These were long chapters so, yes, I'm only doing two.
When we left off, the subject of Jane being sent away for school had been brought up and presumably accepted. In chapter 4, Jane is alone. Like, totally alone. A few months have gone by since the subject of school was approached. No one has spoken to Jane very much since then. Christmas has come and gone and Jane has been rejected and excluded from all of the activities. The other children have been instructed to stay away from her. Jane was given her own room, simply to keep her away from the other kids. This is fucking bleak. I just want to remind you all that Jane is 10 and being actively rejected from the only family she has ever known. Poor thing.
At one point that bastard John Reed attempts to chastise Jane, but she lashes out at him, making him
|Jane's not fucking around anymore.|
The mutual armistice returns. No one talks to anyone. Only the servant Bessie speaks to Jane. Jane talks about caring for her doll, how she doted on it and treated it like a real person. The alludes nicely to Jane's eventual employment as a governess. Jane then describes Bessie as being pretty and kind, but having a sharp temper. She is also a great story teller and very smart. Basically, she is Jane. This again alludes to Jane becoming a governess to upper class children, just as Bessie is. Bessie begins to treat Jane like an assistant of sorts. She helps to clean up the nursery. One day, Jane is cleaning and she walks over to the window. She sees a carriage come down the driveway, but thinks nothing of it. She also sees a bird and gives it some bread. I'll tell you later why the bird is important, because it seems like useless information now, I'm sure. Soon after, Bessie bursts into the nursery, looking for Jane. She tells her to get dressed and go downstairs into the breakfast room. There is someone waiting there who wants to speak to her.
Jane goes downstairs and stands outside the door. She wonders who would want to speak to her. She eventually goes in and sees a tall, slim man dressed all in black. Mrs. Reed is there, too. He talks to Jane for a bit about her behavior. He asks if she is a naughty child and Jane just looks at the floor. Mrs. Reed answers for her, saying that they shouldn't talk about it. The dude basically spends a long time actively shaming Jane for being bad, saying that Jane will go to hell. He also tells her she will go to hell because she doesn't like the right books of the bible. Jane doesn't like the Psalms and dude has a problem with this. Mrs. Reed starts talking to the dude, named Mr. Brocklehurst about his school, the Lowood Institute. Jane is to be sent there soon. Mrs. Reed tells him to have the teachers look out for Jane's "tendency to deceit," which hurts Jane. She cries because it isn't true. Mrs. Reed wants Jane trained to be useful in "a manner suiting her prospects." She adds that she wants Jane to stay at the school full time and never be sent home during any vacations. What an asshole. They are literally having this conversation in front of Jane. Mr. Brocklehurst gives Jane a book about how liars go to hell, Mrs. Reed tells him to say hi to his family for her, and he leaves.
|All the applause for Jane!|
The next morning, Jane is up by five. The carriage is coming to take her to school at six, so Jane is ready and excited to go. Bessie helps her get ready, the carriage comes, and she is off to school. I don't think she ever comes back, I wouldn't blame her if she didn't. The ride takes about a day. By nightfall, she is at Lowood. The superintendent, Miss Temple greets her and says that she hopes Jane is a good girl. Another teacher, Miss Miller, takes Jane to get her some food, they they go to bed. There are about 80 other girls in the school. They sleep two to a bed and everyone where the same outfit (brown dress, wool stockings, shoes with buckles). The girls are all between the ages of 9 and 20.
|My writing partner isn't the easiest to work with|
The thing I want to talk to you about is the symbolism of birds. See, I told you I'd tell you why I brought it up before. The first time we see birds come up is in the book Jane is reading in the window
seat, shortly before John attacks her. We see another bird just before the man from the school comes to see Jane. What these two instances have in common is simple: something good is about to happen. While John's attack isn't a good thing, Jane's defense of herself is. She finally stands up for herself, which sets the rest of the story in motion. When we see the second bird, it's right before Jane learns that she is actually being sent to school away from Gateshead. It's also right before he final revolt against Mrs. Reed. Two conclusions can be drawn from this. Birds are either being used to symbolize good things to come or Jane's acts of rebellion. I'm leaning toward rebellion, based on the free-ness and lightness of the birds. Either way, birds are being used for an allegory of Jane herself and what is happening around her. This thought will probably be expanded upon as we read more.
That's it for now, kids. I'll see you again next week at some point.
Until Next Time, Happy Reading