Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Miss Eyre

How can I dedicate a post to Swiss Family Robinson (a book I loved till it doubled in length and improbability) when such a book as Jane Eyre now joins my "finished reading" list. My only regret? That I had gone through it so quickly. If you could only see the hard copy of my book you would see how many pages are folded over, indicating where my favorite quotes lay hidden. From some of those pages I will give an excerpt, in hopes of sharing the details of such a simple, unlikely and epic character who gives reality such inspiration.


"Anybody may blame me who likes, when I add further, that, now and then, when I took a walk by myself in the grounds; when I went down to the gates and looked through them along the road; ... I climbed the three staircases, raised the trap-door of the attic, and having reached the leads, looked out afar over sequestered field and hill, and along dim sky-line -- that then I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen; that then I desired more of practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach. I valued what was good in Mrs. Fairfax and what was good in Adele; but I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold.
Who blames me? Many, no doubt; and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it: restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it-and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended -a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. ... - to slip again over my faculties the viewless fetters of an uniform and too still existence; of an existence whose very privileges of security and ease I was becoming incapable of appreciating. What good it would have done me at that time to have been tossed in the storms of an uncertain struggling life, and to have been taught by rough and bitter experience to long for the calm amidst which I now repined!"

After encountering Mr. Rochester for the first time in the woods...

"I took up my muff and walked on. The incident occurred and was gone for me: it was an incident of no moment, no romance, no interest, in a sense; yet it marked with change one single hour of a monotonous life. My help had been needed and claimed; I had given it: I was pleased to have done something; trivial, transitory though the deed was, it was yet an active thing, and I was weary of an existence all passive. The new face, too, was like a new picture introduced to the gallery of memory; and it was dissimilar to all the others hanging there: firstly, because it was masculine; and, secondly, because it was dark, strong and stern. I had it still before me when I entered Hay, and slipped the letter into the post-office; I saw it as I walked fast down hill all the way home. when I came to the stile, I stopped a minute, looked round and listened, with an idea that  a horse's hoofs might ring on the causeway again, and that a rider in a cloak, and a Gytrash-like Newfoundland dog, might be again apparent: I saw only the hedge and a pollard willow before me, rising up still and straight to meet the moonbeams; I heard only the faintest waft of wind roaming fitful among the trees round Thornfield, a mile distant; and when I glanced down on the direction of the murmur, my eye, traversing the hall-front, caught a light kindling in a window: it reminded me that I was late, and I hurried on."

-exerpt from Chapter 12

Jane Eyre has certainly been my friend these past short weeks and I am sorry that I am not able to journey any further with her. And how could I not! For she addressed me so frequently in the sharing of her heart; "dear reader". How considerate :) But another factor played in me feeling the growth of friendship with my heart and another's, for this book has tied me to its other friends; my grandmother, my mom, Mary and my sisters (even if all of them have not read it I saw some Jane in each of them). I am happy to be able to gush over the well loved paragraphs with these women :).

To my own reader, read this book and join my opinion and the opinion of the women I listed that the book is better than all the movie versions combined. 

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