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Student 1-krist

 Was Jane witholding anything from us?

 

I was shocked at the time lapse that Jane chose to leave out/withhold from us, nearly her entire stay at Lowood School. In the beginning Jane left out no detail. As the readers we got to hear of almost every detail she found upsetting or unfair during her stay with the Reeds. We hear of the first part of her stay at Lowood, then there is this great gap of about 8 years that I can’t imagine nothing important happened. Here she dealt with the death of her best friend Helen Burns and learned to live with difficult personalities like that of Ms. Scatcherd. She became a woman here. I think she must have changed so much here but she doesn’t offer much to the reader as to how or why.

 For example, when Jane is new to the school, she witnesses Ms. Scatcherd whipping Helen Burns across the neck for being “disagreeable”. Young Jane, when talking with Helen about it, can’t even hold back her feelings saying, “If I were in your place, I should dislike her, I should resist her; if she struck me with that rod, I should get it from her hand; I should break it under her nose.” (Bronte, 66). To me, she changed a great deal from this version of herself. Later during one of her first prolonged conversations with Mr. Rochester, he cannot seem to get her to talk much, and says to her “Know that in the course of your future life you will often find yourself the involuntary confidante of your acquaintances’ secrets: people will instinctively find out as I have done, that it is not your forte to tell of yourself, but to listen while others talk of themselves.” And that she has an “innate sympathy” (Bronte, 159). 

What kind of events led to the change? To me, her younger self came off as fiery and snapped back easily, at times giving into the stereotypes the Reeds had assigned her. 18-year-old Jane seems so much more composed and less bothered, and apparently a sympathetic and good listener. She could have elaborated on that time of her life more and it does make me wonder if she was withholding or hiding things. 

 

Student 2 tin

When Mr. Rochester was first introduced the author made him seem stern, superior, and arrogant; the author made it like he did not want to speak or acknowledge Jane, Mrs. Fairfax or Adele, according to Chapter 13, which states “Mr. Rochester must have been aware of the entrance of Mrs. Fairfax and myself; but it appeared he was not in the mood to notice us, for he never lifted his head as we approached.” (Bronte 141). Reading forward you can see that Mr. Rochester started to grow fond of Jane; he began to ask if she reads books (144) and if she can play the piano and gave her a compliment on her playing (146). Mr. Rochester, however, did seem to have no regard for the other ladies in the novel. He did express excitement and told Jane he was not too fond of little children and their “lisp”. After asking for Jane he said “‘Ah! well, come forward, be seated here’ He drew a chair of his own. ‘I am not fond of the prattle of children,’ he continued; ‘for, old bachelor as I am, I have no pleasant associations connected with their lisp.” (Bronte 152). He definitely shows that he does not care for children and that he enjoys getting to know Jane. He is not so much arrogant towards women, it comes off he likes women that is older and bright. His actions are very much consistent to what he has been saying about them. In my opinion, he is a little harsh when it comes to the others; he can at least speak to them and then resume his conversations with Jane, but he should not make them feel unwanted or disliked. Mr. Rochester does view women and children in a misogynistic way. He calls Adele a brat and the only reason he deals with Mrs. Fairfax is because she is wedded or was wedded to one. “it won’t do to neglect her she is a Fairfax, or wed to one” (Bronte 152).