Monday, October 13, 2014

Jane Eyre Read-Along: Week 4


This read-along is being hosted by  

I was not able to participate during Week 3's discussion since I was preparing for a show. But here I am for Week 4!

1.) Jane meets her pupil, Adele Varens, in Chapter 11, and we learn more about her in subsequent chapters. How is this little girl contrasted with Jane herself, when she was a child? 

Adele Varens is similar yet very different from Jane. Adele was abandoned by her mother and is now an orphan like Jane. Adele also shows signs of having a strong character like Jane was when she was young. However, Adele is spoiled and loves materialistic things. It is obvious that Adele's wants and needs have always been indulged unlike Jane who was mistreated as a child. 

2.) How does Bronte set the general atmosphere surrounding Jane's awkward meeting with Mr. Rochester, in the country lane, which takes place in Chapter 12?

Bronte sets the general atmosphere of Jane and Mr. Rochester's meeting as spooky and mysterious. While Jane is walking outside to deliver the letter, she sees Mr. Rochester's horse. She is reminded of an old story that Bessie told her when she was young about the spirit of Gytrash. The spirit had a dog and all of a sudden, a dog appears next to the horse. This makes me feel that the sudden appearance of Mr. Rochester is a sign for Jane to be cautious around him, especially when Bronte describes him as having a dark face and stern features.

Along with the description of Mr. Rochester's appearance, Bronte emphasizes how cold everything seemed. It gives everything an eerie feeling. 

3.) Jane states that she would not have offered her help to the fallen rider, had he been conventionally handsome. What does this tell the reader about Jane? 

This was very interesting because it shows that Jane is prejudice. Jane is plain and has had negative experiences when it has come to "beautiful" people; it seems that she looks down upon beauty. This makes me think about that scene with Mr. Brocklehurst and the girl with red hair (can't recall her name at the moment). Though her hair was in natural, beautiful curls, Mr. Brocklehurst treated her like an abomination. Maybe seeing this kind of attitude towards beauty at the boarding school also contributed to Jane's caution to good-looking people. 

4.) What further information about Jane's personality, and her philosophy of life, do her paintings convey? 

Jane's paintings reveal that Jane is an insightful and artistic person who sees the dark side of people. She sees things that many don't really see and is able to portray her thoughts and feelings about the things she sees into her paintings. The fact that she is able to capture reality with all the fine details shows that she is very artistic. 

5.) What do you think is the real purpose of Mr. Rochester's interview of Jane? Or do you think it's the typical interview an employer would conduct, when hiring a new domestic employee? 

The interview of Jane was a little awkward. I do believe that Mr. Rochester interviews his staff but does not go into depth as he did with Jane. I think he became infatuated and very curious about her that he just had to ask all those questions. 

6.) Do you see any hints of foreshadowing in Chapter 14? Please explain. 

With this second reading, I could see signs of foreshadowing as to what will happen with Mr. Rochester. I don't want to say too much since I don't want to spoil it for those who are reading Jane Eyre for the first time, but I will say that he will do something drastic in order to get what he wants.

I will be leaving for Italy next week, so we'll see if I'll be able to participate in Week 5's discussion. 


  1. Thanks so much for participating Vonnie.

    I like your take on Jane's comment on not helping Rochester if her were better looking. Prejudice might be a good word. When I think about sometimes, ironically, people of intellectual and emotional depth will express a bias towards people with conventional good looks. I agree that Jane is showing that here.

    1. I have to agree with you about intellectual people being biased towards good looking people.

  2. Adele and Jane do indeed have certain similarities, as well as differences. As for Jane's reason for not helping Rochester, had he been a good-looking guy, it's true, now that I think about it, that she seems to be prejudiced against beautiful people. It seems that such people, in Jane's view, are usually cruel, so she's highly suspicious of them. For some reason, she doesn't seem to mind Mr. Rochester's rather brusque, almost rude manner.

    I like your answer regarding Jane's paintings. She is indeed a very perceptive person, and is able to see "the dark side of people". Well stated!

    Your answers are interesting and insightful. Thanks for participating!

    1. I thought it was funny how she didn't mind Mr. Rochester's brusque manner. It's almost as if she prefers "tough love".