Reader, it’s Jane Eyre – Crash Course Literature 207

Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course
Literature, and today we’re going to be talking about Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.”
It’s a classic! It says so right on the spine. Mr. Green! Mr. Green!
You sound like Dirty Harry. Yup, I got a cold, Me From the Past. Plus, it was just kind of a tubercular era, so I thought I
would try to capture it by bringing you my husky voice. Mr. Green! Mr. Green!
You sound like the voice of Death Itself. You know what, Me From the Past? I know that
you skipped school when you skinned your knee, but some of us are committed to learning. So “Jane Eyre” is full of wisdom, but
here’s an important lesson, all you Crash Course viewers: If any of you decide to embark
on a career as a governess and you end up, like, working for a mysterious stranger at
an isolated house tutoring his sexually precocious illegitimate daughter and this mysterious
employer proposes marriage, take a walk up to the attic. Because it is quite likely that
you are going to find an insane syphilitic arsonist spouse locked up there. And that’s
going to be bad for your relationship. [Theme Music] So “Jane Eyre” was one of the great successes and scandals of the Victorian age, and as
soon as it was published in 1847, people began trying to identify the author who wrote under
the alias Currer Bell. Ugly men of fashion gave themselves “Rochester
airs,” ladies adopted “Jane Eyre graces.” Some critics decried the novel as dangerous and
anti-religious owing to its outspoken heroine. But no less a reader than Queen Victoria called it, “really a wonderful book, very peculiar in
parts, but so powerfully and admirably written.” Stan, I can’t believe you gave
Queen Victoria that voice. It’s totally unfair to her.
She was a lovely monarch! So Charlotte Brontë was born in 1816 into
a typical English family, except that pretty much everyone was a literary genius and died
tragically young from tuberculosis and opium and repressed desire. You know, it was Victorian
England. As a child, Charlotte Brontë was sent away
to school with three of her sisters, two of whom died while in attendance. So Brontë
returned home and she and her surviving siblings created the elaborate fictional worlds of
Gondal and Angria, full of intrigue and passion and ridiculous names. Basically Harry Potter.
No, it wasn’t really like Harry Potter. It was more like all that extra Lord of the
Rings stuff, you know, like the Elvish dictionaries. Then Brontë became a schoolteacher and eventually
a governess, experiences that she drew on while writing “Jane Eyre,” which she published
just after her sister Emily brought out “Wuthering Heights” and just before her sister Anne
published “Agnes Grey,” all under male pseudonyms of course.
Lest you think all Brontës were brilliant, for the record, their brother Patrick was
a terrible writer. I feel a little bad saying that because he died of tuberculosis and opium
overdose when he was just 31, but he had no potential.
Anyway, Charlotte’s pseudonym was Currer Bell and as she wrote to the novelist Elizabeth
Gaskell, she felt that the alias gave her daring. If she relinquished it, she said,
“strength and courage would leave her and she should ever after shrink from writing
the plain truth.” Brontë lived long enough to publish three
more books and get married before dying at the age of 38 from tuberculosis and complications
associated with pregnancy. Did everyone have tuberculosis in 19th century England?
So, what actually happens in the story? Well, let’s go to the Thought Bubble:
Sad orphan Jane Eyre is raised by her mean aunt, who neither likes nor loves her. Jane
leaves this miserable situation for a charity school (very much like the one that Brontë
attended) at which many of the girls die of typhus. She completes her schooling, teaches
at the school for a while, and then decides she wants a wider experience of the world,
so she takes a job as governess at Thornfield Hall, the country estate of the gentleman
Mr. Rochester. Despite many red flags, including an episode in which Mr. Rochester disguises
himself as a fortune telling gypsy woman in an attempt to find out how Jane feels about
him, they fall in love Just when they’re about to marry. Jane learns
that Mr. Rochester is actually already married — to an insane woman that he keeps locked
in the attic. Jane flees and after nearly dying from cold and hunger, she’s rescued
by the Rivers siblings who conveniently turn out to be her long lost cousins. She’s at
the point of being bullied into marrying one of these cousins when she senses that Mr.
Rochester calling her. He lost an eye and a hand when his wife burned down Thornfield
Hall, but on the upside, his wife died in the fire, so he is now an eligible bachelor.
Jane is free to marry him and his sight is miraculously restored, and everyone not already
dead lives happily ever after. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Now that plot summary
may not make it sound like a terribly sophisticated novel, but in fact, I think it’s one of the most
sophisticated novels of the 19th century. Like as with a lot of great works of literature, it’s pretty hard to assign “Jane Eyre”
to just one genre. I mean, to get things off to a complicated start, the subtitle calls
the book an autobiography. But clearly it isn’t, because it has an author’s name
that isn’t Jane Eyre. But then again, in a more abstract sense,
maybe it is. Like one of the book’s first admirers, George Henry Lewes wrote, “It
is an autobiography, — not, perhaps, in the naked facts and circumstances, but in
the actual suffering and experience—it is soul speaking to soul; it’s an utterance
from the depths of a struggling, suffering, much- enduring spirit.”
Lewes’s companion, the novelist George Eliot (another female writer who used a male name)
described Brontë almost exactly as Brontë would describe Jane Eyre, as “a little,
plain, provincial, sickly-looking old maid. Yet what passion, what fire in her!”
And that really gets at something at the heart of “Jane Eyre,” like people assume that
women who are plain and provincial and sickly-looking didn’t have the rich inner lives and the
fire and the passion that we find in Jane Eyre. And that’s part of what made the novel so
revolutionary and so popular with female readers. I mean, any reader who learns even a little of Brontë’s biography will notice a lot of overlap between her experiences and Jane Eyre’s, like, particularly in the
descriptions of Jane’s time at the charity school and also her sense of the intermediate position
between servant and lady that a governess occupies. But whether you choose to read “Jane Eyre” as a fictionalized autobiography, it is certainly a great bildungsroman. A bildungsroman is a fancy German term that we use to
describe a novel about a young person’s education or coming of age.
So at the beginning of the book, Jane has no education and is punished whenever she
tries to think for herself or defend her independence. But then in each subsequent section of the
novel—the school, Thornfield, her escape, her return —Jane learns something that helps her
make her way in the world and to assert herself. And it’s only at the end of the novel, when
she can approach Mr. Rochester as an equal partner rather than a dependent, her education
is complete. “Jane Eyre,” like Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,”
borrows from the traditions of the Romantic and gothic novels, like from Romanticism we
get the radical focus on the individual and some of Jane’s interest in dreams and intuition
and the supernatural. And from the gothic tradition, we get the
fun page-turner stuff: the mysterious house with the person you don’t expect to be there,
the mad wife, the arson, the stabbing, the shock of the interrupted marriage ceremony.
These days we associate so-called “genre novels” with a lack of seriousness, but
what makes “Jane Eyre” special is its seriousness and its psychological realism.
It’s also, and I think this is something that goes underappreciated a lot when we talk about
books, really good writing sentence to sentence. I mean, this book came out more than 160 years ago but the writing is so clear and so precise that it often feels contemporary. The poet and critic Adrienne Rich wrote of
“Jane Eyre,” “It takes its place…between the realm of the given, that which is changeable
by human activity, and the realm of the fated, that which lies outside human control: between
realism and poetry.” And we noted earlier how for most of the novel,
Jane is between servant and lady, Mr. Rochester is between married and unmarried, and Bertha,
the mad woman in the attic, is portrayed as being between an animal and human.
So all kind of like crazy – oh it must be time for the open letter.
Oh look, it’s Funshine Bear. We can’t all be as happy as you are, buddy. An open
letter to Psychotropic Drugs. Dear Psychotropic Drugs, there’s this whole
thing about how, like, artists need to be mentally ill and, need to, like, wallow in
their illness in order to create things. But when I read about the way that mental
illness was dealt with in Victorian England, I feel profoundly grateful to you.
In the end, Psychotropic Drugs, you don’t make me less creative, you make it possible
for me to create. Long story short, Psychotropic Drugs, I am
very grateful that I don’t live in a 19th century English attic. Best wishes, John Green.
Crazy, horrifying, very gothic things keep happening to Jane, but she reacts to most
of them in her level-headed governess way. Someone tries to burn Mr. Rochester in his
bed? Someone bites his houseguest? She stops to ask herself, “What crime was this that
lived incarnate in this sequestered mansion, and could neither be expelled nor subdued
by the owner?—what mystery, that broke out now in fire and now in blood, at the deadest
hours of night?” Jane has these terrible disturbing dreams
the night before her wedding and a horrible lady monster thing appears in her room and
rips her bridal veil in two? But Jane manages to just put it all aside, and goes through
with the ceremony. It’s not until a man stands up in church
and reads out a notarized document explaining everything that Jane admits there’s definitely
something suspicious going on. And it takes her another day to decide to leave Thornfield.
So we know that “Jane Eyre” isn’t a detective novel, right? Let’s just take
a moment to acknowledge that while Jane is a feisty and very appealing heroine, she is
no Sherlock. So why does Jane keep failing to recognize
what seems to the reader so obvious? Well, if you’ve ever been in love, then you might
have noticed you have an astonishing ability to ignore red flags.
For instance, Meredith used to date a ginger (red flag #1), who kept hitting on her roommate
(red flag #2), and eventually, of course, you know, it happened.
By “it,” I of course mean that he burned her bed.
I’m sorry gingers, that was a cheap joke, but I do dislike Meredith’s ex-boyfriend.
Anyway, more importantly than any of that, in the middle of the novel, Jane’s education
is still ongoing. She hasn’t yet achieved financial independence or independent thought,
she hasn’t yet found the strength to give up Mr. Rochester when he proposes that she
live with him as his mistress. And by the end of the novel, she’s much
better at reading clues. Like when she hears Mr. Rochester’s voice calling out to her
from clear across the country, she doesn’t think, “Wow, that seems improbable.” She
goes! And when she finds him, he’s lost his sight,
but of course, Jane has finally learned how to see, to pay attention not just to what’s
in front of her, but also what’s happening beyond and beneath the visible world.
So when Charlotte Brontë was young, she wrote to the poet Robert Southey hoping for encouragement.
He acknowledged her talent, but told her not to waste any more time at it because, “Literature
cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and it ought not to be.”
Now Jane seems perfectly happy to give up writing her autobiography in favor of having
all of Mr. Rochester’s babies and her declaration, “Reader, I married him” is probably the
most famous sentence in the book. But it’s important to remember that Jane doesn’t
marry Mr. Rochester until she can meet him on an equal, if not superior footing.
Like earlier in the book he has all the money and all the power and all the secrets, right?
By the end of the novel, she has money, and also vision, both literal and metaphorical.
Jane consistently rejects men who try to control her and she shows a lot of perceptive critiques
of gender dynamics, like a passage in which she declares:
“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need
exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers
do…and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they
ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings.”
Sorry, pudding lovers but this novel clearly says to heck with pudding! I’m only making
pudding when I can make pudding on my own terms! Also, who would want to wear knitted
stockings? So I think you can read the novel as striking
at least a soft blow for gender equality, but many feminist critics, like Sandra Gilbert,
sense that there’s something a little more disturbing going on in Jane’s journey from
abused child to perfect Victorian wife. Gilbert focuses where very little of the actual
novel does, on that mad woman in the attic, Mr. Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Mason.
I mean, was Bertha really the fallen woman that Rochester describes? Let’s remember
that Mr. Rochester freely admits to keeping a lot of mistresses, but the novel never really
scolds his sexual behavior. Meanwhile, keeping mentally ill, inconvenient
wives chained to the attic, which, by the way, really happened in Brontë’s day, is
more or less approved of. Now some read Bertha, who hails from a tropical
island and has dark skin, as a commentary on Britain’s treatment of its colonies.
But my favorite reading is to see Bertha as a kind of dark mirror for Jane, of all the
feelings and desires that Jane has to repress in order to fit the mold of Victorian womanhood,
a creature who “snatched and growled like some strange wild animal” while Jane sews
and teaches geography. I mean, every time that Jane gets upset—like
when Mr. Rochester talks about all of his mistresses or fools her with that weird gypsy
thing— it’s Bertha who acts out. And when Jane feels anxious about her marriage,
Bertha comes to her room and rips the veil. And let’s not forget that it’s Bertha—wild,
untamed, sexual Bertha—who has to die in order for Jane and Mr. Rochester to finally
get married. Jane has to lose part of her nature to fit
into the expectations of her social order and in that sense at least, this happily ever
after ending isn’t entirely happily ever after. Thanks for watching.
I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is made with the help of all
of these nice people, and it exists thanks to the support of our subscribers over at
Subbable. You can find great perks by clicking that link right there – there’s also a link
in the video info below. Thank you for watching, and as we say in my hometown, “Don’t forget
to be awesome.” P.S. – There’s now an amazing Crash Course US History poster made
by our friends at Thought Cafe, so if you want to get that, there is a link in the video
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100 Replies to “Reader, it’s Jane Eyre – Crash Course Literature 207

  1. Bertha Mason is unbalanced and reactive and ill. I think if we see her as a dark mirror for Jane (and I really love that interpretation!!), she might represent all the storming unbalanced emotions and emotional wounds that Jane has, partly because of her loveless childhood in an extremely toxic family, as well as her hard, and in many ways deprived, years as an orphan at Lowood, and her suppressed position as a governess and dependent woman in a society that does not give women (especially not poor and plain women) the right to realize themselves or even to wish for it.

    In my humble opinion, when Bertha dies it does not necessarily mean something bad. It might instead mean that Jane has now managed to realize and develop her mental and emotional faculties – as well as her willpower to say no to what she does not want and yes to what she wants no matter what conventional truth and authorities tell her – and thus to free (and perhaps even to heal, but that's perhaps a bit too good to be realistic) her inner locked up self, which does then no longer have to rage in madness, hidden and from behind bars, to be heard.

    Couldn’t one say that the madwoman dies, so that something new can be born (symbolized by Jane's harmonic marriage – as opposed to Bertha's disharmonic and stormy marriage – and the birth of her children) in Jane?
    (In some ways Bertha might be seen as symbolizing a reactive, "false self", that was generated because of the toxic circumstances in Jane's childhood – Yet without the trouble caused by Bertha's existence Jane would not be forced to go out in the world on her own and there finally gain her healthy independency, find her own "tribe" of people and the possibility of meeting Edward again on equal terms.)

    And while I do agree that the description of the marriage is somewhat silly, oddly conventional, and anticlimactic, and definitely not the best part of the book, I still actually don't think Jane gives up everything to become just another Victorian housewife. She now has what she was deprived of in her childhood and has wanted ever since: her own home, loving family and friends and a passionate marriage. We might think she should want a career, but that's explicitly not what she wants. She still reads and discusses literature with her husband and probably also with her cousins. She might still study for what we know, and travel, at least we know they go to London.

    And more important: we know she writes her excellent masterpiece of an autobiography!

    That’s not giving up everything. If that is not self realization, then what is?

  2. It makes me so angry that they had to write under male pseudonyms, because men can't accept that some of the best novels ever written are the the creation of women. This was relatively recent, too, in the 1800s.

  3. Cool video, amazing graphic and great content! Thanks guys, I now can read her book with some more insight.

  4. I am afraid that one day I shall be elevated above the people of this era and my age group and I shall have no one to talk to about the crazy ideas and elevated thinking and that I will be left alone in search of an intelligent mate (extra intelligent may be) and may turn myself into a Writer perhaps and that.. that will be cause of you sir!
    John Green sir! High five! 😅

  5. It’s a shame you didn’t cover more on mr Rochester, as I find him a very intriguing character. He’s clever and rich, but ugly. He feels a duty to his wife, that he doesn’t abandon her, even as he’s never loved her and feels trapped by her. It’s an interesting conflict- duty or freedom?
    Of course he should not abandon her, she is his wife!
    …But should he never be allowed true happiness?
    He’s smart and desperate and foolish and Jane puts him in his place. A very interesting character.

  6. It kills me that people still find Jane Eyre to be romantic or feminsit. Jane is basically manipulated and emotionally abused by Rochester and at her strongest moment when she has true independence simply goes back to her abuser. There is nothing romantic about this relationship. It's unhealthy to lie about being married and try to trick someone into marrying you, especially in that day and age when it would ruin a woman's reputation and all chances at a respectable life. There is nothing loving about trying to manipulate and force the person to stay afterwards by playing on their emotions and making them feel sorry for you when you lied to them. That's called emotional abuse. Jane is hailed as a strong character because she walked away from him for doing that but she went right back NOT KNOWING that the wife had died. She was going backwards to a situation she had the guts to walk away from earlier. So anti feminist. I know it's all cool to say it's a feminist book and all but it's so not. It's about a woman who gets involved in an unhealthy relationship and goes right back. Really at least Heathclitf and Cathy were both toxic and deserved each other. Jane was better than Rochester's games.

    Oh well. Just my opinion.

  7. First read the book when I was 9, reread at 17. Now I'm seeing this Jane Eyre from a completely different perspective at 27. Guess my brain is making a progress. Gotta read again

  8. When you said you were John Green… Does that mean you're… Sorry I'm a new subscriber 😅

  9. I've never wanted to throw a book out my window more than when I had to read Jane Eyre my freshman year. The dictionary is a better read.

  10. I've recently read Jane Eyre, and I agree with your analysis of Jane's sacrifice of her fiery personality in favour of a more becoming, womanly, reserved girl fit to be a Victorian wife. However, I think one of the most impressive feats of Jane's character is that despite being continually and relentlessly repressed (first as a child, then by her teachers, and then by nature of her profession, and then in her adulthood) she is able to maintain that same pyre (get it…eyre, pyre?) nevertheless. With Mr. Rochester, with all of his flaws and creepy tendencies, he still allows her to be brash and severe in speech. He gives her the freedom to be unequivocally herself, and he loves her for who she is and expects no change. This is contrasted by her other love interest, St. John. (If you could really call him a love interest). He continually beats her down through their interactions, and we can see that as their relationship develops she continually locks more and more of herself away. She is submitting to him in attempts to fill the void that Rochester has left. Yet despite this loneliness, she refuses to enter into a loveless marriage. For her, it is better to be alone and be herself than to be trapped with a husband with whom she could share no affection. Ultimately that is why she goes back to Mr Rochester. Truly ahead of her time

  11. Are y’all gonna ignore the creepy racist implications about Bertha? Why did she make her a creole both black and white only to point out how gross and disturbed she is without any sympathy about the fact that she’s a woman in a world that discriminate and demeans her as a black woman and the only attachment of security mr rauchester locks her up as an animal and threatens to cast her aside for another woman who wouldn’t go crazy? This should be the most blatant case of white privileged prospective I mean for someone that is supposedly so proto feminist charlotte really seems oblivious to the very same prejudices that she’s subjected to to convey her message

  12. I really want to keep seeing Jane eyre as having a happy ending so what abt this…
    She does clearly grow and change but in settling down as a wife, she has chosen her own destiny. All her life she was kept down and pushed to be more gentile by those around her, but simultaneously in their put downs she found something to be her rock: her principles. Her religion and modesty, which doesn’t really make sense to me a 16 year old today, but it also makes perfect sense; it was what got her through all hardships time and time again. Of course falling in love she is thrilled, but mr. Rochester himself shakes her principles. He is prideful where she is modest, he is emotional where she is reserved. He is opposite what she values at that point. That’s at least why he likes her, opposites attract and all. She runs away because of her values. The thumb on the scale had been pushing too far on her passionate side, so the only way to ease her consciousness is to submit to the will of her childhood masters and keep to social and moral norms rigidly no matter the cost. When she runs away, the St. John story is particularly interesting to me. He is the embodiment of her core values. What she thought was the ideal character she suddenly realizes is not what it seems. She sees the coldness and the lifelessness and, most troublingly, how close she is to that life (seeing as he’s her flesh and blood). In repeated rejecting John, Jane eyre finally realizes the validity of emotion and the importance of her own happiness, using her strength of character and passion in harmony. Mr. Rochester has compromised too, his wealth his stature to live more plainly. Obviously Jane has the more complex character arc but the mirror each other. I don’t think her settling down is depressing because she is happy. Her independence was not finding equality or justice in a grand scale (that was never the intention, I don’t think antone would argue that) but to find peace within herself. To find security, love, balance within yourself on your own terms is all that one can ask for. And Jane accomplished that in my view. The inner turmoil of her soul finally found equilibrium.

  13. Where was it confirmed that Adele was Rochester's daughter, since its stated that her mother was promiscuous? Also, was it really sad that Jane had to give up part of herself to be with Rochester at the end, considering not much mourning goes into Bertha's death? After all the things she puts Rochester through, doesn't it show the grief Jane could have put Rochester through had she not been taught properly? (Given that Bertha is a reflection of Jane's inner turmoil)

  14. Has anyone here read Anne Bronte? Charlotte’s Jane Eyre is commonly regarded as a classic (“It says so right on the spine!”) and Emily’s Wuthering Heights is perhaps even more brilliant, but poor Anne is almost always reduced to nothing more than a brief side-mention. Is Agnes Grey worth reading?

  15. I wrote a paper in college on Jane Eyre, I was on the science track, and formal literature was beyond me, where I had read hundreds of books, but none of it was disciplined, and just the usual fantasy and science fiction. I was struck by three things when I was researching 19th century England at the library. The first is that in 19th century medicine was poor, the dead babies literally littered the London streets of a city of shopkeepers, that is the first metropolis that became bigger than the famous city of Rome: This was from the church archives and they ran the orphanages, and there were many homeless children on the streets. The second thing that struck me is slavery was an institution, and I had always assumed that it was men just being mean to another, where I found entire business studies on the practice of slavery: The slave was like a owned government automobile, where each is assigned a value to spend money on, and once the value was consumed by spending money on the slave's life, then you replace him, because he became unprofitable —— and this for the sugar plantations. Meaning, it was government duty to be in the business of slavery —— and this is culture, law, and language. This business dream of selling enough slaves destroyed my innocence and my illusions, and I became a different person in all of my arguments on what freedom means, where we have every reason to fear government, because the pie-in-the-sky, pipe dreams that governments gives us has a government agent punishing you for not conforming to even slavery, until you live in fear of not having slaves (socialism is a chilling effect on freedom, and this is a cause to reject government nanny-state practices, because you shall do it into the absurd). The third thing that struck me, the noble lords controlled 90% of the wealth; the people are helpless to serve themselves (this comes with the joke, the local baron owns every acre including aunt Edna's butt); ten thousand pounds a year for a lord could cover his life needs (food and clothing), debts, gambling, mistress, and apartment in London to be near to the ruling royal family. FYI, absentee lords are common in the British Empire, where they are either traveling abroad for some trade practice (East India Tea Company as an example) or living in London to be near the ruling royals; this was a complaint of the American Revolution, where there are no lords with authority to honor, where they are in London. This means, the people are desperate, and they will sell any slave for a meal, and it is the eye of the tiger law of the land, the law of the jungle.

  16. No idea why so many girls are soooo into reading books like this. I find the dynamic between men and women so interesting in this trait. I'm not going to say I don't enjoy reading "fun" books, but damn. The only books I have read over the last 5 1/2 years have been technical manuals and textbooks on software development & information structures. My mind is too fried to pick up and read another book, fun or not.

  17. This video is infused with a lot of personal bias regarding Jane's motivations and how other characters were portrayed. Sexually precocious illegitimate daughter? Where did you get that from?

  18. Does anyone (who actually read the book) find it kind of weird that mr. Rochester marries his servant who is wayyyyy younger than her, and on her wedding day she finds out that he is actually married by some psycho that he locked up, yet she still falls in love with him when Bertha dies? Nope, just me ok

  19. Love everything you do, thanks for saving my butt so many times!! Please do a crash course on Wuthering Heights because it is such an amazing novel!

  20. This video is a summary of the SparkNotes book very clearly and yet the book hasn't been referenced at all?

  21. I dont like literature of CRASH COURSE because i sont like the behaviour of speaker. I think it is better to talk like other speakers in Crash course

  22. He doesn't talk about the many many imperial allusions in Jane Eyre. The post-colonial critique of the novel talks about the idea of the Creole woman vis-a-vis the ideal English woman and the race and imperial hierarchical structures present in the novel. Jean Rhys' novel, 'The Wide Sargasso Sea' examines the Rochester-Bertha marriage from this angle. As a Post-colonial student of Literature, I also find the discussion on Missionary work in India and Jane's many fears regarding "being grilled under an Indian sun" an interesting point of study

  23. Remarkable, even at my advanced age and with some years of post-secondary study under my sizable belt. the only time I enjoyed the thrill of having an innovative and refreshingly honest and courageous view of literature at any level of school was in grade 11, when my controversial teacher (now an award-winning local university professor, W. Kenny), who was given his exit papers from the Dartmouth City school system the following year, put the heart and soul back in English classes that the Dartmouth Regional School Board (at the time) beat to a pulp to suit the deadhead status quo at the time.

  24. i was dumb. i was charmed and kept happy enough by rochester's personality, and love, that i also disregarded the red flags 🙁 i have learnt that rochester is not completely trustworthy.

  25. This is wonderful. I’ve always thought this book was pretty wild, and very underrated. The Bronte sisters are super intense haha

  26. The rich people got TB, the proles got cholera, not as fun. TB is coming back, I expect a literary renaissance!

  27. dramatic 🌻🌿✨🌾🌈😆🦢🕊🌿🌼🌸😃🤪🤩🤣😂🦋🌷🌸🌝⛅️🌤☀️

  28. Adeline Tinter (sp) wrote a wonderful essay about hoe Charlotte hated Jane Eyre, and that's why the novel ends with them living at that damp, horrible house. I love Charlotte so much, and you did a really good job! I love Woody Guthrie too- love the quote on your laptop!!

  29. A friendly learning community where the currency is thought, the tome is beautiful, and mysterious flights of fancy pass overhead while we all pretend to dream.

    Welcome to Crash Course. Nightvale intro plays

  30. What I found interesting about the reveal of Rochester's wife being the mad woman in the attic is that despite her murderous actions, Jane defends her. Jane makes a point of saying that it's not Bertha's fault that she's crazy. If the "Bertha is Jane's mirror" analysis holds, it shows that maybe Bronte is defending those repressed feelings that women had against husbands who refused to treat them as equals.

  31. I've always found Rochester's manipulation of Jane – to make her feel jealous – as particularly misogynistic as well.

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