background, the scene is set to make him a Byronic hero. The “rough boles of an oak tree” are put in context of a sunny horizon. The tree is seen as “dark and strong”, two of the characteristics which are also possessed by Rochester. The tree is in contrast with the background, which shows how Rochester contrasts with the society he has been put in. The idea of it being dark reflects the attributes he possesses and in metaphor represents him.

Rochester becomes the center of the imagery as the passage progresses and he is told to have “dark features”, a characteristic of a Byronic hero, which sets him apart from the society he has been put in, representing his troubled past and his contrast from the glowing society he is part of. He does not fit the typical idea of “handsome”, but instead would be considered ugly, which reflects the flaws which he possesses in the book. His appearance is that of an equal, which he is not, and the ease that Jane feels due to this both reflects his educated past, but also gives him heroic attributes that do not necessarily fit with his appearance.

The concept of Thornfield then becomes a focus as it is used to further establish the traveler, though the reader is not enlightened to this fact this early in the chapters. When Jane is asked where she lives, she points to the hall. This is then contrasted with both her feelings and the traveler, who in fact is Rochester. Thornfield possesses the same dark qualities of the traveler as it is gleamed on by the moon. In contrast with the “distinct and pale woods” the house becomes a dark “mass of shadow”. The darkness that is the house is also the traveler. They are compared as they both do not fit with their surroundings. Rochester directly contrasts the society that he belongs to and his flaws are shown on his face and the house contrasts the bright setting in which it is built in. The woods show life, while the house in contrast mimics darkness and death.

Samantha J said...

Group B Part 2

Rochester’s character as a Byronic hero continues to develop in Chapter 13 during his discussion with Jane. During this chapter he shows his intrigue with her character, but his faults and odd personality begin to develop in front of the reader throughout the conversation. Through this conversation many of the attributes of a Byronic hero are developed, one most notably is his worldly nature and his educated mind. He wishes to know all about Jane and his main objective is to have his questions answered, he does not focus on himself, but instead his focus on her shows is moods changes, which could almost be seen as bipolar. He does not fit with the normal character of a master, but instead seems to talk to her as an acquaintance, not a dependent. The charisma that he possesses draws Jane into the conversation and allows her to tell her story to him and answer his questions. As the conversation turns to her paintings and sketches, another side of Rochester seems to be shown. He is no longer as moody, but becomes a cynic. His questions continue and show his need to learn more, but he is no longer a liked character, but instead his cynicism shows his faults. The reaction he holds towards all that she says continues to set him up as a Byronic hero.

Chapter 27 continues to show Rochester as a Byronic hero, as his faults have all been discovered and his character well developed previously. As their marriage fell through he continued to try and hold Jane up. His faults can be found not only with his wife, but also the exile he has put onto himself from society. He wishes to save Jane and that becomes apparent as he begs for her to still be his. Social norms are not his priority as he begs Jane to marry him and live with him forever despite his mad wife. He throws the norms aside for his love of Jane and wishes to have her forever and be her hero forever also. The exchanges between them in this chapter show his seductive nature as Jane almost gives in to his re quests, but allows her pride to give her the strength to allow her to leave. During this final conversation before Jane’s leave Rochester shows almost all of the characteristics of a Byronic hero, most notably his extreme mood swings. Put into conflict his character is able to show that in fact there is really no other description for him other than being a Byronic hero.

Jackie said...

At the end of chapter 16 Jane uses the portrait as a means of controlling her jealousy and exhibiting self control. She "congratulates" herself "on the course of wholesome discipline to which " she had forced her "feelings to submit" (Brontë, 165). With this she paints herself with martyrdom as if she were sacrificing herself for some greater purpose. Her narration makes it seem like she has suffered greatly by the departure of Mr. Rochester, however it is odd that she fails to acknowledge just how ridiculous it is that she must make a miniature of Blanche in order to make herself feel better. What this instance says about Jane as a character is that she often exaggerates simple things. She seems like nothing more than a love sick girl who has a crush on her master who is many years older and more experienced than her.
The way she refers and describes her self when compared to Mr. Rochester and Blanche Ingram also adds to Jane's self-martyrdom. By describing herself as a "indigent and insignificant plebeian" (Bronte, 165) she. by demeaning herself, puts herself on a pedestal. By deeming herself unworthy she portrays herself as noble for denying anything that would make her happy. She does through out the book and instead of making her seem like a better character or hero, it only makes her seem full of herself, she comes off as a confused teenager.
When Jane is sitting in the back of the room observing the scene, particularly Miss Ingram, she describes her as "self-conscious, remarkably self-conscious indeed" (Bronte, 173), thus showing that she is losing the "discipline" that she had in the previous chapter. She begins to judge Miss Ingram but instead only emphasizes her own insecurities. By examining her so closely she doesn't seem so much like a victim of Mr. Rochester and Miss Ingram, but a victim of her own curiosity. She is the one submitting herself to the misery because she doesn't actually know what Rochester is thinking. She is making up scenarios in her head again showing that her character is not a Byronic hero, also she fails to ever take initiative and do something for herself. By punishing herself only she loses out, it does not make her any more noble or complex as a character.

Jackie said...

This pattern began when she first met Helen Burns when she was in school. Burns' practice of discipline and submission have been imprinted into Jane's character, however it only serves to hurt Jane in many situations. In trying to be righteous and god-serving, she forsakes happiness because her spirit has been broken by her years at Gateshead and beginning years at school. Also by keeping to herself she not only fails to interact with other people, but she gets no other perspective on situations and events but her own. Jane always seems to be observing others, but never actually doing anything for herself. In this instance Jane observes the nobles comes to her own conclusions without actually interacting with any of them. She also does this with Mr. Rochester, because she has had so limited interaction with him up to this point she has to make her own conclusions. This portrays something very interesting about her character, she chooses to alienate herself, because she needs the reader to believe everything she says. She must seem reliable, so she alienates herself so the reader can not be influenced by any of the other characters. Without the input of Miss Ingram and Mr. Rochester the reader has to believe that Jane is a victim and that she is sacrificing herself for some unknown greater good or because she is "pure". By also claiming that she had "learnt to love Mr. Rochester" she makes it seem like she had struggled against falling in love with Mr. Rochester when in reality it was clear that she had begun to fall in love with Rochester from the moment she had met him. She fails to ever acknowledge or analyze any of the characters feelings, only judging them by there physical appearance as well as their words. Jane also claims that she could not "unlove" Rochester "merely because...he had ceased to notice" her (Bronte, 188) this shows that she is no martyr, for if she were a martyr she would not attach herself to a person who's moods, emotions and attentions change so quickly. Also if she were a martyr she would not allow herself to be hurt so easily. In short, Jane has no sense of martyr whatsoever in her character, she is nothing but a young woman in love for the first time.

Jen said...

Group A: 1
In Chapter ten of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte suggests that her main character Jane strongly relies on those who surround her. This idea is shown through the author’s focus on Jane’s inner state of mind and her self-assessment.
She starts off the chapter by saying “Hitherto I have recorded in details the events of my insignificant existence … (p. 91)” This line alone is very negative, it shows how this character views herself, and her existence in society. It takes Miss Temple leaving her life for Jane to realize that she hasn’t really done much. This whole time she thought she was happy, because she achieved what society had asked of her since the beginning. She was rejected by her family, because she stood out too much, she was seen as too rebellious. With this new life she said “I had given allegiance to duty and order; I was quiet; I believed I was content: to the eyes of others, usually even to my own, I appeared a discipline and subdued character (p.92.)” She thought herself “content” because the person she described is completely different from the character that the readers met in the very beginning. At the end of page 92 the text sates, “… or rather that she had taken with her the serene atmosphere I had been breathing in her vicinity—and that now I was left in my natural element, and beginning to feel the stirring of old emotions.” With Miss Temple she was able to create this illusion of happiness, but here she’s realizing that there’s more to life, and she hasn’t fully lived yet.
From what she’s describing she doesn’t seem to stable, due to that confusion that is created by society. In this chapter it feels like Jane’s not really sure of what she’s supposed to want. She’s been living this life for eight years telling herself that she is happy, because she’s told that’s how she’s supposed to act, and being meek and invisible is supposed to make her happy. Now that Miss Temple is gone she’s had a break through. On page 93 she said ‘I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer…” Looking out the window, she realizes that there’s a whole world outside of where she’s living, a place where she can accomplish a lot more, as if she’s looking down upon her dreams. She said I went to my window, I opened it… how I longed to follow it further… my vacations had all been spent at school… and now I felt that it was not enough (p. 93.)” There’s a world full of life, possibilities and dreams, where she can find herself, as a woman and as an individual, not the idea of someone that is created by the members of society.

Jen said...

Group A: 2
Part of the definition of a Romantic Hero describes someone who “triumphs over the restraints of theological and social conventions" This may be Jane’s way of getting on that road to triumph over all her hardships. On page 116 it says ‘… that then I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy worlds, towns, regions full of life had heard of but never seen. With each new trip she takes she can become wiser and become her own person. In the next paragraph she states, “I could not help it; the restlessness was in my nature…” It also states that the Romantic hero is often “placed outside the structure of civilization and therefore represent the force of physical nature, amoral or ruthless, yet with a sense of power, and often leadership, that society has impoverished itself by rejecting.” At this point in the novel she’s in a wooded area and it seems like every time she wants or dreams for something it always happens. Here she’s dreaming about excitement and the outside world and how she’s never experienced anything from the outside world or had any contact with those on the outside. Then comes this mysterious man on a horse who ends up needing her help, giving her a small amount of importance. Maybe this is that ‘power’ a romantic hero’s supposed to have maybe they’re the ones who affects the outcome of another character even though they don’t view themselves that way. She felt loss because she had nothing important to do and she meets this man which needs her help. On page 122 she said, “My help had been needed and claimed: I had given it; I was pleased to have done something trivial…” In chapter 19 when Mr. Rochester is judging her it feels like, that’s how Jane’s character is supposed to be, so that in the end she can save her own self, through coming of age and finding herself. Mr. Rochester said, “You are cold; you are sick; and you are silly.” It makes sense that he would view her as such, because she’s supposed to be abnormal, not like the rest of society.
In this chapter the idea of Feminism also shows up. It seems like she’s trying to break through the restraints not only created by society but by men. On page 117 she states, “… and it is narrow minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they aught to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.” This is showing that she wants more from life, more than to just be a governess, and to live by the rules of society. She talks about feeling out of place, and how she never fits in, this may be the reason, because one way or another she has to fight against the norm of society. I also saw the same idea showing up when Mr. Rochester is introduced, she talks about how men treat women, and they shun women. On page 130 she said “I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me, and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning….”

Gaelle said...

Group A Part 1
From the previous, we know that Jane has been through a lot such as getting mistreated by her aunt and her cousins. But since she moves to the school, she became close to Miss. Temple. When everyone though wrong of Jane, it was only Miss. Temple that went to Jane and ask her to explain herself. Miss Temple had a positive impact in Jane. But as soon, she was getting more comfortable with having Miss Temple in her life, she end up getting married. On page 92 “ She had taken with her the serene atmosphere I had been breathing in her vicinity- and now I was left in my natural element ; and beginning to feel the stirring of old emotions.” What this section or this quotes is saying is that when she’s with Ms. Temple, she’s completely different person. With Ms. Temple life is good, life is the way she picture. Now with Ms. Temple gone, who is she going to rely on? Whose going to be there to listen to her and help her? That’s why in the last few words she said “Beginning to feel the stirring of old emotions.” Now That Ms. Temple is gone, she is left with no choice but to go back to the way she was, since she has no one to count on.

Gaelle said...

Group A still part 1
On page 93, “I desire liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing. I abandoned it and framed a humbler supplication; for change stimulus: That petition, too, seemed swept off into vague space; “Then,” I cried, half desperate, “Grant me at least a new servitude!” I felt like she had to much going on, especially having Ms. Temple walk out her life. Someone she count on and rely on. Somehow I could picture her saying those lines. By having her going to the top of a building to express herself, show that she knows that there is something with her life. She just want to start over, for once she just wants her life to go the way she want it. But she depend on people to much though, To make a fresh new start, she needs to start believing herself and stop relying on people most of the time.

Sandy. J said...

Group A Part II

This passage indeed shows Jane’s romantic characteristic. In romanticism, there is an emphasis on the individual’s expression of emotion. Jane’s craving for excitement epitomizes that because she fully expresses it to the reader. It not only introduces Mr. Rochester’s character, but it also foreshadows a relationship between them. The author shows that Jane will have sentiments towards Mr. Rochester, although it wasn’t clear what they were going to be, it was obvious that something was going to occur. One interesting way Bronte creates meaning is by paralleling Adele’s character with Jane’s. Jane was excited before she met Mr. Rochester and when she met him, but Adele was excited also. Jane expresses her frustration with Adele and how “she kept running to the door and looking over the banisters to see if she could get a glimpse of Mr. Rochester; then she coined pretexts to go downstairs” (Bronte 125). Adele was also excited to see Mr. Rochester, but she expressed in a different manner than Jane did. Bronte utilizes Adele as a foil character to convey a mess age about Jane. Adele is like the more innocent, childlike part of Jane. It works because they both have a relationship with Mr. Rochester, but their relationships are very distinct.

Jane’s actions do confirm her as a romantic character. She serves as the advocate of free thought because she freely expresses her feelings about Mr. Rochester. She demonstrated this when she answered “No sir” (Bronte 137) when Mr. Rochester asked her if she thought he was handsome. She bluntly expressed her opinion, not allowing anything to hold her back. In response to the feminist sentiment, she does how it, but not the way other women would show it during the Victorian era, but in her own manner. She was honest, but yet witty with her answers and the way she spoke. Her mannerisms distinguished her from society’s expectations of what a woman should be, and how she should behave. That also confirms her as a romantic character, because she rejects all social norms, and works only on being herself.

Jess said...

Group D, Part 1

From the retelling of dreams by Jane, my first impression was the strangeness of how vivid her dreams were. From the two dreams she retells in chapter twenty five (pages 279 and 280) she explains everything with a fair amount of detail, leaving the only “unknown” to be the child itself. In chapter 21, on page 221, Jane recalls hearing “that to dream of children was a sure sign of trouble, either to one's self or one's kin.” In the very next chapter, Jane's entire future with Rochester falls apart right in front of her eyes because of Bertha. Mr. Rochester admits that his past life was troubled (sure sign of a Byronic Hero) and he spent a lot of time leading a life of debauchery. It is a possibility that the child Jane was carrying in her dream is more a symbol for what his previous actions and life brought into his world. Jane says during the retelling of her first dream in chapter 25 on page 279 that she “experienced a strange, regretful consciousness of some barrier dividing [them].” This turns out to be Bertha, who is the leftover baggage from his previous life, which was symbolized in the child. The child “wailed” in Jane's ear, just as Jane had heard Bertha wail in previous chapters. She is also completely reliant on Grace Poole as her keeper and Mr. Rochester's supplying of food to her holding place, like a child who can't be trusted to fend for itself or be left alone. The buildup of Jane's dreams started early and gave a creepy mood even before the veil scene. At first I dismissed them as superstition but now it is a very apparent foreboding by Bronte.

Jess said...

Group D, Part 2

The use of Gothic imagery in these chapters is very strong, because it is often used immediately after brighter imagery. In chapter 23, Jane describes the day during midsummer, with “skies so pure, suns so radiant,” and when the “trees were in their dark prime; hedge and wood, full-leaved and deeply tinted.” This is an abundance of bright lights and green imagery. However, beginning on the very next page, Jane begins to transition the garden to a Gothic scene. Once the moon rose to shine on it, the imagery became darker, even with the fruits and perfume included. By the end of the chapter, they were “all in shadow” and the tree “writhed and groaned” while the wind “roared in the laurel walk.”

This is strange because the green and bright imagery is reserved for other moments, while the darker Gothic images were used in the romantic scenes between Jane and Mr. Rochester. I guess this is more fitting for two Byronic characters, because in my mind it is closely tied to Gothic imagery and Romanticism (probably because of the packets we read....).

The lightning at the end of chapter 23 struck the horse-chestnut in the garden where Mr. Rochester and Jane were the night before. Later, in chapter 25on page 274, she describes the spectacle of the tree. It is split down the middle but the halves were “not broken from each other, for the firm base and strong roots kept them unsundered below.” This is another foreshadowing for events to come for Jane and Mr. Rochester in the next chapter. However, even though the events tear them apart, they are still together in the end because of the firm base between them. Lightning itself is seen as wild, unpredictable, and uncontrollable, and in this sense the lightning that appears to tear them apart could be Bertha, who is shown to be just as wild.

SamP1 said...

Group B

In Jane’s first encounter with Rochester, there were ominous images that Bronte was creating in the narrative. The passage before Jane realizes who is on the horse states that perhaps the creature coming toward her was a haunting figure that follows travelers. It was shown negatively within the book, though the figure she mentions, the “Gytrash,” can be seen as helpful, that guides lost travelers to their destinations. This shows that Rochester’s character is either around to help Jane, or harm her. The symbol of the Gytrash sets Rochester up immediately as a mysterious character. As soon as Jane actually sees Rochester, she immediately stops questioning the significance of the Gytrash. Because “the man, the human being, broke the spell at once,” Jane realizes that the man is a harmless traveler and the romance in those words foreshadows a relationship between the “traveler taking the shortcut to Millcote” and Jane. When Rochester falls off of his horse, he seems like a perfectly normal traveler, but he teases her when he asks about her residence at Thornfield and makes her believe that he’s not living there. His teasing gives off an arrogant tone, therefore showing one trait of a Byronic hero. Along with his wit and somehow attractive appearance, the Byronic character is shown rather quickly within the first two pages of his appearance.

In chapter thirteen, Rochester reveals a key flaw about him, an important trait in a Byronic character. Addressing Jane, he admits that he is “used to saying ‘Do this,’ and it is done,” showing the bossy attitude Rochester has with all of his company, including a woman he is clearly interested in. In the passage, there are moments in which Rochester clearly expresses interest in Jane. When she brings about her portfolio of her art, he takes genuine interest, allowing the reader to see what Rochester might think of Jane. The narration gives away no hint, because it is through Jane’s eyes and she has no idea. This passage in chapter thirteen also reveals that Jane believes Mr. Rochester to be “very changeful and abrupt,” which could also attribute to his flaws as a Byronic hero.

The exchanges between Rochester and Jane show the growing relationship between the two of them. Neither admits to any feelings for each other until the middle of the novel. In chapter twenty three, the relationship shifts from professional to romantic. These two separate chapters show the growth of Rochester’s personality and Jane’s unorthodox attraction to him. Jane admits that she “learned to love Rochester,” which might show that she was settling when she married him. His Byronic personality is shown within these pages because it is made clear that he is arrogant enough to boss Jane around, educated enough to have all of this money, and the final, greatest piece about Byronic heroes is their tendency to have a good heart, which Rochester showed when he asked Jane to marry him for love, instead of marrying Blanche for good social standing.