*** Group Read: Jane Eyre (Spoiler Thread)

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2011

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

*** Group Read: Jane Eyre (Spoiler Thread)

Este tópico está presentemente marcado como "inativo" —a última mensagem tem mais de 90 dias. Reative o tópico publicando uma resposta.

1Smiler69
Editado: Abr 15, 2011, 9:04pm



This is the place to discuss the Jane Eyre in detail. May I just suggest that we hold off revealing spoilers about the ending of the book for at least a week after the official start on April 15th? Might be more respectful to those who haven't read it yet (or don't remember the details.)

2Smiler69
Abr 15, 2011, 8:17pm

I guess I'll break the ice. I started listening to an excellent BBC audio version narrated by Juliet Stevenson this week. The moment I started it, I just was pulled into the story and I just finished listening to chapter 10 last night. That first section covers Jane's childhood at Gateshead, then her education at Lowood institute, up until she is on the point of traveling to Thornfield Hall, having just been hired as a governess. This first section really gives us a good description of what kind of person Jane even as she is growing into herself and trying to figure out the world around her. I think it's hard not to take an immediately liking to her.

What are your first impressions?

3Mr.Durick
Abr 16, 2011, 7:16pm

I have to agree with that but add that it also shows some of the harsher bits of the world that she has to contend with, that is with the kinds of threats she faces if she goes off on her own.

Robert

4phebj
Abr 16, 2011, 7:24pm

I just finished reading Chapter 10 and like you, Ilana, I loved the story and Jane right from the beginning. I'm so glad you set up this group read thread because it's what prompted me to read Jane Eyre for the first time in my life.

Alot of times I'm put off when a young narrator seems to be older than her years. Even though I feel like the 10 year old Jane is more mature than believable at times, it isn't bothering me because I like her so much.

5Smiler69
Editado: Abr 16, 2011, 9:54pm

It's true Robert that Jane has more than her fair share of hardships to endure, growing up. Her aunt seemed to me like such a cruel and stupid woman, and her son John, although he was despicable, basically just followed in his mother's footsteps in his own way, I guess. I'm not sure what you mean when you say: "that is with the kinds of threats she faces if she goes off on her own", do you mean that the events of her life up until then are an indicator of things to come?

Pat, I don't remember now who came up with the idea for this group read, but I guess Jane Eyre's been talked about a lot lately because of the movie. I'm glad for the re-read because I honestly didn't remember the details of the story since I read it in high school. I was unfortunately unable to appreciate Brontë's writing back then, but I'm absolutely charmed with it now.

I personally believe in her level of maturity for a 10-year old probably because I too was wise beyond my years at that age, and can quite relate (if only I'd continued maturing after childhood though. lol.) But this is to say that some children really do display a very unique temperament and are capable of independent thought even when circumstances would seem to be against this sort of thing happening.

eta: I've just finished chapter 16 now, and don't want to reveal too much yet, for those who are just starting the book, but I find that Mr Rochester is truly an unpleasant man and incredibly presumptuous, especially when he and Jane start getting acquainted with each other at Thornfield.



6phebj
Abr 16, 2011, 9:58pm

some children really do display a very unique temperament and are capable of independent thought even when circumstances would seem to be against this sort of thing happening

I will have to keep this in mind, Ilana. Ten years old was so long ago for me that I can't remember what my maturity level was and I probably shouldn't let this kind of thing take me out of a story. Bronte is obviously a very good writer because Jane as a young girl does seem very believable to me.

7Mr.Durick
Editado: Abr 16, 2011, 9:58pm

Yeah, whatever comes on a silver platter comes out of desolation and cannot be counted on, except maybe one's integrity. Good comes and goes, but always against a background of a gray unsympathetic environment. I was in despair for her until she met the housekeeper, and SPOILER again when she gets out of the coach fleeing Mr. Rochester. The story is so much a part of the literary environment, and I had read Joyce Carol Oates's introduction, that I knew the story resolved itself in her favor. Along the way, however, the hopelessness was just wrenchingly believable.

Robert

8keristars
Abr 16, 2011, 10:59pm

4, 5, 6> Don't forget that Jane isn't 10 years old when she's telling the story - she's an adult speaking about what happened to her in the past.

So while the events and everything are told from a 10-year-old's perspective, the maturity and some of the reflections and such come from the fact that she's looking back on it as an adult.

9Smiler69
Abr 16, 2011, 11:02pm

#8 You make a good point Keri.

10phebj
Abr 16, 2011, 11:21pm

#8 Thanks, Keri. That's a helpful way to look at it.

11AMQS
Abr 17, 2011, 12:20am

I finished Jane Eyre a few weeks ago -- it was my first time reading it, and I loved it! As I said in my thread, we were experiencing howling winds and raging wildfires nearby at the time, and the battering, smoky elements really added to the already significant atmosphere of the story. I look forward to your comments!

12bbellthom
Abr 17, 2011, 12:19pm

I just started reading, and I feel so bad for Jane. To be locked in that room must have been horrifying. I'm only on chapter 4 I am hoping that she gets out of that household soon.

13Cynara
Abr 17, 2011, 3:05pm

Something about Jane's childhood just seems so brilliantly un-Victorian. She's no blond-ringleted infant angel - she's tough and willful and solitary (by necessity, at first) from the beginning.

14MickyFine
Abr 17, 2011, 5:22pm

I've already completed my re-read, but I'll limit my comments to the early chapters. One thing that really stuck out for me (especially after seeing the newest film version) is the physical violence Jane endures as a child. While in print it's pretty easy to gloss over the fact that when her cousin hits her she starts bleeding, it was mildly shocking on film. Perhaps the narration of the older Jane makes glossing over the abuse easier? Although later passages are pretty vivid in describing her misfortunes. Thoughts?

>5 Smiler69: Mr. Rochester definitely has his moments. I like him more than you do, I think. For me, it's easy to write off his behaviour as a result of his bachelor status and general wealth. He can act relatively obnoxious and get away with it.

15Cynara
Abr 17, 2011, 7:13pm

>5 Smiler69: & 14

I think Rochester is amused and attracted by Jane's unflappable exterior. If she'd flapped, he would probably have written her off as a dull young miss and ignored her. As it is, he tries to shock her, and is greatly intrigued when she holds the line against him.

16MickyFine
Abr 18, 2011, 3:50pm

>15 Cynara: I definitely agree with that assessment. Rochester definitely enjoys poking and prodding people's personalities. It really comes to the fore in *SPOILER FOR CHAPTERS 18&19* when Rochester plays the part of the fortune teller. He sincerely enjoys exploring the minds of these women, but particularly Jane. *END SPOILER He thoroughly enjoys metaphorically poking and prodding Jane for various reactions.

17Cynara
Abr 18, 2011, 4:21pm

Those are almost exactly the same words I was going to use - he picks at her and prods - asks impertinent questions, advances then retreats.

One thing that struck me in the movie is that Rochester is almost literally the first gentleman she's ever had a conversation with; she's had no male friends or relatives of her own age since she was a child. St. John is the second gentleman she ever has a conversation with.

18MickyFine
Abr 18, 2011, 5:33pm

She does live in an extremely feminized world. And yet despite that, she is not a typical woman for her time. Rather than the primary goal of wealth and a husband that most women had, she is more interested in independence and freedom. Of course, she's not opposed to wealth or a husband. Obviously, Jane's character is mostly a result of Bronte's writing, but to have such a strong and atypical woman come out of an upbringing filled with more silly women than role models is quite impressive.

19Smiler69
Abr 18, 2011, 6:29pm

#15-17 I can see how he enjoys prodding her, and I can even understand the appeal of that. One thing that I keep wondering about, now that I've finished chapter 24 and there have been further important developments is why his harshness appeals to Jane so, to the point of her saying she wouldn't have found him nearly as appealing if he'd been gentler to her.

18. Obviously, Jane's character is mostly a result of Bronte's writing, but to have such a strong and atypical woman come out of an upbringing filled with more silly women than role models is quite impressive.

I can't help but keep comparing Bronte's heroine with those of Jane Austen in her first two novels, which I've read for the first time this year (and can't say I fell in love with). I understand that Austen's novels are filled with irony, but it still strikes me that her heroines are much closer to typical "silly women" of her time, whereas Jane Eyre, published just three decades after P&P, seems to have been created from an entirely different mold. They seem to be worlds apart in so many ways...

20MickyFine
Abr 18, 2011, 10:49pm

>19 Smiler69: Jane Austen is my favourite author and I love her books to pieces but I'll try and restrain my urges to just compel everyone to love her and instead just talk about them as detachedly as possible. ;)

Those three decades in between the publication of these two authors is hugely important. Depictions of women in fiction were definitely changing. I find it particularly interesting that the second edition of Jane Eyre was dedicated to William Makepeace Thackeray. And looking at Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair you can definitely see an ancestry for Jane Eyre.

The other thing to consider is the class issue. Jane Austen's heroines are part of the upper middle class who would never lower themselves to working and thus marriage is their only option. Jane, however, as a governess falls into an odd world where she is above servants but still below the class of her employers (and Austen heroines by extension). Also, the style of the novels also determine characterization. Austen is all about the drawing room and satire. Bronte is definitively Gothic where the heroines are either fainting all the time or, more interestingly, strong and willful like Jane Eyre.

21Smiler69
Abr 20, 2011, 11:41am

#20 I appreciate your restraint and found your input very enlightening. I have to say I've yet to read Vanity Fair, which is still presently sitting on my shelf, but I guess I'll have to move it up the tbr pile to see what you mean as far as it being a predecessor to Jane Eyre. Of course you're right about the class differences and styles of writing impacting the kinds of things both authors wrote about. I guess I'm just trying to figure out for myself why it is that a Jane Eyre would speak to me so directly, whereas the two first JA's haven't so far, but I'm not giving up on Jane Austen nonetheless!

I just finished Jane Eyre last night. Never thought I'd get through it this fast, but listening to the audio version by Juliet Stevenson made me want to find lots of opportunities to do things with my hands! Now I'm facing the difficult decision as to whether I will give it a full 5 stars, since I don't hand out that rating very often. Chances are I will though (if Jane Eyre doesn't deserve it, then what does??) Can't believe I thought it was boring back in the 80s when I had to read it for high school! The advantage to that was that I almost forgot the story completely, so it felt like new again for the most part. I now look forward to reading The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell, hopefully in May, though I should probably read fiction by Gaskell first to get a feel for this author I am much overdue to discover.

22MickyFine
Editado: Abr 20, 2011, 3:03pm

Slight tangent. I just ran across a rather positive review yesterday of Jane by April Lindner a YA modern retelling of Jane Eyre. I have yet to read it, but it's gone on my TBR list. Thought I'd share in case anyone else might be interested/read it already.

23keristars
Abr 20, 2011, 2:55pm

Speaking of Jane's oddness as a heroine, the "made from a completely different mold", one thing that I find interesting is the title of the book: Jane Eyre. It's both her first and last name.

Think of the lasting, well-known books published to that point (say ~1850) where the title is also a female character's name. For example, Pamela and Emma. I'm blanking on others, though there's several examples. Anyway, most of these titles that I'm familiar with are the heroine's first name only, and there are a few which are "Miss" or "Mrs" Lastname. Isn't it interesting that Jane Eyre has a whole name? It's not just her first name, which could potentially be anybody, and it isn't just her last name, which is actually someone else's name (father or husband). It's her whole name, and an entire identity...

Now, it's not like this is the first book to do that. There's Charlotte Temple, for example, and lots of others that just aren't as well known. (But I think even Charlotte Temple was originally called just "Charlotte", though I may be misremembering the introduction and the original title was something else...unfortunately, it's at the bottom of a stack of 12 books right now that I'm not keen on moving!)

Ever since I noticed that about the title, I've had my eye out to see how many I come across like it, but it seems that a single name or a descriptive title are more common.

24lyzard
Abr 20, 2011, 7:28pm

>>23 keristars: It was Charlotte: A Tale Of Truth, I think.

Yes, since it was assumed that a woman would marry (and since marriage was for centuries a case of a woman going from being her father's property to her husband's), it was as if her surname didn't really "belong" to her. It's no coincidence that Jane Eyre is a family-less orphan - she gets to keep her name because of her isolated status.

25janemarieprice
Abr 22, 2011, 3:44pm

Jumping in here, I started about a week ago. I'm not in the group, but saw a mention of the group read and it's one of my favorite books. This will be my 6th or 7th reading. It's been interesting to see what I remember most vividly and what strikes me as new each time. I always forget how long and horrible the sections on her childhood and the school are, and found myself paying more attention this time than previous ones. Also enjoying the moodiness of the language and foreshadowing. There are tons of parallel sections of plot and references.

23 - Interesting point. It originally was published with the subtitle An Autobiography as well, which explains a bit more of the narrator aspect.

26Smiler69
Abr 22, 2011, 5:55pm

#22 I don't know if it's because I'm tired, but I've been reading and re-reading your message several times over to try to figure out what it is you're recommending and I can't make it out. Would you mind explaining?

#23 I agree you've made an interesting point Keri.

#25 You've very welcome to join the discussion, regardless of whether you're with the 75ers or not—you'll find we're a pretty easygoing bunch! I'd be curious to know what parallel sections there are in the novel. I'm already looking forward to reading it again, though of course I'll probably wait for a bit before I do so. No matter how much I enjoyed the audio by Juliet Stevenson, next time I'll definitely get the actual physical book so I can read back favourite passages.

27keristars
Editado: Abr 22, 2011, 6:37pm

26> Looks like a touchstone didn't work. The reference was to this book by Lindner.

Also, I'm not sure if the owner of this review would appreciate being contacted about the fact that a major point is wrong - it's not a Jane Austen book at all! Is it a simple memory mix-up, or did s/he not know the author is different? is it because of the title? would knowing that it's not Austen make a difference in how s/he thinks of the book?

28Smiler69
Abr 22, 2011, 6:59pm

Thanks for the link Keri, I've added it to my WL as I'm curious to see what Lindner has made of our beloved classic.

As for the review and whether someone should point her in the right direction... I can see how the temptation might arise to do so, but I'll let you decide what you think is best. I wouldn't want to be the one to deliver the embarrassing news, in any case. ;-)

29MickyFine
Abr 23, 2011, 4:37pm

I find Adele an interesting character and plot point. The fact that Mr. Rochester has taken her in, is an indication, to me, that there is definitely some good in him despite his arguments to the contrary. Especially when he reveals that she is not his child.

Adele's characterization as superficial and flighty although sweet and affectionate, makes me wonder if Bronte created the character and willingly embraced English stereotypes about the French?

30Cynara
Abr 24, 2011, 10:32am

It seems like it to me - Jane is always slamming Adele's French nature and upbringing, though she's also moderately fond of the kid.

31Smiler69
Abr 24, 2011, 4:40pm

#29 Especially when he reveals that she is not his child

As I understand it, that is never quite clear in the story since she could just as well be his as not.

#29-30 I see Adele as an element in the story which allows to diffuse situations and creates some comic relief (when she isn't showing up indifference or disregard). Being equal parts francophile AND anglophile, I can sometimes be sensitive about either camp slamming the other, and I have to say I never took Brontës digs seriously. But then again, I don't know anything about her personally, and so have no way of knowing whether she truly meant anything by it or not.

32Smiler69
Abr 25, 2011, 12:25am

For those interested, my review of Jane Eyre can be found right here.

33MickyFine
Abr 26, 2011, 9:53pm

One of the blogs I follow posted the following fictitious conversation between the *SPOILER ALERT*married Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet *END SPOILERS*. It amused me, so I thought I'd share: http://literarysluts.com/?p=2300

34Cynara
Abr 27, 2011, 9:36am

Yes, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife (and then takes her again, etc.) aside, I can't help but think that Jane got the better... ah, husband.

35Smiler69
Editado: Abr 27, 2011, 9:49am

#33 I'll go have a look at that soon, I'm really curious to see that!

About Spoiler Alerts: Thanks for playing along and giving fair warning about spoilers so far. I think now that we're almost two weeks in, and knowing that many of us have finished the book quite a while ago, I hope we'll all feel free to talk about any aspect of the novel we like at this point. I'm new to group reads, and don't mean at all to be imposing any rules... so feel free to take over anytime. :-)

36MickyFine
Abr 27, 2011, 4:31pm

Out of curiousity, what's your favourite Jane and Rochester moment?

For me, it's a tie between her passionately telling him off just before his proposal (the "poor, obscure, plain, and little speech") and when she sits on his knee at the end of book.

37BookAngel_a
Abr 27, 2011, 5:41pm

36- I like the part at the end where Jane is encouraging him to be jealous of St John, and she tells him he DOES look a bit like Vulcan, lol...

38Smiler69
Abr 29, 2011, 9:33pm

I'm with Angela, I really enjoyed it when Jane made him jealous too. I have to say I had to hold back the tears at the end too, when she describes what a wonderful life they have together with their children and so on. True love always make me weepy (snif!)