Daughter, Wife, Mother... this is what I do

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Jane Eyre

With a bum ankle, I've not done much more than read this weekend. It's been a wonderful thing. I finished one of my first Literary Classics: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. While it took about 60 pages to get into and get used to the British writing, I quickly fell in love with Jane. I want to be her friend. I want to sit with her and hear her take on my world. I can't relate to her because I'm not always bursting at the seams with my thoughts and I'm MUCH more of a people pleaser, but that's precisely why I love her so much.

It's a slow build, but I couldn't put it down once I got into it. I highly recommend it for a sweet summer read.

Rather than write an entire book review, here are a few paragraphs that I enjoyed, either in circumstance, message, or writing.

*Note: I'm not giving anything away here.

"'Don't talk to me about her, John: I told you not to go near her; she is not worthy of notice; I do not choose that either you or your sisters should associate with her.'

Here, leaning over the banister, I cried out suddenly, and without at all deliberating on my words, --

'They are not fit to associate with me.' " Pg. 15

"The only marked event of the afternoon was, that... the girl... was dismissed in disgrace, by Miss Scatcherd...and sent to stand in the middle of the large school-room. The punishment seemed to me in a high degree ignominious, especially for so great a girl...I expected she would show signs of great distress and shame; but to my surprise she neither wept nor blushed: composed, though grave, she stood, the central mark of all eyes. 'How can she bear it so quietly--so firmly?' I asked of myself. 'Were I in her place, it seems to me I should wish the earth to open and swallow me up. She looks as if she were thinking of something beyond her punishment--beyond her situation: of something not round nor before her. I have heard of day-dreams--is she in a day-dream now? Her eyes are fixed on the floor, but I am sure they do not see it--her sight seems turned in, gone down into her heart: she is looking at what she can remember, I believe; not at what is really present. I wonder what sort of a girl she is--whether good or naughty.' Pg. 30

"' Then you are mistaken, and you know nothing about me, and nothing about the sort of love of which I am capable. Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear. Your mind is my treasure, and if it were broken, it would be my treasure still: if you raved, my arms should confine you, and not a strait wasitcoat--your grasp, even in fury, would have a charm for me: if you flew at me as wildly as that woman did this morning, I should receive you in an embrace, at least as fond as it would be restrictive. I should not shrink from you with disgust as I did from her: in your quiet moments you should have no watcher and no nurse but me; and I could hang over you with untiring tenderness, though you gave me no smile in return; and never weary of gazing into your eyes, though they had no longer a ray of recognition for me...'"Pg. 181

"'Does she like me?' he asked.
'Certainly; better than she likes any one else. She talks of you continually: there is no subject she enjoys so much, or touches upon so often.'
'It is very pleasant to hear this,' he said-- 'very: go on for another quarter of an hour.' And he actually took out his watch and laid it upon the table to measure the time." Pg. 224

"'...you think me, I daresay, an irreligious dog: but my heart swells with gratitude to the beneficent of God of this earth just now. He sees not as man sees, but far clearer: judges not as man judges, but far more wisely. I did wrong: I would have sullied my innocent flower--breathed guilt on its purity: the Omnipotent snatched it from me. I, in my stiff-necked rebellion, almost cursed the dispensation: instead of bending to the decree, I defied it. Divine justice pursued its course; disasters came thick on me: I was forced to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. His chastisements are mighty; and one smote me which has humbled me for ever. You know I was proud of my strength: but what is it now, when I must give it over to foreign guidance, as a child does its weakness? Of late... only of late--I began to see and acknowledge the hand of God in my doom. I began to experience remorse, repentance; the wish for reconcilement to my Maker. I began sometimes to pray: very brief prayers they were, but very sincere.'" Pg. 269-270

Such a good book. Read, enjoy and let me know what you think. :)

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