Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chapter 22: Wouldn't this be better with an Alan Menken score?

We begin this chapter with a line that (at least to me) seems like an allusion to Beauty and the Beast:
Mr. Rochester had given me but one week’s leave of absence: yet a month elapsed before I quitted Gateshead.
Can't you just picture the ring turning on her finger, or Robby Benson gazing despondently into the magic mirror? No? Just me? Okay then.

Jane extends her stay at Gateshead because she's being good to her worthless cousins, and giving Bronte the opportunity to tie up all loose ends with the Reed family -- Eliza ends up in a convent, we learn, and Georgiana marries well, and Jane's done with them.

A brief aside as we follow Jane back to Thornfield, now -- this, people, is metaphor:
And then I strangled a new-born agony—a deformed thing which I could not persuade myself to own and rear—and ran on.
We switch back to the stage-setting present tense as Jane narrates her approach, which brings her face-to-face with Rochester, who's sitting on the stile, blocking her path.

And while I'm so not willing to overlook the way Rochester's messing with Jane here, as he starts talking to her about the future Mrs. Rochester -- by which Jane assumes he means Blanche, of course -- I do have to smile at this exchange:
"Tell me now, fairy as you are—can’t you give me a charm, or a philter, or something of that sort, to make me a handsome man?"

"It would be past the power of magic, sir"
You tell him, Jane.

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