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Lecture 4

ENGLISH 2K06 Lecture 4: English 2K06 - Lecture 4 & 5 - Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

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McMaster University
Juliette Merritt

Jane Eyre Lectures 2 and 3 Lecture 2 • Miss Temple and Helen Burns are models for Jane • Helen Burns o They are very different, Jane is drawn to her o Is aware that Helen sees the world through different eyes o Jane freaks out when Helen is punished but Helen submits (follows a doctrine) o Jane says that you should punish those who put you down o Helen – Christian view “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) o Helen is the model for Christian self denial o Jane cannot accept this o Eternity – Helen’s home o Jane is filled with desire – wants love, acceptance, personal integrity o Rasalas is the book that Helen is reading – represents Helen ▪ Another book within a book ▪ About a prince who is trying to figure out his life ▪ Relinquished earthly desire – like Helen o In her scheme, time on earth is merely waiting o So contrary to Jane’s desires o Christian resignation on one side (Helen) – romantic embrace of individual rights, freedom, outrage against injustice (Jane) • Jane has been transformed from her experience at Lowood • Feelings have been calmed through the loss of Helen, as well as from Miss. Temple • Old desires suddenly reappear – becomes restless • Self discipline Jane acquired at Lowood left when Miss. Temple left • Name of Rochester’s estate is significant • Thornfield – a field of thorns for Jane • Her initial impression conveys Jane’s desire for domesticity, comfort and security – appeals to her (a place in a home rather than an institution) • Kind housekeeper, fire (warmth), cat • Reassuring but misleading introduction – she thinks Miss Fairfax is her boss • She is treated like a guest, not a servant • She is pleased • Thornfield – security and entrapment • Women shouldn’t be calm all the time – women feel the same as men feel • 99 – ascending moon that represents her longing to move beyond the confines of her gender and class • Rochester marks a change • Rochester is seen as the figure of the romantic hero • Rochester o Brooding o Mysterious/secrets o Family conflict o Father/son conflict (fraud) – marriage and money o Inherits Thornfield after his brother dies o Troubled o Passionate: sensuality o Wants love, happiness o He feels that he is imprisoned by his marriage with Bertha o Rebellious o Wants to exist outside society o Tries to be authoritative over Jane o Gypsy masquerade – sees how much he can get away with o Calls Jane “singular” – independent, not tied down by convention and rules o Issue of master and servant – she is his servant o How submissive will she be? Can Rochester persuade her into a relationship o Jane feels stimulated by him, like she is understood for the first time o Garden scene – place of seduction o A crisis arises in the garden o Rochester tells Jane that he has a “queer” feeling about her o Jane has always wanted to travel the world, but she refuses to go to Ireland
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