Monday, September 30, 2013

SeptembEyre, Chapters 30-End

SPOILERS EVERYWHERE! Run while you can!

How many of you missed the Thornhill atmosphere in this section? I know I sure did, especially in the beginning. I was terribly relieved that St. John, Mary, and Diana took Jane in off their doorstep in her greatest hour of need, but it was also nice to see Jane make her way on her own through their friendship and her employment as the school mistress. She was not dependent on a romantic involvement to take care of herself.

I wasn't sure what to make of the serious and brooding St. John at first. I vacillated between liking him and really not. His severity was grating. In the beginning I didn't mind so much simply because it seemed he liked Jane and wanted to push her to be the best she could be. Though when she refused his offer of marriage in favor of following her own conscience and level head, I wanted to smack him for his ugly behavior and scathing words. What a self-righteous ass.

This section was quite twisty in its relationships with the Rivers family, and also with the revelations and Jane's newfound fortune. I let out a squeal and an OMG when St. John laid out his hand and told Jane her own story and revealed that the mutual uncle had given his fortune to Jane. Maybe I should've seen it coming, but I so DID NOT.

I was slightly surprised that Jane abandoned her post as the school mistress. I really thought she would stay the course to assuage her own boredom, but I suppose it's just a sign of her restlessness and her need to challenge herself intellectually that she left her "scholars," decided to visit them once per week instead of teaching full-time, and pursued her own interests and comfort as an independent woman.

It was in getting to know St. John that I really let all of Rochester's crap go. He's truly a foil to Rochester. While Rochester played his dating games to figure out whether Jane returned his feelings, it was all in the name of genuine affection. St. John is cold and calculating in his judgement and expectations. Rochester is obviously a far better choice and when Jane is reunited with him I cried all the tears and felt all the feels.

It really was in dealing with St. John that I thought Jane might buckle and go against her own feelings of rightness for the first time.

I was tempted to be disappointed that Jane only found true and abiding happiness through marriage. It seems slightly at odds with the rest of the novel's stance. However, her relationship with Rochester seems spirited but somewhat tempered through his new home at Ferndean, as well as his injuries. Jane also knows her mind the best she's known it throughout the novel because she finally attained her autonomy before returning to Rochester.

I loved this novel. Loved loved loved it! And It's one I will most definitely re-read. 




26 comments:

  1. such a great point about not fully forgiving rochester until we had to bare the self righteous and in my opinion completely self gratifying st john, it makes me feel a little better about having to endure his character for so long at the end of the book

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    1. St. John was an uber mess, wasn't he? Ugh! Well played, Charlotte Bronte. Well played.

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  2. Yay, I'm glad you liked it! It's my favorite. It had to have a romantic ending. I think what made it unique is that Jane chooses for herself. Maybe he's not the best choice but he's her choice.

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    1. It did have to have one. Think of how many people would've thrown themselves out of the clock tower if it didn't. If they endured ALL THE THINGS with no romantic ending. I too would've been peeved.

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    2. Agreed on the choice - it wouldn't have felt as happy if Jane had been left with no choice, really, but to marry Rochester, but because she got to choose? Swoon. How romantic.

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  3. YEA!!! So glad you loved it so much, as I've loved it for so many years. I love what you say about St. John being Rochester's foil and how Jane could have gone against herself. It would have been relatively easy. She would have had a life full of value in the work she would have done. But she chooses a chance at happiness. And I absolutely ADORE the fact that regardless of what's gone on, Rochester and Jane still have the biting sarcasm in their relationship tempered by their love for one another.

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    1. Yay! And indeed, I was very happy that they still maintained their wit and sarcasm. And I'm glad Jane chose with a clear head and without need of support. Good stuff!

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    2. I loved that biting sarcasm at the end as well!! It had me laughing out loud :) - Maggie @ An American in France

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  4. I think we needed St. John to love Rochester. I'm shocked you didn't see the big relationship reveal coming - lol! I felt like Bronte was being so overt with her foreshadowing, but perhaps that's just my opinion since I already knew. Also, I forgive Jane's marriage and ultimate happiness in finding a husband. I think Jane and Rochester are far more equivalent by the book's end and Jane's decisions are made knowing full and well she doesn't have to make them. She's an independently wealthy woman who is now free to marry out of love and desire. Which is what we all aspire to - men and women (at least I think so).

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    1. Right? Had to have it. And I might've seen it if I wasn't reading so dang fast at that point. lol And yes re: love and desire. That's the goal!

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  5. Great recap of the last section! I agree with you that St. John is a perfect foil to Rochester, and also a "self-righteous ass." (YES, to all of that.) St. John is the only topic where I don't see eye to eye with Jane - she may not want to marry him, but she does like and respect the guy, whereas I find it hard to like and respect anyone as obnoxious as he is. But I think that this period, in which Jane comes into her own as an independent woman (not only because she inherits money, but also because she learns that she can support herself and make her own way in the world) is essential for her to marry Rochester and be truly his equal. And I think that ultimately, Jane wouldn't have a sustaining love with anyone who was not her equal. Hurray for Mr. and Mrs. Rochester!

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    1. Yeah, I found it very hard to like and respect him as well. I more or less just wanted to drop kick him!

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  6. This makes me so happy! Jane is one of my favorites and I had the same thoughts about the ending- she's only happy when married?! Whaaaat? But then I was like, "No, Katie. It's good. Jane knew she could stand on her own, but she decided to let love in." If that's not having it all, I don't know what is. Three cheers for Jane!

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    1. Jane is super awesome. I gotta admit. LOL and yes, I had the same reaction re: "No, Katie. It's good." I agree that it is. It just stuck in my craw at first.

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  7. Ugh, I disliked St. John the entire time, but I also let out a squeal when he recited Jane's story! I admit I was a little suspicious after he ripped off the paper, but I still liked that scene a lot.

    I'm so happy that you've forgiven all of Mr. Rochester's crap, and that you were able to "cry all the tears and feel all the feels" in regards to his and Jane's reunion! I was in the same boat with you ;) - Maggie @ An American in France

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    1. Yeah, he was a tool. And I squealed at the same moment! lol Such a good book!

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  8. I loved Rochester without St John but I did come to love him more after St John ;-)

    While I felt the ending was a bit 'neat' I had no problem with Jane finding happiness through marriage to Rochester. I think the key is not simply marriage, but marriage to Rochester. This reminds of a quote from my one of my romances "I do need you, because I love you and you make me happy. I can live my life just fine on my own, but it will be so much better if I live it with you." (Shannon Stacey [All He Ever Needed])

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    1. Yeah, it was just nice to have that counterpoint to enhance Rochester's awesomeness.

      And indeed I can agree with you about marriage to Rochester being the key. Not just marriage. If she'd married St. John, what a trainwreck!

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  9. I really enjoy Jane Eyre, so I'm delighted that you ended up loving it too. I like Jane, and the whole gothic atmosphere is so much fun. Rochester is both cad and her true love - because I think Jane always loved him, but his lies and not trusting her were too much to bear (as they should be). I think her test is then, when she runs from him, her emotional test. Her intellectual test to be her own woman comes with St John, who is so clever - and so cold. It's quite a novel, isn't it?

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    1. It was a lot of fun, such great characters, and I rooted for them in a way that I don't always in classics. I felt very sucked into the story. Quite a novel indeed!

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  10. Great recap Andi! I don't think I saw the whole cousin thing either when I first read the book - but as you said, it may be because I was reading so fast as well! I'm so glad that you loved this book! Thank you for writing such entertaining recaps!

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Charlene! Glad to have read this with such a fun group.

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  11. I didn't dislike Rochester (I think) as much as you did from the beginning, but if I needed any nudge to realize Rochester really wasn't so bad, it was St. John and all his creepitude. DUDE. I hated that guy.

    Thanks for joining the readalong - I loved you posts!

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    1. He was SUCH a tool. Ugh! Thanks for hosting, Kerry! So much fun!

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  12. Yea! One of my faves. I disliked the cold St. John immensely but agree with your point that he was a perfect foil for Rochester. I hadn't looked at him like that before.

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  13. This post quite made me want to reread Jane Eyre. It's been a while.

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