Monday, September 16, 2013

SeptembEyre, Chapters 12-21

Spoilers ahead! Just beware!

Oooh, look at Charlotte Bronte challenging gender roles and norms! It's fun to see Jane grow and change, and in this section we really dig into her life at Thornfield. This novel follows her chronologically from childhood to adulthood and through some specific life changes. We have a bildungsroman on our hands, kids, and those are traditionally stories about male protagonists. I think ole Char is challenging gender norms in her plot and her form. Love that!

Beyond the formalistic stuff, I love Jane all the more for her interactions with Rochester at the beginning of this section. Once they sit down by the fire together it's a battle of sharp tongues, I tell ya. She is brutally honest right down to telling Mr. R. he's not terribly attractive. That bit cracked me up.

I do get a wee (ok, more than a wee) tad annoyed with Rochester for his treatment of Adele. He took her on (mirrors Jane's "adoption"), so he should treat her like less of a scab.

I also wanted to kick Rochester in the crotch over the course of his section for flirting with Blanche Ingram in front of Jane when he knows that she's beginning to have feelings for him. Though, admittedly, without this bit of teasing and game-playin' we would've had a much shorter novel and a lot less tension.

And that gypsy disguise? For reals? I rolled my eyes a bit.

I'm still loving the book even though I want to slap some of them from time to time. How about you? 


34 comments:

  1. I LOVED the gypsy scene. The first time I read that, I was laughing so hard. I think I was far in love with Rochester at that point, haha! :D

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    1. It was a hoot. I need to go back and read it again because I assume I missed some things since I wasn't expecting Rochester to be dressed as a gypsy. lol

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  2. Great recap! This section is such a wild ride - so much happens. I roll my eyes at Rochester occasionally (like his "Oh, Jane, you don't want someone like me, I'm baaaaaaaad!") but I tend to make allowances for him because despite his flaws and occasionally jerk tendencies, he's just so darn loveable.

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    1. LOL, there were moments I wanted to kick him in the crotch, but I know that he redeems himself. Finished the book this weekend.

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  3. I read this for the first time in fourth grade, so the gypsy bit flew right past me, and I had to read it a couple of times. But once I got it, even though it's a bit unbelievable, I loved it.

    Love their battle of wits and even his intent to determine Jane's true feeling by flirting with Blanche. Their slow buildup is, to me, incredibly romantic. It's what makes the heartbreak so much worse.

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    1. I need to re-read the gypsy bit. I might like it better, because as Amanda mentioned, it is quite telling, even if it made me eye-rolly.

      Definitely love the battle of wits. It keeps things so fresh. His Blanche flirtings made me want to kick him in the crotch a bit. It did give him the insight he needed, but ugh. Such a GAME PLAYER. lol

      By the time I finished and it came to its conclusion I was just in tears and loved everyone. But more on that in coming weeks. lol

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  4. "Once they sit down by the fire together it's a battle of sharp tongues .." Oh yeah! I love the push/pull of their interactions. And I referenced your 'kick in the crotch' tweet in my post because it was so hilarious and I felt the exact same way. I'm so jealous you're done - I'm dying to know EVERYTHING!! LOL

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    1. I just commented on your post and saw the link to my crotch comment. Thank you for the shout out!!! lol

      I can't wait to get further along and discuss because ALL THE FEELS.

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    2. I can't wait to catch up because I want to know about all the feels!

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  5. Up until the gypsy part, you mostly see the chip on Rochester's shoulder. He got the shaft by his own family and is dealing with more than anyone else, reader and other characters in the book, can possibly know. He has responsibilities that were denied him before and are now kind of thrust upon him and it wears on him, constantly. But, that's not who he is, that's how he reacts to a lifetime of crap he had to deal with. Rochester in drag, playing tricks on his guests and his dry sense of humor and unflagging intellect and his wonder at beauty when he finds it in places he doesn't expect, that's my Rochester!!!

    On a non gypsy note, How much is Charlotte Bronte every woman's hero here. While I'm a little surprised that Jane could feel this way, with the sheltered decade she'd just spent, I still cheer when I read her awesome speech about equality between the sexes.

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    1. True that. I get a better picture of Rochester's motivations now that I'm finished with the book (reader aheader), but he looked like a game-playing skank on several occasions. And in some compromising situations, he still does on the other side of this book. But for the most part I made peace with his behavior.

      That is one HECK of an equality speech.

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    2. I actually agree with you about Rochester, BUT, to play devil's advocate for the sake of discussion, Jane hasn't had the easiest cards dealt to her and she's not quite as trying as Rochester.

      Though, like you, I sort of fell for Rochester in drag playing tricks on his guests and generally being witty. He's just so... Rochester-y.

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  6. "Once they sit down by the fire together it's a battle of sharp tongues, I tell ya. She is brutally honest right down to telling Mr. R. he's not terribly attractive. That bit cracked me up."

    Agreed! Those little fireside chats were always a delight to read :) I love Jane's honesty and earnestness. - Maggie @ An American in France

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  7. LOL aw, Mr. R is just desperate to know what Jane is feeling for him! I mean, first he thinks, oh I'll bring that Blanche here and flirt with her, and Jane doesn't even talk to him, so he thinks I'll dress up like a Gypsy (really wish I knew what inspired Charlotte Bronte to create that scenario!) and still he says more than Jane does, so he finally decides to make her think she has to leave and it works. Sorry, I'm just so amused by Rochester's antics, but you are right really, he doesn't think about what Jane might be going through!

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    1. LOL, yes I wish I knew what gave her that idea, too. She's not short of humor, I'll give ole Charlotte that. Rochester is most certainly full of antics, and I suppose he wouldn't put Jane through such emotional turbulence if he didn't think she could take it. I'm surprised SHE didn't kick him in the crotch before it was all said and done.

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  8. I think I might be willing to forgive Rochester's gypsy game playing for the simple fact that he's a man willing to dress in drag. More genderbending - love it!

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    1. LOL, excellent point!!!

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    2. Oooh, I hadn't even though of that aspect of it. *Trots off to read the entire scene for a third time. (Just as soon as I finish catching up on everyone's posts!)

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  9. I love the interactions between Jane and Rochester. It took me a bit to realize they were seriously flirting (Because I am clueless? Or maybe bad at flirting? Sad thoughts, both.), but even then I loved the banter.

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    1. LOL, their kind of flirting may not be our kind of flirting. Verbal jabbing is more like it.

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  10. Rochester is kind of a dick at the beginning. He gets taken down a few pegs, never you fear.

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    1. Well put! Dickish for sure. And yes, I finished the book this weekend. I forgive all. LOL

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  11. Oh yeah! All of what I love about Jane Eyre! The drama of real life in those times and our times. I think that's why it's one of my favorite books. Glad you're enjoying!

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    1. Yes, yes! Love the drama. Such a great book!

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  12. In high school, my sister and I enjoyed the dialogue of the gypsy scene so much, we attempted to memorize the dialogue of that scene. And then one person would be Jane and the other would be Mr.Rochester/Gypsy and we'd volley it back and forth to each other while walking to school. Mr. Rochester kind of gets windy at the end though, so that's usually where we faltered in the memorization department.

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    1. Could you each of you do both of the parts? That's crazy! The gypsy scene has never really stood out to me for some reason. In fact, I completely forgot about it, so I got to rediscover it was Rochester this time!

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    2. We did learn both parts, so we could take turns being Jane or being Mr. Rochester. I'm not sure why that scene stuck out to us so much.

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  13. Have you read Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea? It's Bertha's side of the story. I think it was intended to vilify Rochester more, but I still felt extremely sorry for him. The man really got the short end of the stick in his family. Maybe that's why he and Jane clicked.

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  14. "Once they sit down by the fire together it's a battle of sharp tongues, I tell ya. She is brutally honest right down to telling Mr. R. he's not terribly attractive. That bit cracked me up."

    I love this too!

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  15. Rochester is an interesting dude. I do feel bad about some of his treatments of Adele, but at the same time, I can't get too mad about it because he clearly went above and beyond in caring for her (pretty sure she wasn't his and all). And he certainly treats her better than Miss Ingram does; I do wish he'd stand up for her a bit.

    I also think a lot of his flirting and the whole gypsy scene is him testing Blanche and Jane. He doesn't really love Blanche, but he wants to be sure of his options. As the gypsy he tells Blanche lies about his fortune to test her commitment to him and I think he kind of does the same thing with Jane. (Is he telling her she needs to assert herself more with him? If that's the case, that's quite progressive!)

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  16. wait, spoilers as in past the part that we're supposed to be reading to? just incase i won't read this one till i'm finished

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