This event is being hosted by
and Babbling Books
This week we discussed Chapters 1-5:
1.) The novel opens on a very dreary, rainy November afternoon. How do you think this contributes to the general mood of the first chapter?
As much as I love the rain, rain is usually seen as something negative in a story. In this instance, the rain gave the first chapter the sense of gloom and entrapment for our heroine.
2.) What literary function do curtains and draperies have in the opening chapters?
Huh...not sure. I didn't really pay attention to these while listening to the audio.
3.) Mrs. Reed's cruelty would have been noticed and reported, had it taken place in our contemporary society. What factors do you think might have contributed to its tacit acceptance at the time?
I'm not sure if Mrs. Reed's cruelty would have been reported in this day in age. Yes, it is frown upon to treat a child the way Mrs. Reed did, but if the child does not show any signs of abuse on his or her body, then it will be rare that it would be reported. It will be reported if many people outside of the house knew about it.
During the time of Jane Eyre, it was common that children were mistreated. Children did not have many rights as they do today. Also, Mrs. Reed really knew how to hide her cruelty from others and knew how to spin things to make Jane appear that Jane was a dishonest child.
4.) Bessie's attitude toward Jane is inconsistent; at times, she's kind toward the child, while at others, she scolds her unfairly. Why do you think she acts this way?
Well, it was normal to mistreat a child back then and many people believed that "loving" a child was actually harmful to the child. Bessie simply acted the way she thought that was right.
5.) Jane speaks more like an adult than a child, especially in the scene with Mrs. Reed, after Brocklehurst leaves. Do you think this is because she's a very intelligent, precocious child, or is this simply an unrealistic part of the novel?
I love how independent and strong-willed Jane is portrayed as a young child, but it did make me question whether or not this was realistic. Children back then were raised in a different manner and were forced to grow up faster than today, so perhaps Jane's upbringing caused her to be more mature for her age. At the same time, how mature can she be? She's still a child.
6.) How did Bronte show hypocritical vs. true Christian behaviors in the characters of Mr. Brocklehurst and Miss Temple?
The characters of Mr. Brocklehurst and Miss Temple are completely opposite. A true Christian is supposed to show love and compassion like Miss Temple, but many "Christians" could be seen as hypocritical. Mr. Brocklehurst is the perfect example of what a Christian should NOT be.
Next week, we are discussing Chapters 6-10. Stay tuned!