Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chapter 32: Poor Miss Oliver!

You remember Jane's "par parenthese" from back in Chapter 12? She's not overly fond of children, and she's certainly not about to flatter them. But she's beginning to find some admirable qualities among her new pupils; they are no longer (at least not all of them) "hopelessly dull."

Jane's settling into her village existence, and even enjoying it on some level -- though she's very clear about the fact that she is totally not yet over Rochester.

Also of interest: Miss Oliver starts hanging out with Jane, who finds her not particularly interesting, but not bad company either. And she knows that she's not the primary draw: Rosamond Oliver has a thing for St. John Rivers, but he's fully focused on his becoming-a-missionary plan. Jane tries to meddle a bit and get him to admit that he has a bit of a thing for Miss Oliver too, but St. John is the epitome of self-control.

Seriously, self-control, or something. How can you not love a man who responds thus to hearing that the beautiful rich woman finds him appealing?
"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.
And I have to grant St. John this: he's one of the most self-aware characters in the book.
"Know me to be what I am—a cold hard man."
*cough*Edward Cullen*cough*

However (foreshadowing ahoy!), he does have some skill in concealment:
I saw him dexterously tear a narrow slip from the margin. It disappeared in his glove; and, with one hasty nod and "good-afternoon," he vanished.

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