Thursday, April 15, 2010

Volume 3: Jane Eyre


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 three blog posts
Group A

At the opening of Ch. 28, Jane leaves Thornfeild and returns to Nature. What is the significance of this? What do you note about the ways in which “Nature” is described here: are Jane’s attitudes towards Nature essentially pagan, or are they leavened with Christianity? How does this help us consider the treatment of “Nature” within the novel as a whole?

Group B

After being taken in by the Rivers’ in Ch. 29, Jane meets St. John Rivers. How does Jane see him? Look particularly at the para. “Mr. St. John sitting as still as one. . . and again in Ch. 30 at her response to his sermon “It began calm. . .”. In what ways is St. John represented as being opposite to Rochester (consider Jane’s thoughts in Ch. 31 “Meantime, let me ask myself one question. . .”) What values or point of view do you feel are associated with him? What is significant about the way that Jane responds to him?

Group C

Just as Jane has significant dialogues with Rochester, so she converses with St. John. What is significant about these conversations, especially in terms of the light they throw on the novel’s treatment of “values”? Look at chapter 31 “Very well; I hope you feel the content. . .” and at the end of Chapter 32 “Again the surprised expression crossed his face. . .”. Also look at Chapter 34 “I have no medium. . .” and the last five pages of this chapter “God and nature intended you for a missionary’s wife. . .”. How does the novel present Jane’s dilemma as to whether or not to accept Rivers’ proposal, and how is it resolved, especially in the last few pages of chapter 35?

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.

23 comments:

Kellie said...
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Kellie said...
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Kellie said...

GROUP A: Part 1

At the beginning of chapter 28, the most important descriptions Jane provides the reader with about nature is found on page 318, “I touched the heath: it was dry, and yet warm with the heat of the summer-day. I looked at the sky; it was pure: a kindly star twinkled just above the chasm ridge. The dew fell, but with a propitious softness; no breeze whispered. Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast as I was”. There is obviously personification of this nature character. Nature is described as someone who is unconditionally loving and caring. Words used are "kindly, softness, benign and good, loved". There is obviously the characteristics of caring and love found within what Jane is trying to describe. The way Jane describes this nature character is as if it were her mother, or someone as a motherly figure. Jane expects this "nature" to love her unconditionally, even though she is an “outcast”. This reference to nature plays a huge role in the idea of God, who is found in nature everywhere. Jane infers that when one is close to nature, “we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence”. Just as in the nature she described, her God is unconditionally loving and caring. Jane’s ideas are more leavened to Christianity because of the connection she draws between the forces of nature and the almighty. Christianity can also be found in the similarities between the motherly figure she described and God. Both figures are known to look over their children, and care for them unconditionally, and love them unconditionally as well.

The treatment of nature in the novel as a whole should now be seen as Jane’s escape. Just as God, Nature will be the only thing that will accept Jane as she is. Jane only feels comfortable surrounded by nature because she is not surrounded by humanity, just her true self, where acceptance is not pleaded for. Nature should now be viewed as a parental figure for Jane, like a guardian looking down on their child, just as God is. Now that Jane does not have Miss Temple, she finds that comfort in a more spiritual way, through nature and God. Nature and the higher spirit that Jane alludes to serves as that motherly figure that Jane never had.

Kellie said...

GROUP A: Part 2

One thing that makes the idea of nature confusing is Jane's description in chapter 10 of the scenery of Lowood consisting of "blue peaks" and a "hilly horizon". Although the imagery of Lowood is completely beautiful and tranquil, Jane makes it know that she does not want to be surrounded by these boring characters anymore. She is overlooking the backyard of her house, where she can see vast distances. Here, Jane feels as though she is trapped and cannot escape. In putting "nature" in a context as she did before, she makes it confusing as to whether this nature she is faced with is something she wants to embrace, or something she wants to run away from. In chapter 28, Jane makes it seem as though nature is all she has, and the only thing that is true to her. On the other hand, this nature is something that she was running away from before as well. I feel as though this relationship Jane has with nature is something that resembles the relationship of a mother and child. Although at times a child might want to part from their parents, the child will always go back to their parents for comfort and support, as did Jane in chapter 28.

Nature within the novel as a whole should be considered Jane's security. Even in Lowood, nature was there for her, and put her in a state of "security and ease" even though she did not want that. In a way, I feel as though Jane used nature as a motherly figure for herself, because she never had one. The most motherly figure Jane introduces to the reader is Miss Temple, who eventually leaves Jane in the end. I feel as though Jane chooses nature as this motherly figure because it will always be there for her, and will never leave, as does everyone else in Jane's life. Nature is the one true thing that will be with Jane forever, and she is guaranteed that she will have that "nature" forever. In this story, I'm not sure if Jane's mission is to find that sense of security that she lets go of, or find something that compensates for the "nature" that she feels is the only thing she has in life. Looking back on the book, I feel as though Jane settles for Rochester's love in compensation for the motherly figure that she always wanted. I feel as though before she finds Rochester's love, she uses that nature she is surrounded with to fill that void she has, taking into consideration Jane has basically no core of support or acknowledgment from others.

Stephany J. said...

GROUP B: PART 1

When Mr. St. John came across Jane on page three hundred and thirty seven he “merely bowed and passed through” while the other two ladies stopped to make small talk. He appeared to have more important things to tend to than dealing with Jane at the moment. Jane views Mr. Rivers as an intense, harsh human being. Upon coming across new people Jane has the tendency to review their every move very critically. This behavior was previously observed when Mr. Rochester was first introduced into the text. The examination of Mr. St. John begins with stereotypical features that she has plucked from her head in relation to his body language. She continues her analytical process of Mr. St. John by mentioning a few physical features that would make her seem to be interested in him. For a women who was just so taken with Mr. Rochester in past chapters, she appears to be paying entirely too much attention to Mr. St. John. Jane somehow configures background information on a man who she has never had a conversation with.

When Jane and Mr. St. John finally have a moment alone he begins to cross-examine her critically. Jane answers all the questions except for one: “where did you last reside?” (340). Mr. Rivers must know that he is over stepping his boundaries by the objection of his sister, Mary. Instead she provides him with a quick summary of important events within her life. Jane obviously does not what the River family to know that she is from Thornfield or her connection to Mr. Rochester. Still, I do not understand why that type of information would be relevant in this specific situation. What do you think the significance of Jane’s prior residence plays within this conversation? Brontë does this to dramatize the different stages in Jane’s life.

Even though Jane appears to be transitioning into a new stage in her life, she still shows signs of slipping back into her old habits. In chapter thirty Jane admits tht she enjoyed “what they enjoyed” (343). Oddly enough Jane was able to acquire enough self-assurance to become companions with women in society who were indeed self-reliant. Her statements are surprising because the audience would have thought that her perceptions would have ventured off into a level of individuality. Jane’s statements further confirm her adolescent tendencies of trying ‘to fit in’ with members of society. Once again the concerns of the audience are confirmed through Jane’s thoughts during Mr. St. John’s sermon. She was obviously intrigued by his handsome facial features.

Stephany J. said...

GROUP B: PART 2


The people in Jane’s life who appear to be important to her usually have a higher status than her (or element of power of her life). In most situations Jane is either the pupil or learning from the person in some sort of way. This type of relationship can be viewed through her interactions with Mr. Rochester and Mr. St. John. Each man in her life brought a different element of ‘excitement’ to the table. Still, Mr. Rochester and Mr. St. John were able to influence Jane’s thought process in the way they wanted to.

As a Byronic hero, Mr. Rochester’s passion and forcefulness make him seem extremely appealing to Jane. When Mr. Rochester was first introduced in chapter fourteen, Jane only was able to analyze his physical features. She specifically paid attention to the sensual features: eyes, lips, and frame. Unlike Mr. St. John, Mr. Rochester was very direct with Jane’s examination. As the relationship between Mr. Rochester and Jane mature it is apparent that he finds emotional peace when she is around him. He provides Jane with unconditional love and a sense of family that she never experience before. Still, Mr. Rochester is presented to be superior to Jane because of his level of intellect.

Mr. St. John Rivers was a stoical man who was strictly devoted to Christianity and God. At first, Jane is able to stand up to Mr. St. John and tell him what she does and does not need in her life. Right when the fiery spark within Jane begins to appear, it diminished noticeably when Mr. St. John begins to teach her Hindustani. Once again Jane becomes the pupil in the relationship. As a result, she ends up being under the thumb of Mr. Rivers. Becoming Mr. St. John’s student and obeying him the way she would obey a teacher makes it difficult for Jane to maintain her own personality and nature. The entire relationship goes against what her self empowering journey stood for. The audience mist keep in mind that Mr. Rivers never loved Jane. He only believed in the potential she had regarding the missionary. In Thornfield Jane was always being told how to act and think. The only way that Jane will be able to be free of Mr. St. John’s control is to go back to Mr. Rochester. Either way Jane is still being influenced on how she should life her life. Her actions with both men show that she isn’t ready to get married. At this point Jane has to choose who she would rather be oppressed by.

Gaelle said...

Group B
Mr.St. John was very helpful and nice to Jane Eyre at the beginning. When the lady wouldn’t let her come in, Mr. St. John came and defends her. “Hush Hannah! I have a word to say to the woman. You have done your duty in excluding, now let me do mine in admitting her. I was near, and listened to bout you and her. I think this is a peculiar case- I must examine into it. Young woman, rise, and pass before me into the house” Page 330. Even though he didn’t know her, he was willing to help her, this shows that his caring. If wasn’t for him, she could have been left to die.

As the story develops more, Jane describes Mr.St. John. “Had he been a statue instead of a man, he could not have been easier.” To me, this line shows that John is a serious person, he’s hard to please. As she continues, “He was young- perhaps from twenty-eight to thirty- tall, slender; his face riveted the eye; it was like a Greek face, very pure in outline; quite a straight, classic nose; quite an Athenian mouth and chin “Page 338.The way that she describes shows that she’s very interested in him, she describes him as perfect strong person. She notice everything about him, even thought he wasn’t really paying attention to her. Also the way she describe him, it’s like she found her hero.

Gaelle said...

Group b still part 1

At this place, Jane felt like she belong there and she has an open mind. She got along with the sisters just fine. I remember at the beginnings, I said that she likes Mr. St. John character, that she likes the way he comports himself. Well that kind of change, she feels like Mr. John takes to much time helping other people, rather than staying at home. “As to Mr. St. John, the intimacy which had arisen so naturally and rapidly between me and his sisters, did not extend to him. One reason of the distance yet observed between us was, that he was comparatively seldom at home: large proportion of his time appeared devoted to visiting the sick and poor among the scattered population of his parish”page 344. When reading this section, I thought that wasn’t a good reason for her to start having second thought or bad thought about Mr. St. John. I felt like maybe because she usually gets attention, but since she’s not getting it. She feels like there something missing. Well, the job that Mr. St. John is doing sound fine to me, his only helping the others, just like he helps her. When she had no place to go, no food to eat, or no drink to drink, No one wanted to help her, but Mr. St. John. I thought that was selfish of her, not to want Mr. St. John to help others. After what she went through, I think she should have been doing the same thing that Mr. St. John is doing, helping others. I understand the part that he spends much of his time, out helping. I felt like that’s the way he was raise, I don’t think he could just change that, just because she feels like that’s not right.

Gaelle said...

Group b part 2

Mr. Rochester is nothing alike Mr. St. John. First of all to start with, Mr. Rochester comport himself as higher than everybody else. He has way to talk and boss people around. On page 309, Mr. Rochester was trying to create a conversation with Miss Jane. “Speak” he urged. “You are dumb, Miss Eyre.” I thought that was very rude way to address a person. The way he was talking to her was making her feel like she’s nothing. This shows that his higher than her, that she has no right. Unlike Mr. St. John, he talks to her like two normal people suppose to have a conversation. Something , I just realize is that Jane had difficulty talking to Mr.
Rochester, but somehow when she’s with Mr. St. John, she could let her feelings out, she could talk to him. Maybe it’s the way they act around her. Mr. st. John seem like a caring man, he puts other people feeling first, that’s one of the thing that shows his nothing like Mr. Rochester.

On page 352 Jane says “Whether is it better, I ask, to be slave in a fool’s paradise at Marseilles- fevered with delusive bliss one hour- suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next- or to be a village-schoolmistress, free and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England?” So the first part of this little section, suppose to represent life with Mr. Rochester and the other is life with Mr. St. John. To me, she paraphrased this very well, by just looking at what she said, she could of made her choice. With Mr. St. John, she free, she could be herself, she doesn’t have to pretend.

Samantha J said...

Group A Part 1

After Jane’s marriage attempt to Rochester goes array she leaves Thornfield and returns to nature. In Chapter 28 she begins he descent back into nature and nature becomes a personified to her. As she leaves on a summer evening the darkness that she associates with Thornfield is left behind and she returns to the brightness that is “Nature”. As she finally ends in Whitcross the description she gives revolves around the “white” that is all around her. The brightness of the white directly contrasts the darkness that Thornfield possessed. It is the beginning of something new and thus must contrast her past of darkness.

The description of the environment in which she now exists shows the struggle which she is going through. She begins by describing the “ridged with mountains” landscape that surrounds her. She was imprisoned due to her emotions and the mountains represent the struggle she is going through to make her way from Rochester and rediscover her own identity. She is no longer able to associate herself with others, but instead she now associates herself with the nature around her. As she looks around her she is put back under the moon and placed where “great moor” surround her. She is no longer surrounded by darkness, but instead has gone back to the night and is beginning where she left off when she left Longwood. The roads that she lays on are “white, broad, lonely” and this reflects how she feels. She is placed on a new road and she is left by herself, but the future may not seem bright, but it is despite her loneliness.

Without a tie to society she begins to push further into nature to find her and discover what she will do next. She has been left without a thing in the world now that she left Rochester, which was her only connection to society and humans. Nature is all that she has left. As she begins to wade “knee-deep, in its dark growth” she is leaving her past behind her, which is allowing her to get a second chance at developing. The moors allow her protection and nature becomes her attachment. She is now part of it and as she lays down in it she is encompassed by the growth that surrounds her and this represents the growth she has made and will now have to make. Surrounded by silence allows her to converse with nature and figure out what she can do. The vast sky above her and the warm heat of the summer night are her keeper. Nature was the only mother she had ever known; it supported her and gave her protection from the world. Very much like her, nature is wild and does not fit with society norms, but instead has a mind of it and creates its own path.

Samantha J said...

Group A Part 2

Jane’s attitudes towards nature show a pagan belief system. Nature is not a thing, but instead is personified. It is more of a person then a thing in her view. The gothic nature of the book allows nature to be seen in this way. Nature is a protector and not a foreign place. Society is more foreign then the attributes of nature to the character of Jane, She identifies more easily with nature than she does with society, which shows us why she was so able to develop a relationship with Rochester, for he possesses many of the attributes of nature. Christianity can also be seen in her description because she associates the attributes of nature with that of God. She views both as her protectors and it is difficult to distinguish between the two. Nature was given by god and can thus be associated with him and represent him as a protector to the character of Jane.

Throughout the book nature has always held significance, often seen in the presence of the moon. It is her comfort due to the fact that she has never had a human comfort. It represents who Jane is as a character, wild and different from those around her. Nature is treated as an equal throughout the book and this description shows why it is continually personified. Nature allows her to understand the world around her and is often used to contrast different aspects of the story, which includes Rochester and Thornfield. Nature is not a thing in the book, but instead is a person and an idea which allows Jane to associate with others and gain comfort, for people have never been a comfort to her.

Jackie said...

In chapter 28, Jane's return to nature not only signifies a new beginning in Jane's life but also a rich symbolism of Christianity. It seems as though Jane's trek draws from several biblical references. The first that is relevant is the strong imagery similar to that of Jesus' 40 night stay in the desert, where his drive, his faith and his strength are tested. Similarly, this journey is a measure of Jane's faith and strength. In nature she must fend for herself and she has no one to rely on but herself as did Jesus. In nature she has a chance to begin her life again and consider new possibilities for herself.
The act of leaving civilization also brings with it the idea of getting back to the animalistic roots that all humans have the idea that one must struggle to not only live but survive like animals do. This serves as a parallel for Jane's life long struggle to live and find happiness. She must struggle physically in the wilderness like she struggled emotionally in civilization. It is a test of Jane's strength to prove herself as the hero of this novel. She must survive this physical hardship to not only prove physical strength but also the strength of her spirit. Her spirit has suffered many hardships since the beginning of the book, particularly the hardship of surviving a broken heart. This chapter will prove whether or not Jane can overcome this and forgive but also put Rochester and Thornfield forever behind her.
Overall, Jane's attitude toward nature seems to be driven by Christianity, it seems as though now, more than any other time or passage in the book, Jane draws on her faith to give her strength. It is here that she prays, whereas when she was happily in love with Rochester, she did not pray or mention God. Perhaps this chapter is a way for Jane to repent and ask "God" to forgive her sins as well as Rochester's. However she again tries to make herself seem like a Martyr when she so painstakingly had "risen to her knees to pray for Mr. Rochester" (Bronte, 319) However she fails to mention that it was she herself that brought her to into this situation. Further evidence that Jane's attitude toward nature is driven by Christianity is her entire paragraph dedicated to how nature causes one to feel "God's" presence "most when his works are on the grandest scale spread before us:and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where his worlds wheel their silent course...that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence."(Bronte, 319) showing that she also very much believes that she is being tested and protected by "God".
For the novel as a whole, nature serves to bring out the best in all of the characters, as well as human beings. As all the characters encounter nature, all of their best qualities come out. For example when Mr. Rochester is out in the garden with Jane, his softer more amiable side shows through his hard and cold exterior. This also occurs when Miss Blanche Ingram goes riding, her beauty shows through the most, it is the same for Jane, her strength, her faith, and her will shine in nature. Nature does this for all of mankind, it highlights what makes man human, the vulnerability that can't be seen in civilization.

Jen said...

Group A:

In Chapter 28 of Jane Eyre, Bronte suggests that Mother Nature’s the only thing that accepts human as they are. Here in the wilderness, with Mother Nature there’s no way that Jane can feel out of place. All Jane has to do is be herself, and she’ll be accepted with open arms. This chapter also strongly focuses on Christianity. Mother Nature is being personified, however at the same time she talks about how all this blissfulness was created by God, and how she feels a strong connection to him living out in the open by herself with nature like that.

When Jane leaves Thornfeild and returns to nature, shows how it plays a big role in human lives. When human are rejected by society Mother Nature will always accept them. It seems like she’s a child and she’s coming back to her mom for consolation after being treated wrongly. Here she’s not being judged and there’s no reason for her to feel like she doesn’t belong. There’s nothing she has to live up to. It seems like Nature’s her friend not her enemy, while those that are supposed to be her peers are the ones hurting her. On page 318 she states, “Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast as I was; and I who from man could anticipate only mistrust rejection, insult, and clung to her with filial fondness. “ This is saying that when in pain or distrust with other humans, going back to the most basic instincts is a way to keep things going.

It seems like nature is part of Jane, for example when she was coming to live with Mr. Rochester, she felt uncertain, and it was cold and rainy, which seemed to be in sync with what she was feeling. It feels like this journey she’s taking is her way of searching for a sense of self, no one around seems to value her, however Mother Nature will, with no problem. On page 318 she said, “I have no relative but the universal mother, nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose.” Here she can be at peace and she can find herself.

Jen said...

In this section when she talks about Nature she personifies it. The way Jane describes Nature it seems like she’s describing a person, but for her it’s more like a mother. On Page 318 she said ‘Not a tie holds me to human society at this moment.” Here with Nature she’s taking refuge away from the outside world that’s trying to destroy her. On page 318, she said, ‘… I would be her guest—as I was her child…” She gives Nature the role of a nurturing mother, “who would lodge me without money and without price (p.318).”

Even though she goes on to talk about Mother Nature, and how she’s important she also goes back to her Christian roots. She is putting her life in God, living by herself in Nature. On Page 319 she said “We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us…” Here she goes on to demonstrate that even though Mother Nature is important God is still in control. Everything here, that’s she’s seeing that she’s using, that she’s taking refuge from is created by God. The reader can see that she feels that God’s presence is with her. She said, “I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester…. I felt the might and strength of God (p. 319.)”
It feels like since Jane is looking at Nature, with the idea of God in mind, the novel is demonstrating that God is involved in all. She said I turned my prayer to thanksgiving: the Source of Life was also the Savior of Spirit. Her actions already show the reader how she feels lost and uncertain. So speaking of a Savior who heals spirits suggests that she’s here for some type of healing both emotionally and spiritually. Here she feels at peace, it can be the way people feel supported by their religions. At the end of the day it’s the connection made with God that’s going to help. This also demonstrates the idea that God creates and controls all. It feels like there’s a higher power at work, and living in the wilderness, she’s able to gain some sense of self which would later on help her in another point of her life.

hillary said...

Jane’s first encounter with the Rivers family was very comforting. They treated her fairly, housed and fed her, even though they did not know anything about her at all. She then meets St. John Rivers and there is an immediate attraction towards the man. Her observations include his “young” (338) age of approximately 30 whereas Mr. Rochester is approximately 40. He possessed a “tall” and “slender” figure, a “Greek” face that looked almost “antique,” “large and blue” eyes, and a “high forehead” (338-339). However, Jane is “scarcely impressed” (339) by his perfect and kind features. The way he “did not speak to [her] one word” or “even direct to [her] one glance” (339) brought mystery to his overall character, something of which enticed Jane’s curiosity about his persona. St. John also acted as her hero by rescuing her from “the horrors of homeless destitution” (342) with his “noble hospitality” (341). Jane is grateful to heroes such as Ms. Temple and holds a great amount of respect towards them.

It was St. John’s discourse that proved Jane correct about a deeper layer to his personality. His speech began calmly and ended in instilling “inexpressible sadness” in her. There was a point where she saw his exterior traits of being “pure-lived, conscientious, [and] zealous,” but then she realized his “strange bitterness” concealed a yearning for peace, “that peace of God which passeth all understanding” (345). He was perhaps just as lost as she was. His internal struggle gave Jane a chance to further develop their relationship, only on a spiritual level because “the intimacy which has arisen so naturally and rapidly between [her] and his sisters” (344) was difficult to pursue due to his absences from home. Although she shows distaste for his separation from his family and home, her curiosity continues this strange attraction towards him.

Jane finds herself in a conflict of choosing between two potential lives based on either St. John or Mr. Rochester. Both live very different lifestyles. St John would have her surrender to “temptation” and listen to “passion” with “no painful effort” in which she would eventually end up in a rollercoaster of emotions (352). On the other hand, Mr. Rochester could promise her the title of being “Mr. Rochester’s mistress” and love her “for a while,” but in a position where she could live “free and honest” (352). Jane struggled with both men’s offers because she is ultimately in search of indefinite love, independence, and freedom.

hillary said...

It is clear that Mr. Rochester’s love was definite and reciprocated. Jane even acknowledged the fact that he did love her. However, the morality of knowing that she would be a mistress distresses her character. Jane tries to find balance between morality and her happiness. St. John’s love, however, is far more complex. His love is rather empty. His proposal of marriage held no significant expression of love, which Jane notices. He perhaps holds no amount of love at all in contrast with Rochester’s over expressive love.

St. John’s reclusive temperament reflects a cool interaction with the outside world. His austere devotion to his religion further reflected characteristics that would ruin his relationships. His personality is harsh and direct and much too controlling for Jane. In a past chapter, Jane made a comment about women having the same needs as men. They are much too imprisoned and under the shadows of domineering people such as St. John. His words and actions suggest a certain disdain for women and true love. He cannot appreciate true love because his one and only true love Rosamond Oliver is not in his possession. At this point he is bitter at the world and wants to marry off just for the sake of having power and something to control. Jane despises the way he makes her feel and his idea of love. Her feminist instincts cry out for freedom. “The fire of [her] nature” would burn out and the idea of living life day after day knowing that would tear her apart. Jane responds with fury to his marriage command. Her search for unrequited love would be for lost if ever she married a man like St. John.

Sandy. J said...

Group A Part I

The significance of Jane returning to Mother Nature is that Bronte is showing how Jane didn’t belong where she was living before. The allusions Jane had in the beginning of the book to birds and sheep show that she didn’t want to stay in the environment that she was in. She used these stories as an escape from her horrible life. The bird especially signified freedom, and the will to fly away and run free everywhere, which symbolized Jane’s character. The name “Thorn field” implies that it’s a place full of pain such as a field full of thorns. Everywhere one goes, he or she gets hurt by the thorns because they are everywhere. It is most significant that Jane returns to nature, because that’s where she finds solace. She has no desire to return back, she confessed that “not a tie holds ‘her’ back to human society at this moment. I have no relative but the universal Mother Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose” (Bronte 318). She turns to Mother Nature for well being, because where she was before didn’t provide her with that sense of peace. Bronte makes a social commentary about nature as a whole; that nature can be a comforting place for when one needs to get away. In nature, she finds healing through the green grass and the meadows, healing from all the pain and sorrow she suffered.

Nature also served as a way to give Jane a new perspective on life. It allowed her to appreciate life itself, and how nature contributes to it to make it better. Her observations were delicate, and gave the passage a very warm tone. She “looked at the sky; it was pure; a kindly star twinkled just above the chasm ridge” (Bronte 318). Jane finds comfort in the sky and the stars, along with their simplicity. The elements of nature were in tune with her, and she didn’t have to do anything to please them. Jane’s attitudes towards nature are leavened with Christianity. She recognized God in her actions and she puts them into everything she does. Jane acknowledges that “God is everywhere but certainly we feel His presence most when his works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipresence.” (Bronte 319). Jane’s constant allusion to God shows that she is going through a renaissance. Through nature and God, Jane is being born again, into a more serene human being. Jane’s rebirth serves as a symbol of her growing up spiritually. She is still a hero, whether Byronic or romantic going through a quest to find herself. Jane is learning as an individual, and is also growing up throughout the novel. Jane exemplifies a strong Christian belief that everyone can find God in their lives, and once they do, their lives change for the better. God’s presence in nature shows that he is creator of all things, and he puts these things on earth for his children, humans, to be able to make use of it.

Sandy. J said...

Group A Part II
The presence of God in Jane’s life exhibits a thirst to find her self. It’s simply one of the paths in her journey for Jane to really have a lucid idea of who she is and what her purpose is. We discussed in the class that Jane could be a Christ figure, and she does show those characteristics. She is on her own, she left her family behind along with all she knew to appreciate nature and commit good deeds such as praying for Mr. Rochester. She found this purity in her life, that she wasn’t going to allow anyone to take from her. When Jane refers to the “White door”, (Bronte 321), she gives the reader a celestial image. The color white signifies purity, a new beginning which is what Jane is attaining in this part of her life. Bronte did a good job using the color to touch upon a theme of a fresh start for Jane. She’s setting up scenarios and struggles for her character. She will have to overcome those struggles, throughout her journey in order for her to find what she seeks. Bronte creates imagery in the setting to create a bright positive mood. “A pretty little house stood at the top of the lane, with a garden before it; exquisitely neat and brilliantly blooming” (Bronte 321). The garden is related to nature because of the grass and its green color and the happiness it brings to an individual.

Stephanie A. said...
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Stephanie A. said...

Group A: Part 1

When Jane Eyre returns to nature, she is completely alone. Like before, when Jane Eyre is alone, she has no one to rely on but herself and that is something she is not good with. When she was at Lowood, she relied on Miss Temple. Once Miss Temple got married and left to live her own life with her new husband, Jane Eyre felt alone. When Jane Eyre left to go work for Mr. Rochester, she had Mr. Rochester to occupy her mind. But once she decided to leave she was lost again. “What do I do? Where do I go? Oh intolerable question when I could do nothing and go nowhere” (Brontë 318).

Once Jane Eyre decided to leave, she was put in the middle of no where and had to rely completely on herself. But although Jane Eyre appears to be alone, Jane actually finds a new figure to rely on. Rather then surviving solely on her own, she relies on nature, and to be more specific, Mother Nature is who Jane relies on.

Relying on Mother Nature could be looked at in two ways. Figuratively, Jane Eyre treats Mother Nature as an actual person because once she decides on her own that she is going to rely on Mother Nature she no longer feels lost. “Nature seemed to be benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast was I: and I, who from man could anticipate only mistrust, rejection, insult, cling to her [mother nature] with filial fondness” (Brontë 318).

Jane going into the wilderness is a way for her to find herself and Mother Nature is the first person that allows her to be on her own and think about how to take care of her self. Mother Nature acts as a crutch in Jane Eyre’s mind. Jane knows that she’s on her own but Jane finds something or someone to find comfort in before she can be comfortable with a situation. With Mother Nature as Jane’s source of comfort she is technically alone, but Jane Eyre doesn’t feel alone. Jane looks at Mother Nature as if Mother Nature is an actual guardian for her. Jane actually feels a connection and love as she is in nature but in a sense, she is not along because Jane talks as though Mother Nature is an actual person. In any case, when a person is in the wilderness, they can see nature as being completely alone with no one around, or one can embrace nature as a friend and that is what Jane does. This is how nature is portrayed, not as scenery or a part of the setting in the story, but personified as another person.

Stephanie A. said...

Group A: Part 2

In a way, Jane’s close relationship with Mother Nature is similar in to how in a story in the bible, Jesus spends forty days and nights in the desert fasting. Jesus is completely alone with no distractions just praying and listening to God. Jesus going into the wilderness is similar to how Jane decides to leave Mr. Rochester so that she wouldn’t be tempted to stay with him even after finding out his big secret of still being married. Jane makes the decision to be on her own having no idea where she would end up, but being on her own allowed her to find herself and think about the things that when on between her and Mr. Rochester. Like Jesus, Jane Eyre even keeps God in mind as she stops her thoughts about of Mr. Rochester.

“Worn out with this torture of thought, I rose to my knees. Night was come, and her planets were risen: a safe, still night; too serene for the companionship of fear. We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester” (Brontë 319).

Not only do Jane’s actions mimic those of Jesus but Jane Eyre turns her thoughts she turns her thoughts to God as Jesus did in the desert. Being in nature on her own allows Jane to be herself for once and not rely on others to make provide her with happiness although Jane does find a figure to claim as the source of her happiness on.

Jane does give mature, and more specifically Mother Nature, the personified characteristic of being able to love and care for her, but this personification of nature does not necessarily mean that Jane Eyre’s views are pagan. Jane Eyre has such a strong view on God and follows what she thinks God would want her to do such as going away from Mr. Rochester and not marrying him that she couldn’t possible have views of a pagan. In the case of Jane referring to Mother Nature as an actual person, she may simply be embracing the wild life and mean that the ourdoors is all the company she needs.

As for nature in the story, it can definitely be viewed as something that helps Jane find her center. Jane was lost at first and did not know what to do but after evaluating her situation and thinking things through, Jane was able to focus on what she wanted to do and even turned to God in prayer as a way of being herself.

Stephanie A. said...

Group A: Part 2

In a way, Jane’s close relationship with Mother Nature is similar in to how in a story in the bible, Jesus spends forty days and nights in the desert fasting. Jesus is completely alone with no distractions just praying and listening to God. Jesus going into the wilderness is similar to how Jane decides to leave Mr. Rochester so that she wouldn’t be tempted to stay with him even after finding out his big secret of still being married. Jane makes the decision to be on her own having no idea where she would end up, but being on her own allowed her to find herself and think about the things that when on between her and Mr. Rochester. Like Jesus, Jane Eyre even keeps God in mind as she stops her thoughts about of Mr. Rochester.

“Worn out with this torture of thought, I rose to my knees. Night was come, and her planets were risen: a safe, still night; too serene for the companionship of fear. We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester” (Brontë 319).

Not only do Jane’s actions mimic those of Jesus but Jane Eyre turns her thoughts she turns her thoughts to God as Jesus did in the desert. Being in nature on her own allows Jane to be herself for once and not rely on others to make provide her with happiness although Jane does find a figure to claim as the source of her happiness on.

Jane does give mature, and more specifically Mother Nature, the personified characteristic of being able to love and care for her, but this personification of nature does not necessarily mean that Jane Eyre’s views are pagan. Jane Eyre has such a strong view on God and follows what she thinks God would want her to do such as going away from Mr. Rochester and not marrying him that she couldn’t possible have views of a pagan. In the case of Jane referring to Mother Nature as an actual person, she may simply be embracing the wild life and mean that the ourdoors is all the company she needs.

As for nature in the story, it can definitely be viewed as something that helps Jane find her center. Jane was lost at first and did not know what to do but after evaluating her situation and thinking things through, Jane was able to focus on what she wanted to do and even turned to God in prayer as a way of being herself.

hillary said...

Peer Response #3

Jen’s Volume 3 Response says that “when humans are rejected by society, Mother Nature will always accept them.” While reading this part in the book, I thought Jane would be the type to just stay in nature forever. Why did she leave her “mother” that accepted everything about her that society could not? In society, Jane can only anticipate “rejection” and “insult” (Jen). At the end we find out that St. John Rivers does not get married after all and simply becomes a missionary in England. Jane is constantly bringing up her Christianity and how much she relies on God. We can see how much important God is as nature is to her, but then why not fully dedicate her life to him? This makes me question the strength of her faith. This connected back to Jackie’s argument that Jane almost seems to only use God when she needs him. I am wondering what Bronte is trying to convey. I think it means that you can manage to be connected to God and nature and society at the same time. Not every follower of Christianity has to be a missionary or a nun. I think by the end Jane finds that balance in her life and can finally live fully.