Classics Bookclub

Don’t forget: 5 Minutes for Books is meeting up on October 7 to discuss Jane Eyre!

Reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Read so far: Chapters 1-8
In which Jane Eyre is cast off from her aunt and sent to Lowood Institution.

I need to get a move on – October is coming up swiftly!

I can’t help but wonder as I read this wonderful book what Charlotte Bronte was like… I know I’ve read about her life before, but I’ll have to see what I can find in the way of a good biography. I love the way she writes! I’m able to access Jane’s memories as easily as if I had been an orphan at Lowood school as well, tasting the disgusting burnt porridge. Feeling the sting of Miss Scatcherd’s unprecedented malice. Shivering uncontrollably in the icy mornings and forgoing a good wash because the water has turned to ice. Nearly fainting in fear and begging God to make me invisible to Mr. Brocklehurst as that detestable man passes by.

SPEAKING of Mr. Brocklehurst… I try to understand him. He’s a prideful and hypocritical man who has too much power.

This is my favorite Mr. Brocklehurst illustration, lol

He’s so negative. “Her size is small: what is her age?”

He’s hypocritical AND prejudiced. “No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl.”

Where does this odious man get off saying a naughty little girl is worse than a naughty little boy? Give me a break! I’m glad he’s fictitious. lol

Jane describes him this way: I looked up: he seemed to me a tall gentleman; but then I was very little: his features were large, and they and all the lines of his frame were equally harsh and prim… I stepped across the rug; he placed me square and straight before him. What a face he had, now that it was almost on a level with mine! What a great nose! and what a mouth! and what large prominent teeth!

Needless to say, I’m trying to get through the despicable school parts quickly, or as quickly as I can. I’m invariably drawn in, and feeling the plight of the girls – and Miss Temple, who wants to change things but is helpless.

Having said all that and expressed my great bitterness at Mr. Brocklehurst’s abusive nature, by the end of chapter 8 I’m fully aware that things have worked out as well as possible in those circumstances for Jane. She’s being educated and is undoubtedly a nice little girl (aside from some completely understandable bitterness) whom most of the teachers and students cannot help but like.

And above all, she would rather be there than with her unkind aunt and cousins. That’s something the movies don’t portray well, I think… but maybe it’s hard without getting into Jane’s head as we are happily able to do through Charlotte Bronte’s writing!

Previous Jane Eyre posts:

Currently Reading: Jane Eyre (My excitement about starting the book and my review of the Masterpiece Theatre version of the movie)


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