Can't sleep again. And on the night we lose an hour! That's just great. And I'll be getting up somewhat early to go to St. Thomas with my brother and his wife. This isn't good. Well, God help me.
I just finished Jane Eyre. Ever read it? Oh, man, is it good. I finished it on the plane ride to Houston a few weeks ago. I cried like a baby. I'm pretty sure Charlotte Bronte is my new favorite writer. She writes a heroine of such a different nature, mysterious, hardly beautiful, frank, smart, strange. But not without passion. Filled with passion that leads her to abnormal or rather, inappropriate? (at least to the mid-19th century reader), reactions and circumstances. But not without faith, virtue. Not without love. But also not without reason. And the two are at battle within her. Just listen to this:
(Here Jane talks to herself of her feelings for Mr. Rochester)
"Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own picture, faithfully; without softening one defect: omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, 'Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.'
Afterwards, take a piece of smooth ivory...take your palette, mix your freshest, finest, clearest tints; choose your most delicate camel-hair pencils; delineate carefully the loveliest face you can imagine; paint it in your softest shades and sweetest hues, according to the description given by Mrs. Fairfax of Blanche Ingram: remember raven ringlets, the oriental eye....No sentiment! No regret! I will endure only sense and resolution.... Omit neither diamond ring nor gold bracelet...call it 'Blanche, an accomplished lady of rank.'
Whenever, in future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two pictures and compare them; say, 'Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady's love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indigent and insignificant plebiean?"
Charlotte Bronte so clearly and magnificently paints the inside of this woman's soul. Her yearning heart's desire for what she feels she cannot and will not have, and her battle to reason herself away from unrequited love.
But Jane is not a sad character. She is strong. Such will power. Such grace!
Here Jane meets a gypsy...a fortune teller, of whom she has no faith:
"Well, and you want your fortune told?' she (the fortune teller) said in a voice as decided as her glance, as harsh as her features.
"I don't care about it, mother; you may please yourself; but I ought to warn you, I have no faith."
"It's like your impudence to say so; I expected it of you; I heard it in your step as you crossed the threshold."
"Did you: You've a quick ear."
"I have; and a quick eye, and a quick brain."
"You need them all in your trade."
"I do; especially when I 've customers like you to deal with. Why don't you tremble?"
"I'm not cold."
"Why don't you turn pale?"
"I am not sick."
"Why don't you consult my art?"
"I'm not silly."
Ha! I love it. I love this character. I haven't been drawn to British female authors in the past. I've tried reading Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and I can't finish them. I guess I get bored. (I did like Emma.) But this is a league of its own.
Anyone read her sister, Emily Bronte? Wuthering Heights? Should I read it?