Blogalogue

Compact little essays from a stay-at-home tourist.

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Melodramatic Moments (painting Jane Eyre)

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CH. 18 -  “Amidst this sordid scene, sat a man with his clenched hands resting on his knees, and his eyes bent on the ground. I knew Mr. Rochester; though the begrimed face, the disordered dress (his coat hanging loose from one arm, as if it had been almost torn from his back in a scuffle), the desperate and scowling countenance, the rough, bristling hair might well have disguised him.  As he moved, a chain clanked; to his wrists were attached fetters. / “’Bridewell!’ exclaimed Colonel Dent, and the charade was solved.”

Ch. 15 – “Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire.  In the midst of blaze and vapour, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep sleep. / “’Wake! wake!’ I cried. I shook him, but he only murmured and turned: the smoke had stupefied him.”

Ch. 20 – “An easy-chair was near the bed-head: a man sat in it, dressed with the exception of his coat; he was still; his head leant back; his eyes were closed.  Mr. Rochester held the candle over him; I recognised in his pale and seemingly lifeless face—the stranger, Mason: I saw too that his linen on one side, and one arm, was almost soaked in blood.”

Ch. 25 – “I faced the wreck of the chestnut-tree; it stood up black and riven: the trunk, split down the centre, gasped ghastly.  The cloven halves were not broken from each other, for the firm base and strong roots kept them unsundered below; though community of vitality was destroyed—the sap could flow no more: their great boughs on each side were dead, and next winter’s tempests would be sure to fell one or both to earth: as yet, however, they might be said to form one tree—a ruin, but an entire ruin…. As I looked up at them, the moon appeared momentarily in that part of the sky which filled their fissure; her disk was blood-red and half overcast; she seemed to throw on me one bewildered, dreary glance, and buried herself again instantly in the deep drift of cloud.”

Ch. 26
…the lunatic sprang and grappled his throat viciously, and laid her teeth to his cheek: they struggled. She was a big woman, in stature almost equalling her husband, and corpulent besides: she showed virile force in the contest—more than once she almost throttled him, athletic as he was. He could have settled her with a well-planted blow; but he would not strike: he would only wrestle. At last he mastered her arms; Grace Poole gave him a cord, and he pinioned them behind her: with more rope, which was at hand, he bound her to a chair. The operation was performed amidst the fiercest yells and the most convulsive plunges. Mr. Rochester then turned to the spectators: he looked at them with a smile both acrid and desolate.
“That is my wife,” said he.

Categories: Jane Eyre

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