Septemb-Eyre: Chapters I-XI | A tumultuous beginning, of a girl determined to make it on her own!

Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 by jorielov , , 8 Comments

Septemb-Eyre hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Originally Entitled: Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Currer Bell

[Miss Brontë, like Jane Austen, lived in a time and age, where pen-names were of necessity to disguise their gender!]

Published By: Smith, Elder, & Co., London England |16th of October, 1847

Published in the United States, originally a year following in 1848.

| Currently in the Public Domain |

| Page Count: 643 |

Acquired Book By: Purchased at a big box store within the last several years, by which of whose origin is lost to time itself. It was my intent to read Eyre alongside a friend of mine, yet our goal was never achieved, hence why I was encouraged to join a blogosphere community read-a-long and interact with other Eyre enthusiasts! My version is the Puffin Classics unabridged edition, by which Jane Eyre is seen on the cover with a gothic lit road behind her, her eyes cast aside to the left. Adorned in bonnet and cloak, with her hands clasp in front of her, and a look for anticipation for which we can only yet imagine. She stands in her adult version of herself, with all the tribulations of her childhood thus behind her. Her countenance eludes that there is a story behind her eyes, awaiting to be shared and viewed indiscriminately; as she would readily expect no less of the readers who read of her story.

Ruminatively Expressive about Week I

Although, in the corner of my mind, I drew in a memory of my last viewing of Jane Eyre (as described on the originating posting of this reading challenge; see link attached below!), I was deeply curious about how my heart and mind would shift over and into the text of the canon! Its such a curious proposition to become intimately acquainted with a particular work, ahead of reading such a work, and then, as your whet with anticipation of delving into it, your struck by a curious enquiry of mind,… shall I become thus removed or thus wholly attached afterwards!? How will my perceptions alter as I read Ms. Eyre’s life unfolding upon the printed page, and will I, as I had with Pride and Prejudice, hearing the echoing effect of dialogue whispering in my ears as I read!? Hearing the voice of Eyre through the subtle and calm notings of Charlotte Gainsbourg?!

I was curious too, where the original story begins, and the measure of creative liberty of the motion picture will start to blur, and etch into each other. Which scenes have I latched onto as being the epitome of Jane story, that will in full effect, be additions rather than admissions, to where the overall takeaways will alter, deviate, and shift as I read!?

I would purport, that as these murmurings alighted to mind, I was at first a bit more anxious to pick up the book, than I had first realised possible, as I truly, attempted to put Jane Eyre off until the last possible hour! What ironic turning of events! As it were, I, of whom was rallying around the other Septemb-Eyres (my endearing reference for those blokes and lasses participating in the collective reading challenge), for the very start of this challenge to get underway, found in herself, a air of trepidation!! How unlike me! And, yet, part of that has a bit of founding in our pursuit of reading classical literature, we walk a bit of a dance between what we know, what we expect to discover, and what is shortly revealed as we consume their tomes! There is a measure of uncertainty that perhaps, even the best of readers, are cautious as he/she proceeds!

For you see, I had selected the bookmark for reading Eyre on Monday last, as we were making our meet + greets, as its a thin and narrow metal bookmark, adorned with beadings and ribbons that are attached at the top center piece. Enscribed in its center is a bold and uplifting quote from Ms. Eleanor Roosevelt, which I felt was more than fitting for the nature of story that was about to unfold as I lifted page after page, absorbing into a world that entices me and distracts me at the same time! And, yet, which hour did I first lay heart and mind to rest, to cast aside any fear or anxiety to read Eyre!? A shade past midnight on this very Monday morn, the very day we’re meant to impart our impressions of the first eleven chapters of Jane Eyre’s life! Four hours readily dissolved, as I was purposely elsewhere, drinking in the hearty words of Ms. Brontë’s choosing, by which, she would not alleviate the causal reader’s interest for a less hardy array of turns of phrase, but which a literary wanderer drank in with pure celebration! Such words! Such ways to describe the angst, the anguish, and the inner-most workings of thought in a character such as Jane Eyre! A girl quite ahead of herself, both in a curious perception of her set of circumstances, and the quality of changing said perception by her experiences and encounters at Lowood School for Girls.

Such was my beginning, but alas, its below that I am putting my thoughts down properly, and even, in a vain attempt, to list the murmuring echoes of Ms. Gainsbourg, as I had Ms. Knightley’s elsewhere! As well as to draw to light a few differences I noted between the text and the one adaptation I had previously seen!

It should also be said, as this is a collective reading, we are surely to depart an excessive array of [*SPOILERS*] to the reader who has not yet picked up this text! Due proceed reading past this point on your own liberty, and know, that if what is expressed has spoilt your joy of discovering Jane for yourself, kindly note that this notice was placed to prevent such a bad tiding!

Septemb-Eyre hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

In walked Jane Eyre, as calm as a willow bending in the wind,…

or should I say, that attribution belongs to another, a Ms. (Helen) Burns, of whom, Ms. Eyre draws a readily acquaintance and confidence as she’s removed from Gateshead and placed into custody of Lowood Institution for Oprhans! No, pray give leave, to express that Ms. Eyre is a firecracker of unrequited internal rage and admonition for her plight as thus handed down to her in life, as her parents are long since dead; her last surviving relation put to rest in the grave prematurely, and she is left to the dealings of her Aunt, [Sarah Reed, of the late Uncle Reed, her direct relation] of whom, is presented rather apt to reflect Angelica Houston’s character in “Ever After”, as she presides such blatant disregard for her niece, Eyre! It’s only in the reflections of Jane, as an older self, that we find a disconnect between the younger Eyre’s presumption of what was occurring and the wiser Eyre’s imparted understanding, that not all was as first known when the story starts to unfold!

The edgings of the story are wantonly haunting, as the world around Ms. Eyre is draped in grey tones, rain sodden exteriors, and the atmosphere of Gothic underpinnings, as there is rumours of a potential haunting of her Uncle, whilst alive was tender and kind towards Jane, but in whose death, wrecked a miserable state of affairs to unfold and befell her! I was quite appalled at her nephew’s extensive violence towards her, [in this regard, young Harry Potter lived comparatively comfortably!] and her Aunt’s diffidence not to correct the improper and unkind behaviour! Such grievances I can only try to attempt to tolerate, as I know the resolution of the story in-full, but that does not make it any easier to read or rather, observe her humble and caustic beginnings! If anything, it sets up in my mind how far Ms. Eyre had to transmorph into the resolute and strong adult she became!

As Brontë, deftly brings to life the under kernels of Eyre’s hardening and the porticoes of her knowledge that if she were to embark down certain pathways, she might not soon return! Much less, would she want to be such a creature!? To walk through this world, fully hardened and affaced to all the goodness that surely must still be present!? I can sympathise with her on this level, as when your day-to-day existence is presented in a continuous imprisonment of harsh punishment [solitary confined to the nursery, never allowed outside or downstairs, always finding reprimand  rather than nurturing, and an absence of time being measured by usual perimeters!], I can understand her reasonings and her deepest of questions regarding not only the state of her personal affairs, but her state and place in the world itself! How angst ridden we should all feel, to have no Hope, no Light, and no perceivable exodus of our allotted circumstance!?

Her knight of sorts, comes in the shape and form of an apothecarist, who on a lark suggestion on her behalf, suggests that she is sent off to school, and given opportunity to make something of her life; rather than to be cast-off and put aside as she has been thus far forward! Her Aunt devilishly sets into motion to put her into proper place and denounce any notion of her ever becoming more than a humbled lowly counterpart of a human, as in her own eyes, she at this point didn’t seem to attach any wantings of Jane to succeed in life, no matter in what caste placed henceforth! Thus, we see the arrival of a most devious and darkly embodied cleric [Brocklehurst] who takes the task a bit too severely to not only punish the lower class of orphans (as he perceives them to being!), but he inflicts his personal religious reasonings for such outrageous declarations of “humble them before God, equip them with rations beneath regular souls, and do not attach favour, kindness, love, or humanity, for they do not deserve it!” (this is a paraphrase in my own words of the outrageous words spewed out of his mouth at Lowood & Gateshead!) A ghastly character, (reminiscent of Snickett’s Count Olaf, the caregiver of the Bauldelaire orphans!) you would not want to engage with, and yet, he is the one who presides over the teachers and caretakers of Lowood!

I took direct offense of his inability to accept that young Jane took pleasure in reading not one or five, but nine books of the Bible! Because her attention was focused solely on the passages held within: Revelations, Daniel, Genesis, Samuel, Exodus, Kings, Chronicles, Job, and Jonah, yet not inclusive of Psalms, he took this omission as a guilt of an girl with a wicked heart, a wicked soul! In his eyes, a wretched creature who will suffer hell and damnation, live a cursed existence and will need every ounce of her self-defiance to be rid from her by direct force! For a man of the cloth, his mind was closed and obtuse in its scope of the differences individuals take to walk a spiritual life amongst the living! How contrite and hypocritical this evoked an ire in my mind, as he would soon be bled out as a torturous tyrant!

Once Eyre is transcripted into Lowood, I started to see a shifting in her character, as she was thus removed from her previous environment, and placed into another; just as stark, cold, desolate, and un-inviting surely, but with the hope of ‘something better’ to alight in her life even still! I saw this in the appearing of Miss Temple , whilst at the same time, Miss Scratherd was rather an odious addition to her life! The affection that was revealed upon her exit of Gateshead, by way of Bessie, her nursemaid surprised me rather shockingly, as foresaid, it did not appear that there were any kind regards bestowed upon her, aside from the rhyming songs and fantastical stories she would give to young Jane; a reflection of an internal kindness that was not always extended elsewhere. By the time I had settled into Lowood, I felt sorry for Jane not to realise the full reality of Bessie’s adoration and love, until it was nearly too late to even admit existed! Therefore, by extension, the propellent of Miss Temple, becoming a solid ally and rock in her young years, I hoped that the encouragement and positive influences she may shower onto Jane, might in effect, re-direct the course of her outcome in life. It aught to be acknowledged, that up until this particular junction, Eyre was truly living by her wits and instincts, rather than the subjection and conjectures of a teaching adult!

Helen, by contrast to Jane, is a young teen whose angelic presence and inclinations of foreknowledge past her young years, gently guides her towards finding peace from her past, acceptance of her present, and a resolute hope for her future! Never had anyone listened to Jane’s conscription’s of woe, whereupon allowing the merit of what was disclosed to be absorbed and turned over in one’s mind, before selecting the appropriate response to give a young girl of ten years! For Helen, instinctively knew that if no one took the time to intercede on Jane’s behalf, she would be a begotten and fallen soul, doomed to be restrictive of the blight of life condemned to her by her Aunt! Helen, therefore, took every opportunity to enfuse the light and love of God, with the insightfulness of a woman at least thrice her age, to educate Jane how the edification of spirit and the education of the mind can lead to a truer freedom than by fierce altercations by which Jane was [at that time] proficient in being subjected.

This led to a continuation of Eyre’s soliloquy of conscience thought, which extrapolated the complex of the whole set of observations that her sensitive eyes took in around her. She was fiercely attached to the installment of liberty and justice for those who were taken askance and punished severely for their [supposed] indiscretions and faults of character. She was a budding sociologist in many ways, as she overturned many a thought as to how mature adults could subject children to the life by which they did at Lowood School for Girls! It was part abomination and part torture, to think that human decency and respect had fallen to such low degrees as the state of affairs the school was subject to before the revolt of the community to condemn its principles and organisation after the bout of typhus had consumed and taken the lives of nearly half the students! [They began with just past 80 girls strong!] How I celebrated this liberation! This show of support for innocent lives who lived without a proper voice! For me, it came nearly too late to right all the wrongs that had transpired, but to think that they received liberation at all was reason enough to celebrate!

Ill tidings and sorrow soon followed closer to home, as Eyre found herself in a position to lose the one confidante that knew her best of all: Burns! Helen’s young body fell to consumption and was taken to Heaven at the young age of 14 or 15. A trusted saint whose grace and conviction of faith inspired her young friend to trust in a being greater than them both, and to rectify by the means given before her, to re-write her own future. My throat was held tight with emotion, as I was nearly consumed by the grief that washed over me during Helen’s last night; where Jane was nestled close to her in an embrace of sisterly friendship. I nearly felt young Burns’ epitaph ought to have read:

Angel of Earth, Forevermore in Elysium!

[abode of the blessed, heaven]

The story shortly shifts forward eight years, no less! To where Eyre is on the brink of a new cross-roads in her young life. She is now nearly eight and ten years, and on the departure of Miss Temple to her martial life elsewhere than the village surrounding Lowood, she is illuminated by a startling discovery! Her life was lived up to this point, on the foothills of others around her, by whom, she drew her intense strength to carry-on. She was fully content to continue on at Lowood School, having graduated [at least this is presumed], and begun her tenure of teaching. Two years, she has not once felt the need to think about the world outside of Lowood, but with departure of Miss Temple firmly in place, she curiously steals away glimpses of the world beckoning to her just outside the walls; a sight she can readily see from her window. In her chamber, she steals away hours in the night, to come across an idea of a transition she could undertake, that would illumine her achievements but not uprise her past her station. An odd and singularly unique voice brings to light the notion of place an advert in the local newspaper, offering her service as a hired Governess [a teacher in the employ of a family to teach their children at home; the precursor to the modern home study movement], by which the [potential] employee could contact her at the local Post Office.

In my mind, I felt as though Helen herself was coming down to remit a seed of inspiration into her dear friends’ subconscious, if to help guide her towards the next bridge she needed to cross to obtain a measure of independence. Her conformity into life at Lowood was part ambition to succeed and transcend her environment(s), but also, as a measure of grace to find within its structures and limitations the sanctity and security it afforded her. In this way, when she purported the ability to advert for a means better than the one she currently had, she was in this way, seeking to step out of the shadows of her ill-begotten family, and the pseudo-control of Lowood. When Mrs. Fairfax’s letter arrived poste haste seeking her position to be substantiated, Jane drew in a breath of hope, that perhaps, her time had finally come! Trepiderious? Yes. Excited? Most definitely! By receipt of the initial letter, Jane made the motions come to life to grant her full release of her Aunt [who not once contacted her since she left!], and of Lowood, itself! On the eve of her journey to Thornfield Hall, dear Bessie [her nursemaid!] re-appeared into her life, keeping in tow a shy toddler, and endeavouring to bestow upon Jane everything that she had so very dearly wanted her to know eight years ago! Bessie was there as she left Gateshead Hall, and again as she left Lowood School for Girls! At the precipice of each turning tide of young Eyre’s life, Bessie was there to rally behind her, and bide her farewell! 

Jane’s voice in the story has matured, and taken on a different scope than her former young self could articulate to the reader. You can tell she has not only deepened her compassion for humanity, but has facilitated a genuine ability to be humble in all manners, seek servitude and provide a need for others at all costs to personal needs or wants, and to rectify her mind towards self-assurance that come what may in life, she was now in the ability to provide for herself, rather than rely on the opinions of others as a vindication of who she was! Her entrance into Thornfield was under the [blind] preconception that Mrs. Fairfax was her charge’s caregiver, when in fact, she is refuted of this upon arrival, and has instead uncovered that Adele is a ward of Thornfield’s master, Lord Rochester! I didn’t bring to mind this entreaty, as much as I would preferred, enso, as though it was being seen for the first time, I appreciated that Ms. Brontë allowed a bit of softening to occur in Jane’s life! Up until this point, every day would lead to a possibility of confrontation, and with her settled here, in Rochester’s absence, I felt as though she could untense her muscles so to speak, ease into a new setting, and feel accomplished in her ability to communicate with Adele in the child’s native tongue of French!

As the grounds are slowly described and revealed, you get the sense that there is a bit of an ominous undercurrent to the estate, as though a small sense of foreboding is leading your senses to stand alert and ferret out what ‘is not quite right, yet not altogether wrong’ at the same time! This is further apparent, when Jane heard a women’s odd sounding laughter whilst Mrs. Fairfax was leading her around the turrets. A plausible answer was provided, but I, nor Jane, took it for any weight other than a passing acceptance that we have not yet been long at Thornfield to be in a position to question things further!

The starkness of Thornfield is warmed by Mrs. Fairfax, and the engagingly bouncy inclusion of Adele, of whom promotes a well-being that I had not yet seen visible in Jane’s life. She doesn’t have to forecheck everything she says or does, at least not at this point, as her cursory impression of Thornfield is limited in Chapter 11. I am on bated breath to sink further into the text over the next week, and eagerly await what fascinations will greet me! I know that the estate itself is as much as a character as Eyre and the inhabitants therein. That is one of the attractions I find with Gothic Literature on a whole — a near Hitchtockian accounting of setting, time, and place, to where your psychological suspended into the subtext!

What staid with me throughout the entirety of the opening chapters, is the elucidation of Ms. Brontë, who thus effused her fictional work with counterparts of reality at each turn! She mastered the ability to absolve and absorb what weighed heavily on her heart, pouring out her grief and emotional keenings into the breath she gave Jane Eyre! She took the tragedies of her own life [her elder siblings died as a result of a school similar to Lowood!] and gave them a proper tomb to cleanse herself of feelings she most likely could not dissipate otherwise. I believe, its through her pen, she tapped into a greater purpose that gave her life meaning and worth, than anything she could readily achieve in her everyday life. She suffered greatly by her own experiences, as I read she and her sisters [Anne and Emily] were afflicted by anxiety disorders, but with her pen, she cast aside all of this, in order to cast into the world a tome of her intellect and wisdom.

A propensity for endeavouring the enlargement

of a person’s vocabulary:

In the age in which Ms. Brontë lived, the words she used to create her stories was enriched by a plethora of word choice, that is uniquely lost and not oft used in modern society! There were words and turns of phrase within the first eleven chapters that made my heart sing and my mind dance! I am always keen on uncovering new words, as its been a curious habit of mine since I was in kindergarten, when I first noted that words, expressions, turns of phrase, metaphors, adjectives, and lyrical prose started to entice me to become familiar with more of the English language, by way of seeking out different ways of expressing my everyday world! I started to note, even then, (and as I grew in the lower grades), that there is such an array of words and wordage that is excessively overused! I wanted to take up a quest to discover ‘the other words’, the words not readily used, not readily known, and perhaps were more present in our exchangements a few centuries in the past!? I still remember proudly walking into school, at the age of five, carting in my young hands and arms, the most massive and lengthy encyclopedia-dictionary that I could muster to carry, as I had selected it for the sole purpose of “show + tell”, which I may recall, was only of interest of my teacher! Nearly a full decade lateron, I would start to keep quotation journals, books on quotations, and curate a select array of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and thesauruses!

Here are a chosen array of the words Ms. Brontë used in Jane Eyre, that made me beyond elated to discover in her narrative:

Words either known or unknown at the time of reading; lending to the difference of place, setting, and time. A few are a twist on contemporary variations OR an alternative that might afford the locale of being across the Pond from America! As there are even slight differences in our vernaculars, even now, in the 21st Century! I am not meant to say that writers of the age, in whence I live myself, do not use these words, I am only meant to reflect that when you dig into classical literature, your mind is instantly lit and enfused with the f lucidity of wordsmiths who know how to flawlessly paint their written worlds in such a way as to light us afire with words such as those hereinafter described!

[Writ down from Chapters One – Eleven]

[the words]

sombre, cavillers, drear, afar, thereof, rigours, conentre, forlorn, girdled, eventide, becalmed, torpid, fiend, death-white, ironing-table, nursery-hearth, bilious, dingy, unwholesome, bleared, sweetmeats, sallowness, pungent, subjoined, ignominy, whereof, damask, festoons, toilet-table, darkly-polished, jewel-casket, consecration, chimney-piece, looking-glass, quailed, aversion, turbid, browbeaten, acrid, captious, tiresome, wantonly, opprobrium, complacently, fellow-feeling, beclouded, irksome, hard-wrung, preternatural, swift darting, virulent, duplicity, all-predominating, ere, bed-foot, burnt, befriended, unwonted, cadence, hard-featured, curacy, forlornness, thereby, carriage-road, sable-clad, propound, judicious, bestowed, inestimable, trodden, un-hoped for, sotto voce, after-flavour, fain, venturesome, careworn, multiplicity, thereon, draught, rushlight, indefatigable, refectory, leant, conjecture, remonstrae, hitherto, therewith, privation, antipathies, travelling-dress, and connexion.

[the turns of phrase and descriptive sequences]

a rain so penetrating; clouds so sombre; clear panes of glass, protecting but not separating;, turning over the leaves of my book;  half-comprehended; float dim through children’s brains; to the cold and ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking; specking the gloom; glittering eyes of fear; a consternation of soul; fell damp on the decaying embers of my ire; elicit from the gloom some haloed face; a ray of the moon penetrating some aperture in the blind?; emblem of my mind; a most opaque sky; the uncertain light of the hearth; enveloped in a shawl;  famine itself soon sickens; a cloak of grey frieze; darkened by a drizzling yellow fog; benevolent-minded; the full brightness of the orb; cutting winds ameliorated; and fog-bred pestilence.

Likewise, here too are select quotations of the text, that spoke to me as I read Eyre’s unfolding story:

I was glad of it; I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. [Chapter One]

This speaks directly to her disposition, which is such an about-face from Elizabeth Bennett as one could take! She is not at this time consumed with an appreciation of the out-of-doors, nor on climate itself which renders her ill at ease, which preludes to future disclosures of her discomfort in extreme temperature changes.

I mounted into the window-seat: gathering up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a Turk; and, having drawn the moreen curtain nearly close, I was shrined in double retirement. [Chapter One]

As I read this, I realised that moreso than seeking a way to be free of her relations, Eyre, as a young girl was immediately in need of ‘a sense of place’ that was wholly her own, and left to the devices she employed. Reading was her balm in a sea of turbulence, and by encasing herself here, she found refuge; if only short-lived.

Afar, it offered a pale blank of mist and cloud; near, a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast. [Chapter One]

I inferred this to reflect her disposition of gloom, when impending storms cast a malady over her, as it etched out the only remaining light in her day. A beacon of hope, even if she did not make the connection, as her life was shrouded in such darkness, it did not afford the light to ease into her lens. The underpinnings of the Gothic atmosphere that engulf you as you read Jane Eyre!

‘I wouldn’t have her heart for anything. Say your prayers, Miss Eyre, when you are by yourself; for if you don’t repent, something bad might be permitted to come down the chimney and fetch you away.’ [Chapter One, voice of Miss Abbot in regards of Jane, towards Bessie]

The intensity of the supposition, I do believe led to her near-breakdown lateron the same eve! Children’s minds are very attune to what we grant them by vocalising fear and a permanency of foreboding evil. Her impressionable mind was not yet developed to see past their gloat of power, in this play to fetch a sinister response in her. Its this example of psychological abuse that would set the stage for the nervous anxiety that she would come to face, when in disagreeable company. An expectancy of consequence of any action, voiced, silent, or seen. To say nothing of the matter of locking her inside her Uncle bedchamber as the last bits of twilight faded far away and night fell with a hasty quickening!

I was a discord in Gateshead Hall; I was like nobody there; I had nothing in harmony with Mrs. Reed or her children, or her chosen vassalage. If they did not love me, in fact, as little did I love them. They were not bound to regard with affection a thing that could not sympathise with one amongst them; a heterogeneous thing, opposed to them in temperament, in capacity, in propensities; a useless thing, incapable of serving their interest, or adding to their pleasure; a noxious thing, cherishing the germs of indignation at their treatment, of contempt of their judgement  [Chapter Two]

Brontë speaks directly to the emerging state of mind and sense of self that Eyre is experiencing at this point in her life. By age 10, it all boiled down into a neat and tidy array of solitude brought on by diffidence and the inability to love a child not bourne of the mother. This goes directly to the state of affairs of how orphans were perceived, and unaccepted into the homes they were given. The children grew up with a disproportionate view on humanity as much as an intolerance for their self-image, which was nearly destructed into a fragmentation of who they were prior to being orphaned.

‘I should be glad if the superintendent and teachers were requested to keep a strict eye on her, and above all, to guard against her worst fault, a tendency to deceit. I mention this in your hearing, Jane, that you may not attempt to impose on Mr Brocklehurst’. [Chapter Four]

I grieved internally whilst reading this passage, as my heart did deeply sink! I knew from the adaptation I had seen, that Lowood was not all roses and sunshine, but as I had not seen the opening sequences, I was blind to how her life unfolded and knit together ahead of her removal of her Aunt’s home! How grieved, then, was I to read that her Aunt Reed inflicted such influence over her to depart such a personality deficient as this to her Headmaster! A foreboding measure to ensure her niece would not meet well with any improvements of circumstance or living conditions! I was quite irked by her Aunt at this point, nearly past the point of reproachment! And, indeed on the next page hence, young Jane purported to speaking my very grave concerns!

‘I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the word except John Reed: and this book about the Liar, you may give it to your girl, Georgiana, for it is she who tells lies, and not I.’ [Chapter 4, spoken to Aunt Reed by Jane]

Here in lies the first evidence that Jane has a voice that will free itself from the confines of her inability to express her innermost feelings; this is a moment of transition for her, as all young girls go through, either at her direct age or several years older; generally on the brink of rising from girlhood to a young lady. Whether the qualms of our ills are spoken will illicit confidence without remorse to follow or are regretted lateron, each of us has to yield to the process of learning the full extent of the voice we are given. We may stumble and make mistakes, speak out of turn, or unwantonly direct a reproach against someone that is not necessary, but in this example, young Jane is finding that she can not only assert herself, but she can back up the angst and pure anger that has long since boiled her blood by her interactions with her Aunt!

I hardly know where I found the hardihood thus to open a conversation with a stranger. The step  was contrary to my name and habits; but I think her occupation touched a chord of sympathy somewhere, for I, too, liked reading, though a frivolous and childish kind. I could not digest or comprehend the serious or substantial. [Jane to Helen, Chapter 5]

And, thus began an acquaintance that grew into sisterly love and friendship, that binded Jane to Helen, and Helen to Jane. The two bookish girls would soon find that each had something to give to the other, and equally share of their knowledge and experiences. Its Helen, of whom, in the end would give the best gift and blessing to Jane [that of a propensity of an agreeable inclination towards faith and God] yet its Jane who twice blessed Helen with the one gift she had yet to receive: unconditional friendship!

The punishment seemed to me in a high degree ignominious, especially for so great a girl – she looked thirteen or upwards. I expected she would show signs of great distress and shame; but to my surprise she neither wept nor blushed. Composed, though grave, she stood, the central mark of all eyes. ‘How can she bear it so quietly – so firmly?’ I asked of myself. ‘Were I in her place, it seems to me I should wish the earth to open and swallow me up. She looks as if she were thinking of something beyond her punishment – beyond her situation: of something not round her nor before her. [Chapter 5]

Jane is starting to see the bigger picture, of how you can walk through adversity with grace, and how you can overcome anything that befalls you in life, if your attitude is aligned positively, and you realise that circumstances such as these do not define you, nor do they mould you into who you are to become; if you rise above their instances. She would go on to see Burns punished again, and you start to see her mind stitching together the differences between her and Helen. And, she starts to question which way is the better way to survive and strive to live. Its her first discovery of Helen’s faith and the weight of her circumstances is not weighing her down, rather, she turns to God to help carry them.

I discovered, too, that a great pleasure, an enjoyment which the horizon only bounded, lay all outside the high and spike-guarded walls of our gardens: this pleasure consisted in prospect of noble summits girdling a great hill-hollow, rich in verdure and shadow; in a bright beck, full of dark stones and sparkling edges. How different this scene looked when I viewed it laid out beneath the iron sky of winter, stiffened in frost, shrouded in snow! [Chapter 9]

It was here I noted a turning of the tide, for Eyre was starting to appreciate the outside world and the natural environs she was allowed to pass through! I originally took her for a girl of comfort and of being indoors. As this chapter unfolds, you start to see her wandering more and more outside, in the seasons that are calmer and less severe in climatic extremes! Perhaps, its her constitution that couldn’t handle the cold temperatures and the extremes by which she suffered were doubly so, given the poorly thin clothing she was attired and accustomed to wearing. I enjoyed watching her amazement turn to pure awe as she started to see with fresh eyes everything that the natural world affords to us all! Its the timing of her enlightenment that hit a cord inside me, sombering and heavy in its girth.

A snug, small room; a round table by a cheerful fire; an arm-chair, high-backed and old-fashioned, wherein sat the neatest imaginable little elderly lady, in widow’s cap, black silk gown, and snowy muslin apron; exactly like what I had fancied Mrs Fairfax, only less stately and milder looking. She was occupied in knitting; a large cat sat demurely at her feet; nothing, in short, was wanting to complete the beau-ideal of domestic comfort. [Chapter 11]

How fanciful for Eyre to arrive at such a comforting place! How uniquely different Thornfield would be from Gateshead OR Lowood! How happy and overjoyed I was in seeing her first impression of her new residence and stay of employment! Cosy lit with a warming glow of tenderness, absent of stark and oppressive grim surroundings! How my heart murmured anxious hopes for this to be a place where Jane could put down roots, and emerge out of her protective shell! Give a bit more of herself, and find her true calling!

‘Is Mr Rochester an exacting, fastidious sort of man?’ ‘ Not particularly so; but he has a gentleman’s tastes and habits, and he expects to have things managed in conformity to them.’ … ‘In what way is he peculiar?’ ‘I don’t know – it is not easy to describe – nothing striking, but you feel it when he speaks to you: you cannot always be sure whether he is in jest or earnest, whether he is pleased or the contrary: you don’t thoroughly understand him, in short – at least, I don’t but is of no consequence, he is a very good master.’ [Chapter 11, parts of exchange of dialogue between Jane and Mrs. Fairfax, on the subject of Rochester]

This is the last quotation I want to extract to share, as it leads into our first notion of whom Rochester is as a person and of how his character is perceived. By what Mrs. Fairfax had imparted to Jane, I would imagine that she was a bit more curious about him, than she had been initially! To speak of him in this manner, is a bit perplexing, as it doesn’t yield very much of an impression but rather departs his mannerisms as a gentleman. I would say, that perhaps too, it is a class issue, whereupon Mrs. Fairfax is under his employ, and as she has enjoyed her tenure with him, she doesn’t want to speak ill of his nature, as if she could offend him by proxy. I am most keen to see how the next lot of chapters scheduled to be read lead us further into his personage!

The section above is possible due to the fact that Jane Eyre is in the public domain, as are most texts and novels, by which have outlived their authors by 70 to 100 years since their death. Therefore, no permission is needed to supply quotations, nor limit their amounts, at least this is my understanding of this matter. The author of the sequences and words is Charlotte Brontë, who is an inspiration to me as much as the next reader who finds this book!

Noted differences from page to screen thus far afield:

I shall not have many reflections thus far into the narrative, as foresaid in this posting of my recollections as I read Jane Eyre, I was not at the liberty to seeing the opening sequences of the [1996] adaptation! Therefore, I am limited in my re-callings, yet even thus limited, I do recollect the direct image of Jane cutting her hair to show solidarity for Burns, who had thus been forced to cut her hair, as her red locks were considered an abomination of vanity by Mr Brocklehurst! This particular scene in the film, never left my memory, and it felt as though it was a crucial moment in each of the young girl’s lives, yet imagine my direct surprise in not finding it amongst the texts of these chapters!? There is a mentioning of certain girls’ needing to be freed from their braids and longish extensions of hair, by which Mr Brocklehurst would not allow them to keep, but there was not one direct scene as relayed by Ms. Brontë that would infer that this scene took place!

I had also had very strong misgivings and ill memories of Lowood, as far as to how Jane was treated there by her teachers,… what escapes me is Miss Temple! Such a kind and caring soul, was she! How did this elude my memories!? I vaguely can make out the image of a woman who walked alongside Jane at the cemetery; pray tell, was this Miss Temple!? The woman who was gently encouraging Jane to seek employment outside of Lowood!? I do not even recall her being ’employed’ at Lowood!

At this junction, I do not impart any other contradictions that my memory will allow me to renunciate here!

Epilogues:

My thoughts upon Ms. Oates Introduction to Jane Eyre:

Notwithstanding the fact, that I had not come across this article until the very night I began to compose this entry, I would have awaited for all my thoughts to have spilt out of me, before encroaching on the platitudes of another, so not to intermixed their notions with my own! Ms. Joyce Carol Oates is an author I discovered early-on in 2013, by the publication of her recent novel, “The Accursed”. A novel, by which all accounts would lead me to believe I have been plagued by a comedy of errors thrust upon me each moment I attempt to read it; is a novel I soon hope to consume so I can complete my review of it! However, this is not about the manner in which I fell behind on reading her novel but rather my opinion of her impression of “Jane Eyre”! Except, on a second consideration of reading it, I realised it would most likely speak about the entirety of the story, and therefore, being so new into the book myself, I am going to avoid reading it until I draw my own final conclusions!

An unexpected discovery, of art inspired by Jane Eyre:

| Slideshow of “Inspired by Jane Eyre: Chapters I-XI”, the story unfolds in storyboard format,
curated by Jorie, featuring DeviantArt(ists) |

| Deviant Artists & the Titles of their Works |By Order of Appearance |

“The Books” by ai2rie; “Awaken,… Then” by Alyvia-Write; [unseen: ‘Charlotte” by DeathNoteGRRRRRRRL its a poem about Charlotte Brontë. You can view it when you click over to the gallery itself!]; “Bronte Gown & the Parsonage” by Abigial709b; “Scene from Jane Eyre” by Stargazer4ever15; “Jane Eyre – The Red Room” by Isaboo21; “Jane Eyre – kind of” by Raindropmaster; Oekaki Helen Burns by LittleChesnut; “The Liar” by Kitty-Grimm; “Jane Eyre and Helen Burns” by SimplyLovely; “Jane Eyre” by ol-gnom; “Jane Eyre” by Ruath; “Beauty and the Beast” by HookFairy [I used it because it reminded me of when Jane penned the advert!]; “To Thornfield” by VanessaValkyria; “Jane Eyre – bookmark” by Kitty-Grimm; “Jane Eyre – Page One” by h-a-t [I selected this, as it served a nice representative transition from girl to woman!]; “Thornfield” by AngelicalEyes; “Jane Eyre” by bubblegumBrainfreez; “Mr. Rochester’s Thornfield Hall” by ladycrenshaw; “Jane Eyre with Bonnet” by sarah-ng; “The Mailicious Elf” by AidaPascal999;  “Jane and Adele” by Aiobhan; and “Jane Eyre” by ironmouse86.

In order to read the poetry that I selected to be a part of this gallery, you will have to view it directly!

[*NOTE: IF you choose to click over to my DeviantArt page, some of the depictions might spoilt your reading of Jane Eyre, if you choose to open the main galley entitled: “Inspired by Jane Eyre“. This will be especially wrecking, if you are unfamiliar with the storyline! Open the other gallery, only if you dare,…]

Jorie Loves A Story | @DeviantArt

As I wander through the Septemb-Eyre blogs, I take these thoughts with me:

[By order of appearance on the Chapters I-XI Updates Page]

Kerry @ Entomology of a Bookworm |Everyone sort of beat me to the switch, this week, as whilst I was wrapped up in my thoughts and reverie of the book, a discussion was launched about Kerry’s impressions of the book at this junction! I do concur with the notions of familiarity with Harry and Dudley’s relationship in Harry Potter, as I did murmur that in my own post above, however, I did not want to overshadow Eyre by mentioning John Reed — as to me, he is such a despicable character, that I’d rather not give him much light on my blog! I felt the same with Lydia, from Pride and Prejudice! There are certain characters that are so villainous as to not encourage me to speak of them! There were other cross-comparisons I could have made, but again, I deferred as to wanting to focus more on Eyre! I readily felt echoes of Anne from Anne of Green Gables; Pippi from Pippi Longstocking; Sara from A Little Princess; Mandie from Mandie; Jo from Little Women; Caddie from Caddie Woodlawn; and Mary from The Secret Garden! I have always been drawn into the life and world of strong female characters, who even as children, cultivate their strong voice at tender ages and refuse to conform to society, whilst determined to seek out a way to live a life they feel is better fit and better deserved than perhaps the one allotted to them!

On the measure of her ability to put others’ first, even if her reasonings behind why she wants to seek justice are a bit at times unsettling, she has this pip and gumpshun that I am thankful to see is a cross-over from the film! I am quite enthralled with each of the Septemb-Eyres who are chiming in, and I am most eager to read their recollections today!! Even those who are not reading along with us, are happily consuming our posts, and isn’t that the entire point!? As a collective readership to encourage others that there is still a plausible reason to read the classics!? My heart is warm as I read the commentary!

I am always grieved when I read that someone who went through English Lit classes (or any degree therein) at college OR University, has been finding it difficult to find a love and joy in reading for pleasure! How happy my spirit celebrates each time I read a comment like Lori’s!

Brooke @ The Blog of Litwits |She murmured about how she should have read Eyre in high school, for which, I agreed as I think I would have taken to Victorian Gothic Lit like a duck to water! However, I never try to look back on what I should or shouldn’t have done as far as reading is concerned, because otherwise, I’ll question the merit of holding back from nearly all the books I am hungry to read right now! I think its best to just say instead, the season had not yet arrived to where we could lay our heart and minds into a story that leaves us breathless for more! I am not sure I concede that the foreshadowing of what is yet revealed is overt, but rather, curious! Its curious because it comes on as a ‘hinting’ of something more than what is being explained. A curious mystery that implores Jane to re-consider the explanation and its left in such an unsaid manner, that she (and the reader) can only presume to know the true cause!

Andi @ Estella’s Revenge | She is more flavourful with her descriptions of her reading experience, than I am, but at the heart of what she is conveying are the same sentiments that I nodded off in agreement of myself!! I am not sure if she were hinting at being entrapped by assignments and classes in the 10 years since she read the book OR if life in general has become a bit too pre-occupying, but whichever is the right case, I felt a sense of joy hearing that she can re-read this book as if through fresh eyes and appreciate it all the more since she last read it! A lot of the commentators were speaking about the gothic elements, and how nice it is that they are subtle! I love how we are each reading the book in our own way, but how overlapping our perceptions are as we move forward together! And, who truly would ever speak well of Brocklehurst!? 

Maggie @ An American in France | Although I am a Potterhead via the film adaptations [long story!], I do agree that next to Umbridge, there are very few un-evil characters that take the cake for succeeding in my absolute discontentment, than Eyre’s Aunt Reed, and her equally horrific children! I am unfamiliar with George R.R. Martin’s works, and therefore, the passage that is meant to juxtaposition the connection was lost to me! Hmm, now that is a curious observation: the chapters were dragged out a bit for her liking! I did not notice this myself, if anything, I wish Brontë had added ‘more!’ to a few of the chapters! Although I can relate to her depictions of both Jane + Helen, except to say, despite being a young girl who found her voice quite young as did Eyre, I had the temperament of Helen, in that I never felt well to carry grudges against those who would draw ill favour against me. I found it to be a useless practice, and would only go to affecting me moreso than their own well-being! This isn’t to say, I always expressed my voice in a way that is befitting a person of any age, as the ability to learn how to wield our voice as a tool rather than a weapon is a lesson that takes time and practice! I always hoped those I might have inflicted with a painful memory moved on as much as I have for those who did the return for me! Thankfully, there were not too many occurrences of this nature in my past (on my part), as I learnt quickly its best to ‘turn the other cheek’, keep one’s head held high, and carry-on in a fashion befit of Helen Burn’s legacy of goodwill!

I was curious by Alison’s take on Helen Burns’ character, as I didn’t think she was better than true, nor a caricature of a transitional character to help Eyre’s character move forward! There are certain children that are well in tune with the world around them, and some, like Helen have a fierce devotion to God, and are humbled and enlightened in ways that would take others’ far older than them to achieve the same level of understanding. I took the opposite view, and felt that Brontë herself must have had interactions with someone like Helen, and therefore, placed her inside this novel! OR, point of face of this, she might have hoped for someone like Helen to have interceded on her own life whilst she was placed in a school like Lowood, which led to such tragedy that besotted her own life and family!

Loosheesh @ Loosheesh Can Read Too | I am loving how she not only set the stage for the chapters to unfold for the reader who finds the text, but she is relaying her own motivations and impressions at the very same time! Including a few very heart-catching revelations, that make reading Eyre, ever more interpersonal for her to disclose! I completely agreed with her viewpoint that this is an expose on the development of Jane’s character and identity as both are equally of merit to denote! Her methodology  of posting is akin to my own, and I love how she balances the quotations she’s selected with the reasoning of her lamentations! Her third to last paragraph was my favourite by far, because it eclipses the first half of the story in such an eloquent way! She even noticed the twinning inferences about ‘walking’ and ‘freedom’ which interchange throughout this opening half! Rock on! I love this recollection! I only regret I cannot post on her blog to tell her! This isn’t a button to “sign in as guest”!?!

Crafts4Others @ Crafts4Others | The take here is that Jane would have been better tempering her opinion and voice, in the instances that would have benefited her for the better. I can agree with this to a certain extent, but without the missteps, she would not have had an arc in her character by which to learn, grow, and develop! It is one thing to hope that we each might have addressed a circumstance OR incident in our growing years with better tact, but to simply wash each of those instances out of our lives, would be a disservice because we all grew and adapted as we aged. I feel that the inclusion of these events knits together the greater good by which is Eyre’s story.

Stacy @ Novel Meanderings | I loved reading how she is enjoying the totality of the read-a-long, including how each of us are visiting and leaving her comments!! I appreciate this aspect of it myself, as I like to see how everyone’s perspective is changing as they either read Eyre for the first time, the second, or like me, reading it first, yet know of the general story! I smiled when I read it is her first ‘event’!! Smiled because I still remember my August, and how addicting these lovely events can become and how much joy they give us!!  She found the Anne (of Green Gables) connection as I had, which I thought was quite keen! And, I liked how she focused on the resilience of Eyre as a central key to the story as it moves forward!

Madeleine @ Owl You Need Reads | She has a way of pulling out the heat of Eyre, in such a beautiful way, and for instilling quotations that match her affection! Loosheesh & Madeleine are two of my favourite stops today!! I liked how she championed Eyre, rather than distract from who she is, verse who she could become. I appreciated reading it too, from the stand point that she is re-reading the story, and like everyone else, I oft wonder how my impressions & reflections will alter by going through a corridor I had once walked already! I was thrilled to see that she is elated!! The quotes she pulled out of the text are ones that spoke to me and entombed into my mind as I read, too! As an aside, I am still on the fence about “The Eyre Affair” now that I know the plausible vein of humour, but I shall keep an open mind and read it as part of Books of Eyre. Mostly, as there is something rather captivating by what she shared: to be able to go through books and take out something more than the story, which in lies the adventure!

Alison @ The Bookish Girl Reads On | I understand where she is coming from a bit better than I did earlier, but I am still on the fence if I would ever agree to the stance she took completely! Mostly, as I read it a different way than she did, and my interpretation although differs, I do respect her opinion, and am thankful that I could see where it came to be whilst reading her post on these opening chapters! I think the best part of this read-a-long is that we’re all contributing something different and unique to it. We highlight different things and we are finding different themes and subjects to expand upon, that give light and weight to the story as a whole. This I celebrate, because this is what reading affords us to do! To expand our visual range by seeking out the opinions of others!  I had forgotten to say on her blog, that I was not shocked by the young girls of Brocklehurst!! Who could be surprised, that such a pious zealot would be raising self-centered and spoilt daughters!? 

Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy |She took a very strong stance on everything that I, myself, love about Eyre!! I know that this is the book that is stitched close to Charlene’s heart, as she IS the true cheerleader + evermore champion of all-things related to Jane Eyre; however, what was refreshing for me, is to see how all of that spilts out in a post about the opening chapters! I wasn’t even sure if she had posted about Eyre previously in the past OR not, so I didn’t even search or seek out other posts, except to wait to see her views on this read-a-long!! I was not disappointed!! She aligns with me on so many levels!! I almost laughed out loud when I originally had read about ‘breakfast’, if it wasn’t such a dire and serious scene! I, too, was captivated by Brontë’s dry wit and her inclusion of humour at the height of the unthinkable! I am appreciating seeing the different passages and quotes each Septemb-Eyre is pulling out and giving each reader of our blogs something to chew on! Oh, my! Recipes that follow the storyline!? Hmm,… when I am able to add the necessary ingredients to my shopping list, I shall partake!

Lori @ CoffeeGirl |I was more than a bit surprised that Lori’s post is the first one I read today that actually went into full circle the climacteric keel of the story!! I was a bit disappointed to read that she will be revealing her end-thoughts next week, and mentioned that I would have to take a hiatus from visiting her blog, as I do not want to have that much revealed, as I am only reading the set chapters per week! On the level of Austen vs. Brontë, I still stand by what I was referring too as one had a life filled with less tragedy and adversity than the other, which led to two very different writing styles. I felt for Brontë and her siblings (in real life), and can only imagine the strength it took to give a more authentic and autobiographical spin to the story of Jane Eyre!

Jacyln @ Covered in Flour |I love how she has evolved in her perception of Jane Eyre by way of becoming a Mum!! She wants to wrap up young Jane into the folds of her heart and arms, mothering her, and guiding her as she grows! I must confess, that I had this same reaction myself, although I am not yet a Mum [see Red Thread Sisters], I do have those pullings of motherhood myself! I enjoyed how her life is as chaotic as mine is right now, [I have gone through more tech issues than you could shake a stick at!], although in a completely different way, and yet, each of us is finding the ability to carry-on with Eyre, and jump feet first into the read-a-long! Rock on! No one was really highlighting Miss Temple today as I made my rounds, except for a few, and I was happy to see she was given more light!! All in all, I cannot wait for next Monday to see Jacyln’s next reaction! And, I, am on bated breath for Rochester’s entrance!! 

JoanneMarie @ Fausti’s Book Quest | The last blog I am reading tonight [12 September 2013], is by a new reader who has joined our folds! I am most anxious to see what she has to say! She has settled into our lovely little group quite well indeed! Visiting each of our blogs, and even using a few of our combined take-aways to include in her own musings of the story thus far along! What I appreciated is that we (as a group) are inspiring not only JoanneMarie, but other readers to pick up Jane Eyre, and see what her story can reveal to them! She also spoke of the same thoughts I had on the temperament issue, as to whom we relate more directly towards; for me, I do have Eyre’s fire and passion, but combined with the calm serenity of Burns!

And, I was in the #14 spot! A bit late, but happy to arrive!

{*NOTE*} This section is under development as I purposely did not read others’ impressions and recollections until after mine had posted to my blog! I began to make my rounds as soon as I attached this post properly to this one: Week One: Recollections of Jane Eyre, Chapters I-XI, where all Septemb-Eyres will thread their reflections, too!

To follow alongside this read-a-long, be sure to read my original posts on: *Septemb-Eyre* + *Books of Eyre* to understand why I am cross-reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë!! Thank you for dropping by, and I would love to hear your expressions on the text thus far along, if your a Septemb-Eyre bloke or lass, as much as if your a reader who stumbled across this posting and have a curiosity of the Classics! For instance, as the story started to unfold, what struck you the most curious about the manner in which Ms. Brontë revealed Ms. Eyre!?

This marks my first cross-reading contribution for *Books of Eyre* &
my first highlighted post for *That Friday Blog Hop*

Books of Eyre Reading Challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva Photo Credit: Daniel Ruswick (Public Domain : Unsplash)

ThatFridayBlogHop_zps3a45db19

Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Classical Literature, Gothic Literature, Romantic Suspense


Published by Smith Elder & Co.

on 16th of October, 1847

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 643

{SOURCES: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey. “That Friday Blog Hop” was provided by XOXO Rebecca! Books of Eyre badge created by Jorie in Canva Photo Credit: Daniel Ruswick (Public Domain : Unsplash).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 by jorielov in 19th Century, Books of Eyre, British Literature, Classical Literature, Gothic Romance, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Septemb-Eyre, That Friday Blog Hop, the Victorian era




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8 responses to “Septemb-Eyre: Chapters I-XI | A tumultuous beginning, of a girl determined to make it on her own!

  1. Hi Jorie! I’m sorry that I’m only now getting to your post; the past week has been a doozy :(

    I love, love this very comprehensive and insightful post! You really delved in and pulled out so much of the heart of the first part. Like Maggie, I skipped over the text and film comparisons but I love that you included words, turns of phrases, quotes etc I’ve been highlighting some lovely words as well :-)

    Once again, you summarized our posts so well. I understand where Alison is coming from regarding Helen. Helen is a great character but I think she is a very ‘idealized’ one; how many of us could really take on all that was done to her and yet not have one single bitter thought? I see her as what we should be, not what we really are. I also agree that Jane’s missteps/faults are what presents the opportunity for character development.

    I completed my reading of the second part today and I continue to admire Jane! I’m so happy I decided to participate in this readalong, and your perspectives have really enhanced my understanding and enjoyment of the book. Thank you! :-)

    • Hallo Loosheesh!!

      I am ever so happy that you dropped by! No need to apologise – we all get weeks that prove to be unique!! You made me smile when I read how warmly my post on the first chapters were received!! I don’t mind if you skipped over the film adaptation bits, as to be honest, I didn’t remember as much as I had hoped too, and therefore, you would not have received that many spoilers!! Cheers!

      I think that is what I love about finding wordsmiths in our modern age, and the wordsmiths of Bronte’s age; were how well they used words and phrases to capture how our imaginations would light up the scene in our minds!! They have a gift for painting such an impression as to leave us with a hearty evocation of emotion as much as physically being able to draw into view what is being laid out before us! I could not have posted without highlighting a few of these key words & phrases that stood out to me as I had read the first chapters! I took stock and notice on your own blog that you were doing the same! I smiled rather happily when I saw that! :)

      I think maybe I will digress on the subject of Helen’s character, as I truly do believe and have known people as young as she who can possess the ability to take-on what she did and with such a level of grace and maturity that she is writ to having. Although, I do now understand this other point of view of how her character can be considered ‘idealised’ as you’ve put it.

      I am humbled that you said that my interpretations have enhanced your own reading enjoyment of Jane Eyre! This is one of the highest compliments that I have received and I take it to heart! Thank you!

  2. Ah again so much to really think over in your post! Great job with really analyzing the section and I loved that you took specific moments and commented on them! I also liked that you compared your reading to the 1996 film since I love comparing the story to adaptations, and the scene where Jane cuts her hair is indeed very striking and I thought a wonderful addition by the screenwriter to the story. Obviously it was easier to make Helen Burns the girl with red hair so they won’t have too many characters, but I also loved the scene. Sadly Miss Temple in the film is more like Miss Miller I think as I don’t think she’s the superintendent of Lowood in the film… but I could be wrong. They softened Miss Temple’s character a little, but again I understand they have to make these choices.

    That poll is fun too! Though I think, if I remember correctly from the first time I read the book, I really got into the story once Mr. Rochester came on board! ;)

    • Hallo Charlene!

      I was wondering when you might drop by! That’s the part I couldn’t remember!! I am thinking to myself, that until I complete the reading, I might have to hold off on further cross-comparisons, as my memory of seeing this adaptation is really stretched thin! I couldn’t even remember the direct reference for Miss Temple!! Yet, when you wrote they might have merged her with Miss Miller, that sort of struck a bell with me!? So, perhaps that part of the mystery is solved! Thank you for giving me such a nice compliment about my post! I am thankful that my musings gave you some hearty things to think about! And, yes, I like the poll myself, as that was a bit of a last minute addition!

      I am eager for Monday, to see what comes next to each of our minds! Thanks for coming by!

  3. “And, yet, which hour did I first lay heart and mind to rest, to cast aside any fear or anxiety to read Eyre!? A shade past midnight on this very Monday morn, the very day we’re meant to impart our impressions of the first eleven chapters of Jane Eyre’s life!” — You can add me in this category, as well! I started the novel a few hours before bedtime Sunday night, and I actually went to sleep somewhat discouraged in my hopes of enjoying Jane Eyre because of how heartwrenching her childhood is. YET, on Monday I finished the first 11 chapters and had become completely entranced by the story :)

    I love all of your insights into the novel: the identification of descriptions and subtext being important in Gothic literature (that’s one of my favorite aspects of the genre), the plethora of beautiful and unique vocabulary words (which I agree with you, are sorely missed today), and all the religious cruelty and hypocrisy that leads Jane to become a more compassionate person (and I also came to realize that the books of the Bible she takes pleasure in reading deal extensively with overcoming our sufferings…love that!).

    I skipped over the comparison between the original text and the film adaptations because I plan to watch several of them after finishing the novel! I have heard mixed reviews from Jane Eyre readers, but I intend to watch the films while keeping the novel in mind, yet also while viewing them as separate texts themselves. If I recall correctly, you are a big fan of the 1996 adaptation?

    • Hallo Maggie!! :)

      I am quite happy to see you today, as I appreciated seeing how my post is being read!! You and Bairbre have felt exactly what I was hoping to convey! I could not be happier! And, I completely agree with you on the level of skirting over the adaptive mentionings, however, I might have to hold-off in mentioning more as time goes forward, as I am not remembering the specifics as they relate to the text, as I read Eyre; therefore, as I already intended to watch my beloved adaptation [yes, 1996!!!] first, I will then, branch out into others that I can borrow through my library!

      I *loved!* how you pulled out the quote about when I began to read the story!! I noted on your blog too, that you were also a late reader getting started, and in that, I felt better knowing I was not alone! I am getting a bit of a late start again this week, but I am determined to make my post go live on Monday!!

      Your words of compliment truly touched me as I read through your eyes what my own words wanted to convey! Your second paragraph hit me especially with sincere gratitude! Although I had not yet had the chance to look up the specific books of the Bible she was attached too, I have read Job when I was a young teen, and if that book as readily known to me as it were, had any inclining hint about the others, I did suspect that she might have been seeking solace in the books that meant the most to her, as far as what she could personally relate too! Thank you for the confirmation that my suspicions were right!

      I look forward to our continuing conversation!

  4. Bairbre

    Such a wonderful propensity of words garnished throughout your post that I was thoroughly entranced. Each segment I was drawn more into the story of Jane Eyre. I loved each entry as discussed and felt her true sense of being reflected through your thoughts and words. The way in which you write propels one to think on a higher plane and gives one reflection of a simpler time in history showing the character of Jane Eyre and the surroundings in which she lived. I shall look forward with wild curiosity as the chapters evolve and your pen continues to shine upon each new chapter. Such a wonderful exposition of entries as you express your innermost feelings of a classic. Well done! The Devian Art slideshow is extraordinaire. Each entry selected brought you deeper into knowing Jane visually.

    • I am so very thankful that my post evoked such a positive understanding for Eyre!! This was my intentions, as I found the words that I wanted to express about Eyre, were simply flowing out into this post as I wrote about her! And, when I discovered DA, I could not help but notice that the artists who were attaching their own works to represent her story, were drawing her out in such clever and insightful ways, that I could not wait to share it with everyone here! I, too, felt as you did, that the slideshow enhances the reading experience by drawing a deeper layer into Eyre!

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