Friday, April 23, 2010

Reading the Classics with Paul- Jane Eyre Part 4

This week's reading had a lot to do with tying up the ends from the first act of the story and propelling us into the third act.  I couldn't have planned it better.  There's the very strange scene with Mr. Mason somehow acquiring a gaping, bleeding wound which Jane seems to assume was given him by Grace Poole.  At the end of the night, the man is hustled out of the house.  I don't know about you, but I have the impression that he may turn up again and that it may be significant that someone stabbed him in the arm.  That may be a plot point.

Mrs. Reed is dying.  Jane goes to her bedside, learns that John Reed fell into the groove he pretty much seemed primed into when last we saw him.  The other two sisters have their final scene with their fates, one (Georgiana, the mean, prettier one) to middle class, bourgeois mediocrity, the other (Eliza, the marginally nicer one) getting herself to a nunnery.  I would again reference that strange article I read which claimed Jane Eyre had a negative view of religion.  I take this as more evidence against that assertion and wonder how closely that essay writer actually read the book.  The convent seems to be about a pleasant an ending as any of the Reed family will enjoy.

One of the most baffling choices from my point of view came with the letter.  If I were Jane, I would have written back to Uncle John on the first scrap of paper I could find.  Jane sort of puts it out of her head for the time being.

Mrs. Reed dies with no peace in her soul.

Rochester seems to be marrying Blanche or about to, but then Jane and Rochester go for a walk in the garden and Rochester, ever full of surprises, proposes to Jane.  Actually, there was a lot more to that scene, but afterward everything seems to be moving in a very happy direction for Jane at last.  However, one notices that we have about 200 pages left to go, so one assumes that something may happen between here and there aside from wedding planning.

Next week, we shall read through Chapter 27 which takes us up to page 376 in my copy.  I believe we will be finished in three more weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I agree Jane should have contacted Uncle John right away. If she'd had any spunk at all she would have packed up (even before Mrs. Reed died, cause she never cared about Jane) and gone to visit the unknown uncle. I'm excited to hear everyone input on the next set of chapters, especially the surprise in chapter 26.