2010-08-10

Jane Eyre

I thought I'd read Jane Eyre because my friend has written a book on it. I'll own to not having read a single Bronte.


One observation; there are a lot of long silences. There's a Borat sketch where he says, 'there will now be a 10 minute silence'. Of course, this is a very long time to be silent. Normally it's a two minute silence. In Jane Eyre there are lots of really long silences. When another author would say there was moment's pause, Charlotte Bronte has a interval of several minutes! Check if you don't believe me. The most egregious instance is when there is the objection to the marriage, and Rochester pauses for 15 minutes while speaking :-0

I put this to my friend, and she said it's because when the Brontes were growing up, they weren't allowed to speak at mealtimes, so silences were ingrained in their lives. Interesting.

When Jane is trying to find Rochester, she avoids immediately asking the first person who could tell her, saying, 'To prolong doubt is to prolong hope'. So true.

I'm sure whole Phds have been devoted to Jane's relationship to nature. It's anthropomorphic and idealized. I burst out laughing when she said in all seriousness that, 'birds were faithful to their mates'. When I see wildlife, I see, in Hobbes' words, 'a war of all against all', a pitiless, endless battle.

I want to read Wuthering Heights now. But really I'd like to read Anne Bronte's story of life as a governess, being tormented by those she was employed to teach.

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