All of the things happened this week, am I right? First, there was the love confession and proposal in the garden plus the creepily split tree. Mr. Rochester then tried to make Jane a trophy wife by adorning her in silk and jewels. Next we had the wedding that wasn’t meant to be and the uncovering of Bertha Mason. These events all led to Jane’s fleeing Thornfield, wandering the countryside in destitution before finally finding solace (sort of) with St. John and his sisters. Who is named St. John?
So much plot progression and so many symbols. We’re left without knowing what will become of our dear Jane. I couldn’t help but think she was a tab bit melodramatic in her exit. I know she’s prone to passionate outflows, but she’s also practically minded as well. At least have a place to go for goodness sake.
Anyway, let’s talk Rochester. Do we like him at all? He seems such a bear to me and not in a good way. His trying to make Jane into something shiny really pissed me off, but I’m glad Jane put her foot down. Do we feel sorry for him in regards to Bertha? Do we wholeheartedly believe his story? Do we think he should be free to marry? And what of the first Mrs. Rochester?
A whole paragraph of questions with no answers!! I don’t have much commentary other than I both loved and hated Rochester and Jane at various points. Bertha has always been an intriguing literary character and one I’ve never wholly known what to make of. Rochester makes her out to be this utterly unsympathetic demonic monster whose only happiness is destroying him. How convenient.
Jane’s brief visit to beggar-dom was heartbreaking until it was eye-rollingingly over the top. Two days of begging and she’s ready to keel over and die. Really? I’d think Jane’s spirit would keep her going a bit longer, no? What did y’all think?
Now that St. John has come into Jane’s life, the novel’s end is nigh. What are you hoping happens in the last few chapters?
Sorry for the rambling post – writing this in a flash before dashing off to work. Can’t wait ’til the finale next week.
13 thoughts on “SeptembEYRE: Week Three”
I really thought I was going to be the only one put out by Jane’s melodrama in this section, so I’m glad I’m not alone. I felt bad for her homelessness, but also, WHAT DID SHE THINK WOULD HAPPEN!? She’s smarter than that. And if she only had 20 shillings, why did she spend them ALL on a coach?
As for Rochester, he actually didn’t bother me nearly as much as he seems to bother some. Except for the whole locking his wife in the attic thing, which I suppose was rather heartless. Except, what else did one do with a crazy wife in those times? I’m not actually sure an institution would have been much kinder, all things considered. I kinda feel bad for the guy, though; it’s like he is so desperate to be happy and make his own path in life, independent from his family, that he’s concocted this world where it is ok to lock your first wife in the attic and marry again. A bit unsound, but I found it hard not to feel bad for the guy. Especially when he gave up his ruse so quickly, like he knew he’d never really get away with being happy anyway.
I know, right? Jane was a bit too impulsive in the third section and it bothered me this time around. It’s interesting how different everyone feels about Rochester. I think he annoys me more now on rereads than he did in my first time through. I just keep finding little things to hate him over…haha.
Yes, the opinions of dear (or not-so-dear) Mr. Rochester are definitely scattered among readalongers (and the world at large, I’d suppose).
Ha! Yes, this section was pretty melodramatic. I totally continued to want to kick Rochester in the crotch (WIFE IN THE ATTIC). And Jane was stupid. Stupid to leave in the middle of the night with nada. And people who are religious fanatics are named St. John. lol
Religious fanatics, you ain’t kiddin’. I just don’t have nearly as much sympathy for Rochester this time through and Jane annoys me more as well. I hope all shall be redeemed in the final section!
Seriously, what kind of name is St. John? Is that a real first name? I mean… really?
Bronte says it’s his Christian name…so…I guess we’re just supposed to understand how set he is in his religious ways now.
“A whole paragraph of questions with no answers!! I don’t have much commentary other than I both loved and hated Rochester and Jane at various points. Bertha has always been an intriguing literary character and one I’ve never wholly known what to make of. Rochester makes her out to be this utterly unsympathetic demonic monster whose only happiness is destroying him. How convenient.” Just, everything in this paragraph! Loved it 🙂
I speak the truth! LOL.
I went back and reread the section (a couple of times) where Jane, after a week or more of being bedridden, severely malnourished and insensible, then describes that she was on her own for two days, and she actually did eat something each day. Sure, she should probably be a little sickly, but enough that she needs a week for each day she was homeless to recover enough just to get out of bed? That seemed a bit much for me.
As far as Rochester goes, his problem was that when he wasn’t in control of his life decisions, the ones made for him sucked the big one. But, when it came time for him to make them for himself, he didn’t do such a great job of it either. After years of feeling sorry for himself and brooding over how the fates have treated him and the mess he feels he’s completely mired in, he meets Jane. She makes him want more. He sees her as his chance for a do over. He rationalizes that it’s fair because he got screwed. And he did get screwed, but he drove the screw in much further and no amount of rationalizing was going to get him his happily ever after.
Exactly. Rochester had lemons handed to him and didn’t know how to make lemonade so he ate those damn lemons whole. To me, he feels like someone who has never really grown up – a man who has lived in the shadow of his brother for too long and can’t let the resentment of his father go. He holds on to things and doesn’t move beyond so that when he has the opportunity to move beyond he just mucks it up.
“Jane’s brief visit to beggar-dom was heartbreaking until it was eye-rollingingly over the top.” Tell me about it! Her going round and round was just too much; made me want to scream “Stop! Just stop!”
I know, right? I got so dizzy and annoyed. Jeez.