My First Impression Of Mr Rochester

My first impression of Mr Rochester is that he is a rather peculiar character. He has a rather honest way of speaking, although this honesty is wont to hurt people's feelings.

                                   When he first meets Jane, he is deliberately misleading, not letting her know that he is her new boss. He is very stubborn and refuses Janes help until he finally has to admit defeat and then rides off with a very bruised ego.

          Mr Rochester is very used to being in charge and getting his own way. He is self-centered and loathes to spend time with Adele because he finds her childish (what does he expect??), he orders Jane to play the piano and show him her portfolio. His direct manner comes off as rather rude and insulting at times. However, in turn, he appreciates an honest answer to an honest question, even when Jane basically calls him ugly! He is, at least, not hypocritical and for this I commend the character.

                 Overall I feel that mr Rochester's character is still rather vague and that we will learn much about him over the course of the novel. For now, however, I find him truely unfathomable...

 

Jane Eyre Chapters 1-10

1.  What is your first impression of Jane Eyre, the character?  Support your points with close reference to the text.

2.  Based on what you have read so far, would you like to live in the world that Jane Eyre inhabits?  Support your answer with close reference to the text.

1. My first impression of the character Jane Eyre is that she is an intelligent, kind, but ultimately lonley child. She will try her best when she believes something is worth it, but is not afraid to stand up for herself when she does not.

                     At the beginning of the book we meet Jane as the lonley ten year old, basically ignored and completely unloved by her aunt who deems that until such a time as she is-

"endeavoring in good earnest to aquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more natural and sprightly manner" She must exclude her from -

" privileges intended only for contented, happy little children" In this we see another quality of Jane whilst at Gateshead, she is dreadfully unhappy. Jane has a strong sense of right and wrong, she calls her banishment to the Red Room "unjust" a room in which she reveals to the reader her lack of self esteem, referring to herself as a "thing" She shows a similar sense of right and wrong when she meets Mr Brocklehurst. She hates him on sight, and she is right to for as we will see later, her instincts about this man are proven correct.

          Jane is brave, she tells Mrs Reed  exactly what she thinks of her by disowning her as an Aunt-

"I shall never call you Aunt again!" This move by Jane is somewhat brash, said in the heat of the moment and yet we can not help but think that Jane has been more sincere about this than she has about anything before.

                                  We see more of Jane's personality emerge as she enteres Lowood. Her sense of right and wrong returns when she sees her friend Helen punished, unfairly in Jane's eyes and even more so when Mr Brocklehurst denounces her as decietful on front of the entire school. She knows it is not fair for him to judge her when he does not even know her and this sets a precedent for how she treats people for the rest of her life. Jane's hard working nature and intelligence emerges at Lowood and we follow her as she progresses to be the top girl in the top class.

                      To conclude, I suppose that my first impression of Jane was somewhat hazy when I began this book, but as the chapters developed I learned more and more about the character, how she behaves and how she views the world. I have come to form an impression of Jane as a girls who is hardworking, intelligent, kind, fair and brave in every aspect of her actions.

 

2.  Based on the first ten chapters of the book, I have come to be of the opinion that I would not at all like to live in the world that Jane Eyre inhabits, at least not as a child or indeed as a woman.

                           In Jane's world, children are to be seen and not heard. They must accept everything that is said to them by their elders and question nothing. I suppose also, that they are supposed to respect their elders, but in my opinion, respect is something that goes both ways, and since adults most definately did not respect youth, I can assume that the youth did not truely respect adults. Jane's aunt thinks nothing of casting her aside, and when Jane asks what she has done to deserve such a punishment, her aunt replies

"There is something truely forbidding in a child taking up her elders in that manner" Jane is locked in the Red Room when her cousin assaults her, because she was unable to tell Mrs Reed what really happened. The word of a child was not relevant when an adult had an opinion.

                           As we see from Jane's first encounter with Mr Brocklehurst, children in these times were subjcted to constant threats that the would go to Hell if they did not obey their parents, even if the parents were wrong. I find the use of religion to scare children unnerving and unnessecary. In modern times, children are taught to learn right from wrong so that they are good people,in turn they are taught that God wants them to be good. Hell is not used as a threat and cautionary tales of children dying as used by Mr Brocklehurst would be considered sick and twisted and totally inappropriate for a child.

              I feel I would also dislike the school system in Jane's time. It is a very sit-and-listen kind of teaching in which the teacher is right all the time, no exceptions. The idea of corporal punishment in schools sickens me, as does the idea of using humiliation as a means of punishing pupils. Self expression was not encouraged in thoses times, students learned by recitation and learned a very limited range of subjects, girls especially. Girls were only taught subjects deemed to be appropriate to a young lady, such as French, Drawing and sewing. I would hate to have such restrictions put on my education.

                     The life of any woman in Jane Eyre's time was difficult. They were not deemed able for more than a mere few types of employment. They could be a Lady of a house like Mrs.Reed, a servant like Bessie, or a Teacher like Miss Temple. that was it. They could not aspire to anything greater, had no higher opportunities or possibilities.

 

To conclude, I feel that dues to restrictive education, unfair discipline and lack of career oportunites I would hate to live in Jane Eyre's time.

 

Trip to the Solstaice Theatre

Last Wednesday (March 18th) we went to see a play in the Solstaice Theatre. Well, at least it was advertised as a play, but to me it seemed more like Stand-up comedy! As we set off for the theatre, we didn't really have a clue what we were going to be seeing. When we walked in and saw a nearly bare stage and only one actor, my only thought was 'I can't believe they're making us sit through this!' I was, however, quickly proven wrong! The play was about a man who had decided to write a script and it was hilarious! He went into a little detail about how advertising is sold in TV programmes such as 'Friends', all the while making some pretty funny jokes on the subject. He then went on to tell us how he got into acting, the highlight of which was a story about a giraffe. Finally he planned out a horror movie. He invented a bunch of stereotypical teen characters, and managed to make quite a few witty observations about teenage life along the way! His impression of a teen boy leaning on a lamp post was spot-on, whilst his dumb teenage girl was hilarious. All the way through the play were continued jokes at the expense of Podge from Pats, who had accidentally drawn attention to himself proir to the performance. This added an extra layer of hilarity to the show. Overall verdict: Brilliant show and the funniest thing I've seen in ages!
 

Book Review Four

                                                                           

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Title: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Author: George Orwell

Rating: 10/10

Summary:

Written by George Orwell in the 1940's, this book represents Orwell's view on how the world could end up in the future. The book is set in a place called 'Oceania' one of three massive supercontinents. The area in which the action takes place was once England. The tale depicts a futuristic dystopian society in which the government controls everyone and everything.  'Big Brother' is the figurehead of this regime, however, the question as to whether or not he really exists is never answered. 'Telescreens' in the homes of the public and indeed everywhere monitor the actions of each person to the most minute detail. Anyone seen to go against this regime is known as an 'unperson' and they dissapear. Everything alluding to the fact that an unperson exists is destroyed, birth certificates, photographs, job records are all burned, leaving the person to exist only in the minds of the people that knew them. Subsequently, people begin to forget, because no solid fact exists to prove that thses people are more than figments of the imagination.

                  The protagonist of the story, Winston Smith, works in the Ministry of Truth ( although this is a misnomer, for his jobs specialises in lies) Smith's job in the records department involves changing the newspapers in order to remove evidence of 'unpersons' and to edit anything Big Brother said which contradicts his more recent speeches. He hates his job, is disallusioned with his life, surviving on meagre rations and cheap gin. Winston is guilty of the worst crime in this society- thoughtcrime, which is basically thinking badly of the regime. While this is not officially an offence, being found out would almost certainly result in death. Then, one day, he meets Julia, another employee in the ministry, and falls in love. The two embark on a dangerous secret relationship, all the while trying to fight the regime from the inside.

 

I read this book whilst on holidays, and could hardly wait to get back to the hotel to read it each day. My parents remarked that they remembered it as being scary, but I did not agree. However, it is ever so slightly creepy because of that unsettling feeling you get when reading that, yes, this could be possible. The plot sounds complex, but it's not really. I found it easy to follow and could hardly put it down! This book is enthralling, interesting and thought provoking. It is easliy one of the best books I've ever read, despite being unlike anything I've ever read. My parents seem to harbour dislike toward this book as they were made to study it in school and so I say this: Read it of your own voilition before you are forced to read it for any other reason and it will be immensely enjoyable.

 

 

Book Review Three!

 

 

Title: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time

Author: Mark Haddon

Rating: 10/10

Summary:

This book tells the story of Christopher, a fifteen year old boy who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome (a form of Autism) The book begins when Christopher, whilst out on a night time wander, finds the body of his neighbour's dog, stabbed with a pitchfork. He is found with the dog and blamed for the crime. However, he then sets off to find the real culprit, and records this journey in the book, like a kind of odd murder-mystery novel. Whilst this is the basis of the story, the book is really about Christopher's struggles to cope in a world which he does not understand. We see his difficulties in attending a school where his intelligence far surpasses that of the other pupils, in living in a single parent family, his mother long since gone, and in understanding the complex emotions of other people which he does not experience himself. The book draws you in and you feel oddly connected with Christopher, willing him on as he prepares for his maths A-Level, and shocking you as you discover the shocking truth about his mother.

                                                    I could not say more about this novel without ruining it for the potential reader. This book is brilliant, it's as simple as that. It gives an amazing insight into the mind of someone with Asperger's Syndrome and it is for that reason that I would recommend that everyone read it. It would be suitable, I believe, for anyone from secondary school age and above.

 
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