Author Topic: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"  (Read 3362 times)

Sandy

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Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« on: April 06, 2016, 05:15:13 PM »


Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Bront (1847)



From "Funky MBTI in Fiction"

Jane Eyre [INFP]
Jane is a very passionate individual. She holds to her own set of values and is devoted to being true to herself... Jane weighs everything she sees through her personal values and opinions, and uses her feelings as her guide. She chooses her battles carefully and sees no need for deception. She feels rather unimportant and misunderstood in comparison to others. She longs to be rid of the structure and predictability of her life and... yearns for experiences.

Jane's humble nature may preclude her from feeling like she should have her own thread, but when a character says such things as, "I would rather be happy than dignified," and "I am not an angel and I will not be one till I die; I will be myself," she most certainly merits her own place for discussion. :)

I'll compile some comments already posted and any and all who would like to join in, please do!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 02:35:43 PM by Sandy »
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Sandy

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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 05:24:30 PM »
From BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour;

"Is it not an odd tale?"
Jane Eyre

Yes it is an exceedingly odd tale.  ;D

Yes it is! :))

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And yet, Sandy, I'm going to make it my classic for April!

No way! Now that is dedication, cause I know how much the movie didn't work for you. :) I want to read a long! I'd like to revisit it and this is a good excuse and besides, if you're willing to read it, it's the least I could do to lend moral support.

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The excerpt I heard between StJohn and Jane was amazing! The writing is extremely powerful. It seems Bronte set herself the challenge of the dumbest plot contrivances ever to see if people still liked her writing. How StJohn and her were connected is pretty dumb and they left it out of that film I think. But it sounded marvellous so screw the plot.

Yes, that plot point is the dumbest! But getting a wonderful character such as Jane, who cares? :)

And you're right, the movie version you saw didn't have the connection, thank heaven!

I hadn't heard of these BBC radio episodes before, but will listen in to the rest. The editing is really great, but there's a cute line it left out when Jane finds out their connection. Referring back to something he had chastised her for earlier, he says, "Did I not say you neglected essential points to pursue trifles? You were serious when I told you you had got a fortune; and now, for a matter of no moment, you are excited." :)

There is so much in the book, that isn't here, especially the mind games he plays with Jane to persuade her. It's pretty horrific.

My favorite line from the radio episode is, "If I join St. John, I abandon half myself."  She means the parts of her he is taking away, but I'd like to think she's also talking about Rochester being her other half." I get to interpret the way I want to, yes? :)

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Also a Michael Kimmel (no idea about spelling) was on. He is a profeminist. He says he is not a feminist. To be a feminist would require some experience of the female condition which no man can claim. Somewhat like a civil rights campaigner going so far as to say they are black when they aren't.

Going back to books he remarked on how Jane Austen or the Brontes books were seen as having gender themes. Whereas Dickens is not seen as a masculine themed author. Even though his main titles are about young men looking for fathers! Love the perspective.

I got to listen in to some of this as well. I like his matter of fact way of expressing ideas and how he approaches the way to get men on board. It's that Yes, yes, salesmanship method. Do you have a sister or mother? Do you care about them? Do you want them to thrive? :) Yes. Much better than calling them out.

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The best line:
The Objective Truth: Men and woman are different.
The Moral Truth: It's irrelevant. 
(paraphrase; my memory's not that good)

My truth: Men and women are different, Hallelujah! :))

Haha! Oh yeah!

Yes I'd love that read along. I'll keep you up to date on my progress and know I can give you my impressions as I'm reading. Brilliant! I've got no doubt that the characterisation is going to be a pleasure from what I heard. Ice and fire. She can't be his wife because she will turn to ice. Yes he manipulates her into learning another language. It's very spare dynamic writing. I was instantly hooked. I won't listen to the last part today to keep it fresh.

I'm glad you could dip into that show. Woman's hour is a great show and it's fascinating to hear a proper perspective on all sorts of matters even from my lack of womanness!

Yes, ice. :( That jerk.

Looking forward to hearing about what works and what doesn't in the story and the style of writing. I believe you will find out more what's in a woman's heart and mind than even the BBC Women's hour! :))
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Sandy

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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 05:50:34 PM »
Of these death-white realms I formed an idea of my own: shadowy, like all the half-comprehended notions that float dim through children's brains, but strangely impressive. The words in these introductory pages connected themselves with the succeeding vignettes, and gave significance to the rock standing up alone in the sea of billow and spray; to the broken boat stranded on a desolate coast; to the cold and ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking.

-Jane Eyre

Bloody hell. Page 2. Erm Jane's lonely. Wow.

Indeed.

I looked up Bewick's, History of British Birds and found two of the illustrations and thought you might like to see them.

 


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This book is going to be one of words connecting themselves and gaining significance. I've made connection to Therese Raquin and Matilda already by the end of Chapter 1. The largest vignette to come to mind was the household in Thirst! Sorry Sandy that one might not be on the reading list.

I'm a bit flabbergasted. Enders Game. They're all ripping this book off. Plagiarism. It's a wonderful thing baby.

"Come Miss Jane, don't cry". She might as well have said to the fire, "don't burn!"

Fli- pin- heck.

:D

You're just getting started!

Is this the Thirst series by Christopher Pike? If so, you're right they're not on my reading list!

I started listening to Jane Eyre today. Had to be on the road for a while and it made the time go so fast! Very descriptive writing and she does a great job, coming from a child's way of thinking in the beginning chapters.

Jane Eyre started very well.

I'd observe that the authorial voice is strong for a 10 year old! Bronte says at one point Jane doesn't have the words to explain how she feels but it's first person and she has been articulating a fair bit.

Never mind I love it. I see what you see as far as archetypes and role models. The confidence of an intelligent girl who likes expressing herself. [....] This is a singular nothing gonna stop me character. Gonna be good discussing it.

:) She can't help herself! She must give voice to that child! I'm fascinated in Jane's adult self, trying to reach back to describe the thought processes of her child self.

"Unjust!--unjust!" said my reason, forced by the agonising stimulus
into precocious though transitory power: and Resolve, equally
wrought up, instigated some strange expedient to achieve escape from
insupportable oppression--as running away, or, if that could not be
effected, never eating or drinking more, and letting myself die.


If that's not a child's mentality, I don't know what is. :) The next paragraph she uses, "dense ignorance." She has all this emotional turmoil and no life experience to give her needed perspective.



You're also right in that I see her as a role model and I also see me in her.

It's interesting knowing you have such a strong connection to this character and how you use that in real life if at all. I mean it should be used. If only to know you aren't alone and isolated because someone has articulated that feeling and a long time ago. Makes it feel like there's an army of Jane out there.

Yes, probably! I kick myself for not taking the lessons from her better when I was younger. I just knew when I read it, that it was the second time I saw myself in a character (maybe third if I count Wrinkle in Time's Meg). I couldn't really find myself in many of the books I was reading. But I too didn't have the life experiences yet to give me that much needed perspective. It's only over the years that I've developed alongside her. I could gain strength and that feeling, like you said, of not being alone, but I couldn't usurp my own growth, no matter how much I relate to her, or how well it's all articulated. It's a mirror and a type of blue print and a touchstone all rolled into one. :) Do you have books like that for you?

« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 06:07:42 PM by Sandy »
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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 06:58:39 PM »
"'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 Brocklehhurst."

Well might I dread, well might I dislike Mrs Reed, for it was her nature to wound me cruelly; never was I happy in her presence; however carefully I obeyed, however strenuously I strove to please her, my efforts were still repulsed and repaid by such sentences as the above. Now, uttered before a stranger, the accusation cut me to the heart; I dimly perceived that she was already obliterating hope from the new phase of existence which she destined me to enter; I felt, though I could not have expressed the feeling, that she was sewing aversion and unkindness along my future path


-Jane Eyre

It's indescribably brilliant writing. Like I said Sandy I'm slightly hearing words from a ten year old that aren't possible. That prediction of being set up to fail at school is one borne out of experience. I can see "Jane Eyre" as a book for adults with that understanding. You just talked (in PM) about wishing for more lessons from the story than you took, but if you mean when you were a child yourself its not reasonable to expect this to have the power its does as an adult. But the power is there. "She was sewing aversion and unkindness along my future path". It sticks in the throat with its power. Amazing.

I get where you're coming from and am here sifting through what she's expressing as an adult looking back and what her thoughts were as a child. The words that help me reconcile it, are "dimly perceived." I'm guessing at the time she, as a child, would have had a pit in her stomach, knowing something was going terribly wrong. She wasn't going to go to school with a clean slate, because Mrs. Reed was transferring her hatred and lies to Mr. Brocklehurst. I moved a lot as a kid and realized very early on, that first impressions were really important to my "standing" in a classroom. "Friendly, but not too eager" was my tactic. :)

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I need a little help here;

"And the psalms? I hope you like them?"
"No, sir"
"No? Oh shocking! I have a little boy, younger than you, who knows six Psalms by heart: and when you ask him which he would rather have, a gingerbread-nut to eat or a verse of a Psalm to learn, he says; 'Oh! the verse of a Psalm! angels sing Psalms; ' says he,  "I wish to be a little angel here below; " he then gets two nuts in recompense for his infant piety."
"Psalms are not interesting, " I remarked.


So whats Jane's beef with Psalms?

Well, first I'd like to say, that kid didn't give a flying fig about Psalms! He was just a suck up! Or, just trying to protect himself.

Psalms are like song lyrics, :) so they have that going for them, but, they're all in the same vein and weren't challenging or compelling to Jane. INFP's (Sorry to throw personality type quotes around, but it's my type, so it helps me refer to it to answer the question.) are "patient with complicated situations (Revelations, Job, Samuel), but impatient with routine details (Psalms)." :D

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Sandy I'd like to recommend the first chapters of "Hard Times" because the school scenes are synchronous, and the writing is resonant. Its probs online somewhere. These passages of Jane Eyre and Hard Times seem peas in a pod.

I'm not at all familiar with "Hard Times." But, I love all I've read from Charles Dickens and of course, seeing the film adaptations, so will seek it out! thanks!
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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 11:59:01 PM »
This is great. I love how much you love Jane Eyre. I'll come back and read more thoroughly when I read the book itself. Perhaps this summer! My summer reading list grows almost constantly. My only hope is that my now-improved reading speed will help me keep up with it!
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verbALs

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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 12:06:46 AM »
Oh wow. You brought everything in here. Cool! This starts to look like a Serious Cool episode now.

I'll come back in with some more questions later.

Thirst is a film by Park Chan Wook. It has family in there who coset the son and somewhat crush his wife(?) I think wife. Then this priest turns up...... The entire tenet of households as oppressive prisons is being investigated thoroughly at the start of Jane Eyre but it probably isn't the original take. For instance I don't know or haven't checked the chronology between the Bronte's and Dickens. I will give it to C Bronte for the effectiveness of her description and especially for the depth of a rounded understanding of how it effected the child in positive ways. How much character it injects surviving psychologically in that environment. I haven't read that before. So that idea of an adult perspective placed on a child I think you are interpreting as a criticism. No. It's brave to focus on the child so completely when the tone is emphatically not childish. Like Dahls reading of Matilda. In that case you get a delicious twisting of fairytale ideas. JE is a straight reading of the condition and Matilda is a subversion a homage. Feels like it anyway. I was hoping to get to the source of the streams of more modern storytelling and JE feels like a source. I'd love the argument that says no go further back. JE is simply emphatically beautiful on the subject.
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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 12:20:06 AM »
Sandy. Have you read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I think that's correct? Do you know the book and what it's about?

Ok what is now bothering me is that the book has a confirmed place as a classic but as a feminist milestone on the scale of Das Kapital for socialism it doesn't register. Do women meet to secretly to affirm that they are intelligent and lot else on a scale way beyond men? Like a secret revolutionary society. You have Jane. Now you have Helen and Miss Temple and they all seem perfect on a paragon level. I'm only half joking. This is amazing. It doesn't make it unreal but the perfection is something like a manifesto. Be these women!  I can't really think of a male counterpoint. In fact it makes the concept of manhood seem complacent compared to this nirvana for young ladies. Yes I know it's cruel. There's an idea in early Christianity of pretty much ignoring the physical aspect of life because all that matters is spirit and that mirrors the school where no one is fed properly and it is justified by bible quotes!

Amazing as always. 63 pages in. Just amazing.

I can remember Jane standing on a stool and some cruelty in the film but that isn't what is happening. So I'm even more suspicious of that film. If you are supporting the book by supporting the film I still get it but it doesn't seem right in any way. What am I getting wrong?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 01:02:28 PM by verbALs »
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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 02:48:43 PM »
Gosh! There is so much here in your PMs to ponder on! I'm going to reply to it all bit by bit... :)

OAD!     Sending out the bat signal. :D


This is great. I love how much you love Jane Eyre. I'll come back and read more thoroughly when I read the book itself. Perhaps this summer! My summer reading list grows almost constantly. My only hope is that my now-improved reading speed will help me keep up with it!

haha! I find the more I read, the slower I get! (not research, but novels) I don't want to miss a word. :) I'd love to hear your thoughts on this book, Junior! Keeping my fingers crossed that it moves up your summer reading list!
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verbALs

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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 03:12:12 PM »
I'm seeing some contradiction in those first descriptions though. Jane isn't humble. In fact if she is cornered she will give anybody both barrels. She talks about taking a cane from a teacher if she ever tried hitting her. She has though a listening ability. She shuts up as soon as any one has anything important to say. In her examination by Miss a Temple she remembers advice from a couple of sources and quietens her approach to become a more effective communicator. Not quiet not shy. Controlled. So we have two ears and two eyes but one mouth. Our communication should be in that proportion. No I know I'm breaking that rule in here but I acknowledge it in my username which is telling me to be quiet all the time. I know ironic. Verbal was a character who was known to say nothing until something happens that means he won't shut up. But he is fantastically eloquent. In other words don't speak until you have something to say. My only defence is that at the moment that's rather a lot. I expect to shut up and say nothing soon. Maybe.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 03:18:42 PM by verbALs »
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Re: Jane Eyre "You almost unearthly thing!"
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 03:25:12 PM »
Oh wow. You brought everything in here. Cool! This starts to look like a Serious Cool episode now.

I'm not worthy! (insert signature smirnoff smiley gif here)

Quote
Thirst is a film by Park Chan Wook. It has family in there who coset the son and somewhat crush his wife(?) I think wife. Then this priest turns up......

Whoa, I think I just saw the whole thing in a trailer!

Quote
The entire tenet of households as oppressive prisons is being investigated thoroughly at the start of Jane Eyre but it probably isn't the original take. For instance I don't know or haven't checked the chronology between the Bronte's and Dickens. I will give it to C Bronte for the effectiveness of her description and especially for the depth of a rounded understanding of how it effected the child in positive ways. How much character it injects surviving psychologically in that environment. I haven't read that before. So that idea of an adult perspective placed on a child I think you are interpreting as a criticism. No. It's brave to focus on the child so completely when the tone is emphatically not childish. Like Dahls reading of Matilda. In that case you get a delicious twisting of fairytale ideas. JE is a straight reading of the condition and Matilda is a subversion a homage. Feels like it anyway. I was hoping to get to the source of the streams of more modern storytelling and JE feels like a source. I'd love the argument that says no go further back. JE is simply emphatically beautiful on the subject.

Love that last sentence. :)

Matilda is in my top 100 too. I must like the subject matter, straight forward or twisted. :)

I automatically go to Pip, when thinking of another retelling of a difficult and defining childhood, but Great Expectations didn't get written until 1861, so for now, Jane Eyre is the headwaters! Love to find earlier too.
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