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Good comics (and books)
Good comics (and books)
Started by scarface, September 05, 2014, 07:28 PM
Location: in the suburbs of Grenoble
Re: Good comics (and books)
October 09, 2023, 11:04 PM
Today, 2 new comic books are available on the forum. The 2 volumes of Neptune (the complete series for this new season).
For those who appreciated the others books of the world of Aldebaran, this sequel is interesting.
The story: Manon, back on Earth, qualifies as a UN Special Agent.
Elsewhere in space, a station orbiting the Earth is watching with concern the arrival of a spacecraft of unknown origin that suddenly comes to a stand-still right above the planet. Strange inscriptions in English adorn the front door of the vessel's airlock.
Unable to make contact with this strange UFO, the UN calls up the special forces. Manon is assigned to this perilous mission, along with an elite troop of special agents. The mission objective is to make contact with the ship and try to board. However, when they make it onto the ship, things don't go as planned and the situation quickly gets out of hand... Fortunately for Manon, she can count on the help of an expert: Kim Keller.
Your new avatars:
Location: in the suburbs of Grenoble
Re: Good comics (and books)
October 12, 2023, 02:26 AM
: October 12, 2023, 02:31 AM by scarface
Tonight, I'm going to present the book "the human beast". If there is one book of Zola you should read, this is probably this one.
Here is a link for the ebook (in English) in case you want to read it:
La Bête humaine (The human beast or the beast within) is an 1890 novel by Émile Zola, the seventeenth book in Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart series. It is based on the railway between Paris and Le Havre in the 19th century and is a tense, psychological thriller.
The main characters of the novel are Roubaud, the deputy station master at Le Havre, his wife Séverine and Jacques Lantier, an engine driver on the line, serving as the family link with the rest of Les Rougon-Macquart novel cycle. Lantier is the son of Gervaise, from the earlier work L'Assommoir, and the brother of both Étienne Lantier from Germinal and Claude Lantier in L'Œuvre.
The human beast is set in the late 1860s, the end of the Second French Empire, concluding at the start of the Franco-Prussian War. The title makes clear the message and the focus of the book. It is a book depicting a cast of characters brimming over with bestial passion. Not one, not two, but many such characters. In fact every single one of the characters are of this temperament. What is in our heredity will come forth. This is Zola's message.
In The human beast , we can almost feel the beast within Lantier, and we know that the beast will come out somehow. In some people, the beast might perhaps never be unleashed, however in most others, this beast could anytime leap out of them uncontrollably.
There is an additional character, a non-human one, La Lison, a steam locomotive in use on the Paris - Rouen - Le Havre railway line. It is Jacques Lantier who drives the steam engine. The power of the engine is as a beast too. Who holds the reins? Is it man under the thumb of heredity? Is it our brains, our intellect, or our emotions? How is the behavior of those holding high positions in society and the government? Who is in control and ultimately is justice attained? These are the topics around which the characters circle.
These natural forces comprise, first, the hereditary legacy of the Rougon-Macquart genes and, secondly, the instinctive struggle for self-preservation of all living organisms, in Zola's Darwinistic conception of evolution and regression. Whether it is Gervaise in L'Assommoir, who with her overly modest ideals is pulled down to a debased animal level and literally dies like a dog because of her laziness, or her son Jacques in La Bete humaine who ultimately yields to his beastly hereditary flaw, Zola systematically animalizes any of his characters.
There are in the Rougon-Macguart many instances of descriptive words which, though not true epithets, have subliminal epithetic functions. they call attention to the symbolic status of a particular character when inadvertently used by another character. After literally eating Gervaise's household into insolvency, Lantier deserts her a second time and is therefore associated with animal-digestive imagery, occupational titles with double meanings, and the metaphor of the fats and the thins: "il venait de manger une blanchisseuse,a présent, il croquait une épicière". The juxtaposition of Gervaise's vocation as blanchisseuse (suggesting to the reader immediately chemical purity, her absence of addiction to alcohol or sugar, and the gauntness of starvation) with "une épicière," which hints at a voracious and spoiled tart, illustrates Zola's mastery of the indirect rendering of character.
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Location: in the suburbs of Grenoble
Re: Good comics (and books)
October 13, 2023, 02:10 AM
For those who watched the movie "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane", note that the eBook is available here:
I recently purchased it on the Fnac website, in English.
This is a 1974 novel by Laird Koenig, about a 13-year-old girl named Rynn Jacobs who lives alone in a house. She keeps up the illusion that she is home-schooled and that her father exists but is "working' or "travelling"...
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Location: in the suburbs of Grenoble
Re: Good comics (and books)
October 19, 2023, 12:06 AM
: October 19, 2023, 12:13 AM by scarface
Today, a new comic book is available on the forum, titled "Au Nom du fils" (In the name of the son).
This comic book is in French (It seems there is no English version).
It was published in August 2023 and I recently purchased it on the Fnac website. This comic book is excellent, I recommend it.
Paris, these days. Unemployed and divorced, Stéphane leads a solitary and gloomy life. One evening like any other, he received a phone call from Bolivia: his son Max, with whom the link had been broken for years, had died in the San Pedro prison, unique in its kind because it is self-managed by the inmates. Ashamed of having been an absent father, Stéphane decides to "discard" his daily routine and leaves for La Paz in order to elucidate the mysteries surrounding the death of his son. There, he manages to get himself incarcerated in order to carry out his investigation, even if it means losing his life... In this prison which looks like hell on Earth, Stéphane will do everything to discover the truth, in the hope of finding at the same time his own redemption.
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Location: in the suburbs of Grenoble
Re: Good comics (and books)
December 09, 2023, 10:44 PM
: December 09, 2023, 11:12 PM by scarface
Tonight, I'm going to present the book "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ,a philosophical novel by Irish writer Oscar Wilde, published in 1890. This story is an exquisite tragedy. Wilde admits that the books which the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
"A face without a heart", so said Shakespeare in Hamlet, but it applies to the portrait of Dorian Gray even better.... When the young gentleman Dorian Gray from a wealthy aristocratic family in Victorian England, has his picture completed something is missing, Basil Hallward (the painter) senses it and insists that no one sees his greatest work, except a few people ...
According to Basile "The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."
Here is my summary of this novel.
The novel begins in the elegantly appointed London home of Basil Hallward, a well-known artist. Basil discusses his latest portrait with his friend, the clever and scandalously amoral Lord Henry Wotton.
"From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum... In the centre of the room, clamped to an up-right easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward."
Lord Henry admires the painting, the subject of which is a gorgeous, golden-haired young man. Believing it to be Basil's finest work, he insists that the painter exhibit it. Basil, however, refuses, claiming that he cannot show the work in public because he has put too much of himself into it.
When Lord Henry presses him for a more satisfying reason, Basil reluctantly describes how he met his young subject, whose name is Dorian Gray, at a party.
"The story is simply this said the painter after some time. Two months ago, I went to a crush at Lady Brandon's. After I had been in the room about ten minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious Academicians, I suddenly became conscious that someone was looking at me. I turned half-way round, and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature."
He admits that, upon seeing Dorian for the first time, he was terrified; indeed, he was overcome by the feeling that his life was
"on the verge of a terrible crisis."
Dorian has become, however, an object of fascination and obsession for Basil, who sees the young man every day and declares him to be his sole inspiration. Basil admits that he cannot bring himself to exhibit the portrait because the piece betrays the
"curious artistic idolatry"
that Dorian inspires in him.
Lord Henry, astonished by this declaration, remembers where he heard the name Dorian Gray before: his aunt, Lady Agatha, mentioned that the young man promised to help her with charity work in the slums of London. At that moment, the butler announces that Dorian Gray has arrived, and Lord Henry insists on meeting him. Basil reluctantly agrees but begs his friend not to try to influence the young man. According to Basil, Dorian has a
"simple and a beautiful nature"
that could easily be spoiled by Lord Henry's cynicism.
Dorian Gray proves to be every bit as a handsome as his portrait. Basil introduces him to Lord Henry, and Dorian begs Lord Henry to stay and talk to him while he sits for Basil.
"As they entered they saw Dorian Gray. He was seated at the piano, with his back to them, turning over the pages of a volume of Schumann's "Forest Scenes."
Basil warns Dorian that Lord Henry is a bad influence, and Dorian seems intrigued by this idea.
Lord Henry agrees to stay and, while Basil puts the finishing touches on the portrait, discusses his personal philosophy, which holds that
"the highest of all duties is the duty that one owes to one's self."
While Basil continues to work, Lord Henry escorts Dorian into the garden, where he praises Dorian's youth and beauty and warns him how surely and quickly those qualities will fade. He urges Dorian to live life to its fullest, to spend his time
"always searching for new sensations"
rather than devoting himself to
pastimes. Basil calls the men inside so they came back.
"They rose up, and sauntered down the walk together. Two green-and-white butterflies fluttered past them, and in the pear-tree at the end of the garden a thrush began to sing".
Dorian sits for another quarter of an hour until the portrait is complete. It is a thing of remarkable beauty
"the finest portrait of modern times,"
Lord Henry tells Basil, but looking at it makes Dorian unhappy. Remembering Lord Henry's warning about the advance of age, he reflects that his portrait will remain young even as he himself grows old and wrinkled. He curses this fate and pledges his soul
"if it were only the other way."
Basil tries to comfort the young man, but Dorian pushes him away. Declaring that he will not allow the painting to ruin their friendship, Basil makes a move to destroy it. Dorian stops him, saying that he loves the painting, and a relieved Basil promises to give it to him as a gift. Dorian and Lord Henry depart after Dorian promises, despite Basil's objections, to go to the theater with Lord Henry later that evening.
Shortly after his first meeting with Dorian Gray, Lord Henry visits his uncle, Lord Fermor, a "genial if somewhat rough-mannered" old nobleman. When Lord Henry asks his uncle about Dorian Gray's past, the old man tells him that Dorian comes from an unhappy family with a dark, tangled history. He relates that Dorian's mother, a noblewoman, eloped with a poor soldier; the woman's father, a villainous old lord, arranged to have his daughter's husband killed just before Dorian was born. The grieving widow died soon thereafter, leaving Dorian to be raised by a loveless tyrant. With this information, Lord Henry becomes increasingly fascinated with Dorian; he finds the story romantic and delights in the thought that he might influence the young man, making "that wonderful spirit his own."
Shortly thereafter, Lord Henry goes to dine at the home of his aunt, Lady Agatha, where several of London's elite upper class—Dorian included—have gathered. Lord Henry scandalizes the group by going on at length about the virtues of hedonism and selfishness and mocking his aunt's philanthropic efforts. "I can sympathize with everything," he remarks at one point, "except suffering." He insists that one's life should be spent appreciating beauty and seeking out pleasure rather than searching for ways to alleviate pain and tragedy. Many of the guests are appalled by his selfishness, but he is so clever and witty that they are charmed in spite of themselves. Dorian Gray is particularly fascinated, so much so that he leaves with Lord Henry and abandons his earlier plans to visit Basil.
One month later, while waiting in Lord Henry's home for his host to arrive, Dorian discusses music with Lord Henry's wife, Victoria.
"One afternoon, a month later, Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxurious arm-chair, in the little library of Lord Henry's house in Mayfair. It was in its way, a very charming room, with its high paneled wainscoting of olive-stained oak, its cream-coloured frieze and ceiling of raised pasterwork, and its brickdust felt carpet strewn with silk long-fringed Persian rugs."
When Lord Henry arrives, Dorian rushes to him, eager to share the news that he has fallen in love. The girl, he reports, is Sibyl Vane, an actress who plays Shakespeare's heroines in repertoire in a cheap London theater. Dorian admits to discovering her while wandering through the slums: inspired by Lord Henry's advice to
"know everything about life,"
he had entered a playhouse. Despite the tawdriness of the locale and his disdain for the theater owner, Dorian decided that the star, Sibyl Vane, was the finest actress he had ever seen. After several trips to the theater, the owner insisted that Dorian meet Ms. Vane, who, awed by the attentions of such a handsome gentleman, declared that she would refer to him as "Prince Charming." Lord Henry, amused by this development, agrees to accompany Dorian to see Sibyl Vane play the lead in Romeo and Juliet the following night. Basil is to join them, and Dorian remarks that Basil sent him his portrait, framed, a few days earlier.
After Dorian leaves, Lord Henry muses on his influence over the young man, reflecting on how fascinating the psychology of another human being can be. He then dresses and goes out to dinner. He comes home late that night and finds a telegram from Dorian waiting for him. It states that he is engaged to be married to Sibyl Vane.
At the Vane household, Sibyl Vane is deliriously happy over her romance with Dorian Gray. Mrs. Vane, her mother, is less enthusiastic, and she alternately worries over Dorian's intentions and hopes that her daughter will benefit from his obvious wealth. Sibyl's brother, James, is also rather cautious regarding the match. As a sailor preparing to depart for Australia, James arrives to say his good-byes and warns his mother that she must watch over Sibyl. Mrs. Vane assures him that admirers such as Dorian Gray are not uncommon to actresses, and that there is no reason not to "contract an alliance" with one so wealthy. Impatient with his mother's
James takes Sibyl on a walk. Rather than discuss her Prince Charming, Sibyl chatters on about the adventures James is certain to find in Australia. She imagines him discovering gold but then, thinking this life too dangerous, states that he will be better off as a quiet sheep farmer.
James cannot shake the feeling that he is leaving his sister at an inopportune time. He doubts both Dorian's intentions and his mother's ability to protect Sibyl from them. Finally, James asks Sibyl about her suitor. He warns her against Dorian, and Sibyl carries on about the ecstasy of her new love. As the two sit and watch
"the smart people go by,"
Sibyl sees Dorian pass in an open carriage. She points him out, but he is gone before James sees him. James swears fiercely that if Dorian ever wrongs her, he will track down her
and kill him. Sibyl pledges undying devotion to Dorian. Later that night, James confronts his mother, asking her whether she was ever married to his father. Mrs. Vane answers no, and James begs her not to let Sibyl meet the same fate. Before departing, James again pledges to kill Dorian should Sibyl ever come to harm by him.
That evening over dinner, Lord Henry announces to Basil Dorian's plan to marry Sibyl. Basil expresses concern that Dorian has decided to marry so far beneath his social position.
"Do you approve of it Harry? Asked the painter, walking up and down the room, and biting his lips. You can't approve of it possibly. It is some silly infatuation."
Lord Henry claims that he himself cannot pass such judgment and that he is simply interested in observing the boy and his experiences, regardless of the outcome. Basil doubts that Lord Henry would be so cavalier if Dorian's life was, in fact,
but Lord Henry insists that
"no life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested."
Dorian enters, and he relates the story of his engagement, which was precipitated by his seeing Sibyl play the Shakespearean heroine Rosalind (in As You Like It). Dorian, in a state of tremendous excitement, remarks that his love for Sibyl and his desire to live only for her have shown him the falsehood of all of Lord Henry's seductive theories about the virtues of selfishness. Lord Henry, by no means discouraged by Dorian's speech, defends his point of view by claiming that it is nature, not he, who dictates the pursuit of pleasure. The three men make their way to a theater in the slums where Sibyl Vane is to perform that night.
The theater is crowded when the men arrive.
"For some reason or other, the house was crowded that night, and the fat Jew manager who met them at the door was beaming from ear to ear with an oily tremulous smile."
Dorian continues to wax eloquent about Sibyl's beauty, and Basil assures Dorian that he will support the marriage wholeheartedly since Dorian is so obviously in love. When the play begins, however, Sibyl is terrible, and her acting only worsens as the evening wears on.
"The scene was the hall of Capulet's house, and Romeo in his pilgrim's dress had entered with Mercutio and his other friends. The band, such as it was, struck up a few bars of music, and the dance began. Through the crowd of ungainly, shabbily dressed actors, Sibyl Vane moved like a creature from a finer world. Her body swayed, while she danced, as a plant sways in the water. The curves of her throat were the curves of a white lily. Her hands seemed to be made of cool ivory.
Yet she was curiously listless. She showed no sign of joy when her eyes rested on Romeo."
Unable to understand the change that has come over his beloved, Dorian is heartbroken. Basil and Lord Henry leave him, and he makes his way backstage to find Sibyl, who is quite happy despite her dreadful performance. She explains that before she met Dorian and experienced true love, she was able to inhabit other characters and feel their emotions easily, which made possible her success as an actress. Now, however, these pretend emotions no longer interest her, since they pale in relation to her real feelings for Dorian. She realizes that
"the words I had to speak were unreal, were not my words, were not what I wanted to say."
As a result, she declares that her career on the stage is over. Dorian, horrified by this decision, realizes that he was in love not with her but with her acting. He spurns her cruelly and tells her that he wishes never to see her again.
After a night spent wandering the streets of London, Dorian returns to his home. There, he looks at Basil's portrait of him and notices the painting has changed: a faint sneer has appeared at the corner of his likeness's mouth. He is astonished. Remembering his wish that the painting would bear the burden and marks of age and lifestyle for him, Dorian is suddenly overcome with shame about his behavior toward Sibyl. He pulls a screen in front of the portrait and goes to bed, resolving to make amends with Sibyl in the morning.
Dorian does not awake until well after noon the next day.
"His valet had crept several times on tiptoe into the room to see if he was stirring, and had wondered what made his young master sleep so late. Finally his bell sounded, and Victor came in softly with a cup of tea, and a pile of letters, on a small tray of old Sevres china, and drew back the olive-satin curtains, with their shimmering blue lining, that hung in front of the three tall windows."
When he gets up, he goes to check the painting.
"As soon as he was dressed, he went into the library and sat down to a light French breakfast that had been laid out for him on a small round table close to the open window. It was an exquisite day. The warm air seemed laden with spices. A bee flew in and buzzed round the blue-dragon bowl that, filled with sulphur-yellow roses, stood before him. He felt perfectly happy."
But in the light, the change is unmistakable; the face in the portrait has become crueler.
"Suddenly his eye fell on the screen that he had placed in front of the portrait, and he started. "Too cold for Monsieur?" asked his valet, putting an omelette on the table. "I shut the window?" Dorian shook his head. "I am not cold," he murmured. Was it all true? Had the portrait really changed? Or had it been simply his own imagination that had made him see a look of evil where there had been a look of joy? Surely a painted canvas could not alter? The thing was absurd. It would serve as a tale to tell Basil some day. It would make him smile. "
While the stunned Dorian tries to come up with some rational explanation for the change, Lord Henry arrives with terrible news: Sibyl committed suicide the previous night. Dorian is stunned, but Lord Henry manages to convince him that he should not go to the police and explain his part in the girl's death. Lord Henry urges Dorian not to wallow in guilt but, rather, to regard Sibyl's suicide as a perfect artistic representation of undying love and appreciate it as such. Dorian, who feels numb rather than anguished, is convinced by his friend's seductive words and agrees to go to the opera with him that very night. When Lord Henry is gone, Dorian reflects that this incident is a turning point in his existence, and he resolves to accept a life of
"eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joy and wilder sins,"
in which his portrait, rather than his own body, will bear the marks of age and experience. Having made this resolution, he joins Lord Henry at the opera.
The next day, Basil comes to offer his condolences to Dorian.
"I am so glad I have found you, Dorian, he said gravely. I called last night, and they told me you were at the opera. Of course, I knew that was impossible. But I wish you had left word where you had really gone to. I passed a dreadful evening, half afraid that one tragedy might be followed by another. I think you might have telegraphed for me when you heard of it first. I read of it quite by chance in a late edition of The Globe that I picked up at the club. I came here at once and was miserable at not finding you. I can't tell you how heart-broken I am about the whole thing."
But Dorian dismisses the memory of Sibyl lightly and easily, remarking,
"What is done is done. What is past is past."
Horrified at the change in Dorian, Basil blames Lord Henry for Dorian's heartless attitude. Indeed, in discussing Sibyl's death, Dorian uses many of the same phrases and arguments that Lord Henry favors and evokes a similar air of unaffected composure. He claims that Sibyl's death elevates her
"into the sphere of art."
Dorian asks Basil to do a drawing of Sibyl so that he has something by which to remember her. Basil agrees and begs Dorian to return to his studio for a sitting. When Dorian refuses, Basil asks if he is displeased with his portrait, which Basil means to show at an exhibition. When Basil goes to remove the screen with which Dorian has covered the painting, Dorian's composure cracks. Dorian insists that the work never appear in public and pledges never to speak to Basil again should he touch the screen. Remembering Basil's original refusal to show the painting, Dorian asks why he has changed his mind. Basil confesses that he was worried that the painting would reveal his obsession with Dorian. Now, however, Basil believes that the painting, like all art,
"conceals the artist far more completely than it ever reveals him."
Basil again asks Dorian to sit for him, and Dorian again refuses. When Basil leaves, Dorian decides to hide his portrait.
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Location: in the suburbs of Grenoble
Re: Good comics (and books)
December 09, 2023, 10:48 PM
: December 09, 2023, 11:31 PM by scarface
second part of the summary.
Once Basil is gone, Dorian orders his servant, Victor, to go to a nearby frame-maker and bring back two men. He then calls his housekeeper, Mrs. Leaf, whom he asks for the key to the schoolroom, which sits at the top of the house and has been unused for nearly five years. Dorian covers the portrait with an ornate satin coverlet, reflecting that the sins he commits will mar its beauty just as worms mar the body of a corpse. The men from the frame-maker's arrive, and Dorian employs them to carry the painting to the schoolroom. Here, Dorian muses, the painting will be safe from prying eyes, and if no one can actually see his deterioration, then it bears no importance. After locking the room, he returns to his study and settles down to read a book that Lord Henry has sent him. This yellow book is accompanied by a newspaper account of Sibyl's death. Horrified by the ugliness of the report, Dorian turns to the book, which traces the life of a young Parisian who devotes his life to
"all the passions and modes of thought that belonged to every century except his own."
After reading a few pages, Dorian becomes entranced. He finds the work to be
"a poisonous book,"
one that confuses the boundaries between vice and virtue. When Dorian meets Lord Henry for dinner later that evening, he pronounces the work fascinating.
Sibyl's death compels Dorian to make the conscious decision to embrace Lord Henry's philosophy of selfishness and hedonism wholeheartedly. The contrast between Dorian's and Basil's reactions to Sibyl's death demonstrates the degree to which Lord Henry has changed Dorian. Dorian dismisses the need for grief in words that echo Lord Henry's: Sibyl need not be mourned, he proclaims, for she has "passed into the sphere of art."
In other words, Dorian thinks of Sibyl's death as he would the death of a character in a novel or painting, and chooses not to be affected emotionally by her passing. This attitude reveals one way in which the novel blurs the distinction between life and art. Dorian himself passes "into the sphere of art" when his portrait reflects the physical manifestations of age and sin. While it is usually paintings that never age and people who do, it is the other way around with Dorian, as he has become more like a work of art than a human.
Under the influence of the "yellow book," Dorian's character begins to change. He orders nearly a dozen copies of the first edition and has them bound in different colors to suit his shifting moods. Years pass. Dorian remains young and beautiful, but he is trailed by rumors that he indulges in dark, sordid behavior. Most people cannot help but dismiss these stories, since Dorian's face retains an unblemished look of
Dorian delights in the ever-widening gulf between the beauty of his body and the corruption of his soul. He reflects that too much of human experience has been sacrificed to
and pledges to live a life devoted to discovering
"the true nature of the senses."
Always intellectually curious, Dorian keeps up on the theories of the day —from mysticism to antinomianism to Darwinism— but he never lets these theories dominate him or interfere with his experiences. He devotes himself to the study of beautiful things: perfumes and their psychological effects, music, jewelry, embroideries, and tapestries.
Dorian continues to watch the painted image of himself age and deteriorate. Sometimes the sight of the portrait fills him with horror, while other times he reflects joyfully on the burdens that his body has been spared. But he fears that someone will break into his house and steal the painting; he knows many men who whisper of scandal behind his back and would delight in his downfall.
On the eve of his thirty-eighth birthday, Dorian runs into Basil on a fog-covered street. He tries to pass him unrecognized, but Basil calls out to him and accompanies him home.
"He was walking home about eleven o'clock from Lord Henry's, where he had been dining, and was wrapped in heavy furs, as the night was cold and foggy. At the corner of Grosvenor Square and South Audley Street, a man passed him in the mist, walking very fast and with the collar of his grey ulster turned up. He had a bag in his hand. Dorian recognized him. It was Basil Hallward. A strange sense of fear, for which he could not account, came over him. He made no sign of recognition and went on quickly in the direction of his own house. But Hallward had seen him. Dorian heard him first stopping on the pavement and then hurrying after him. In a few moments, his hand was on his arm".
Basil mentions that he is about to leave for a six-month stay in Paris but felt it necessary to stop by and warn Dorian that terrible rumors are being spread about his conduct.
Basil reminds Dorian that there are no such things as
: sin, he claims,
"writes itself across a man's face."
Having said these words, he demands to know why so many of Dorian's friendships have ended disastrously. We learn that one boy committed suicide, and others had their careers or reputations ruined. Basil chastises Dorian for his influence over these unfortunate youths and urges him to use his considerable sway for good rather than evil. He adds that he wonders if he knows Dorian at all and wishes he were able to see the man's soul. Dorian laughs bitterly and says that the artist shall have his wish. He promises to show Basil his soul, which, he notes, most people believe only God can see. Basil decries Dorian's speech as blasphemous, and he begs Dorian to deny the terrible charges that have been made against him. Smiling, Dorian offers to show Basil the diary of his life, which he is certain will answer all of Basil's questions.
Dorian leads Basil to the room in which he keeps the painting locked.
"He passed out of the room and began the ascent, Basil Hallward following close behind. They walked softly, as men do instinctively at night. The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. A rising wind made some of the windows rattle. When they reached the top landing, Dorian set the lamp down on the floor, and taking out the key, turned it in the lock. "You insist on knowing, Basil?" he asked in a low voice."
Inside, Dorian lights a candle and tears the curtain back to reveal the portrait. The painting has become hideous, a
of its former beauty. Basil stares at the horrifying painting in shock: he recognizes the brushwork and the signature as his own. Dorian stands back and watches Basil with
"a flicker of triumph in his eyes."
When Basil asks how such a thing is possible, Dorian reminds him of the day he met Lord Henry, whose cautionary words about the ephemeral nature of beauty caused Dorian to pledge his soul for eternal, unblemished youth. Basil curses the painting as
"an awful lesson,"
believing he worshipped the youth too much and is now being punished for it. He begs Dorian to kneel and pray for forgiveness, but Dorian claims it is too late. Glancing at his picture, Dorian feels hatred welling up within him. He seizes a knife and stabs Basil repeatedly. He then opens the door and listens for the sound of anyone stirring. When he is satisfied that no one has heard the murder, he locks the room and returns to the library. Dorian hides Basil's belongings in a secret compartment in the wall, then slips quietly out to the street. After a few moments, he returns, waking his servant and thus creating the impression that he has been out all night. The servant reports that Basil has been to visit, and Dorian says he is sorry to have missed him.
The next morning, Dorian wakes from a restful sleep.
"At nine o'clock the next morning his servant came in with a cup of chocolate on a tray and opened the shutters. Dorian was sleeping quite peacefully, lying on his right side, with one hand underneath his cheek. He looked like a boy who had been tired out with play, or study."
Once the events of the previous night sink in, he feels the return of his hatred for Basil. He decides not to brood on these things for fear of making himself ill or mad. After breakfast, he sends for Alan Campbell, a young scientist and former friend from whom he has grown distant. While waiting for Campbell to arrive, Dorian passes the time with a book of poems and reflects on his once intimate relationship with the scientist: the two were, at one point, inseparable. He also draws pictures and reflects on his drawings' similarity to Basil's likeness. Dorian then wonders if Campbell will come and is relieved when the servant announces his arrival.
Campbell has come reluctantly, having been summoned on a matter of life and death. Dorian confesses that there is a dead man locked in the uppermost room of his house, though he refrains from discussing the circumstances of the man's death. He asks Campbell to use his knowledge of chemistry to destroy the body. Campbell refuses. Dorian admits that he murdered the man, and Campbell reiterates that he has no interest in becoming involved. Dorian blackmails Campbell, threatening to reveal a secret that would bring great disgrace on him. With no alternative, Campbell agrees to dispose of the body and sends a servant to his home for the necessary equipment. Dorian goes upstairs to cover the portrait and notices that one of the hands on the painting is dripping with red,
"as though the canvas had sweated blood."
Campbell works until evening, then leaves. When Dorian returns to the room, the body is gone, and the odor of nitric acid fills the room.
That evening, Dorian goes to a dinner party, at which he flirts with bored noblewomen.
"That evening, at eight-thirty, exquisitely dressed and wearing a large button-hole of Parma violets, Dorian Gray was ushered into Lady Narborough's drawing-room by bowing servants. His forehead was throbbing with maddened nerves, and he felt wildly excited, but his manner as he bent over his hostess's hand was as easy and graceful as ever. Perhaps one never seems so much at one's ease as when one has to play a part. Certainly no one looking at Dorian Gray that night could have believed that he had passed through a tragedy as horrible as any tragedy of our age."
Reflecting on his calm demeanor, he feels
"keenly the terrible pleasure of a double life."
Lady Narborough, the hostess, discusses the sad life of her daughter, who lives in a region of the countryside that has not witnessed a scandal since the time of Queen Elizabeth. Dorian finds the party tedious and brightens only when he learns Lord Henry will be in attendance.
During dinner, after Lord Henry has arrived, Dorian finds it impossible to eat. Lord Henry asks him what is the matter. Lady Narborough suggests that Dorian is in love, though Dorian assures her that she is wrong. The party-goers talk wittily about marriage, and the ladies then leave the gentlemen to their
"politics and scandal."
Lord Henry and Dorian discuss a party to be held at Dorian's country estate. Lord Henry then casually asks about Dorian's whereabouts the night before; Dorian's calm facade cracks a bit and he snaps out a strange, defensive response. Rather than join the women upstairs, Dorian decides to go home early.
Once Dorian arrives home, he retrieves Basil's belongings from the wall compartment and burns them. He goes to an ornate cabinet and, opening one of its drawers, draws out a canister of opium. At midnight, he dresses in common clothes and hires a coach to bring him to a London neighborhood where the city's opium dens prosper.
As the coach heads toward the opium dens, Dorian recites to himself Lord Henry's credo:
"To cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul."
He decides that if he cannot be forgiven for his sins, he can at least forget them; herein lies the appeal of the opium dens and the oblivion they promise. The coach stops, and Dorian exits. He enters a squalid den and finds a youth named Adrian Singleton, whom rumor says Dorian corrupted. As Dorian prepares to leave, a woman addresses him as
"the devil's bargain"
At these words, a sailor leaps to his feet and follows Dorian to the street. As he walks along, Dorian wonders whether he should feel guilty for the impact he has had on Adrian Singleton's life. His meditation is cut short, however, when he is seized from behind and held at gunpoint. Facing him is James Vane, Sibyl's brother, who has been tracking Dorian for years in hopes of avenging Sibyl's death. James does not know Dorian's name, but the reference to
makes him decide that it must be the man who wronged his sister. Dorian points out, however, that the man James seeks was in love with Sibyl eighteen years ago; since he, Dorian, has the face of a twenty-year-old man, he cannot possibly be the man who wronged Sibyl. James releases him and makes his way back to the opium den. The old woman tells James that Dorian has been coming there for eighteen years and that his face has never aged a day in all that time. Furious at having let his prey escape, James resolves to hunt him down again.
A week later, Dorian entertains guests at his estate at Selby. He talks with Lord Henry, the Duchess of Monmouth, and her husband; they discuss the nature and importance of beauty. The duchess criticizes Lord Henry for placing too great a value on beauty. The conversation turns to love; Lord Henry maintains that love, like life, depends upon repeating a great experience over and over again. Dorian agrees and excuses himself from his company. Lord Henry chastises the duchess for her flirtations. Soon, they hear a groan from the other end of the conservatory. They rush to find that Dorian has fallen in a swoon. At dinner, Dorian feels occasional chills of terror as he recalls that, before fainting, he saw the face of James Vane pressed against the conservatory window.
The following day, Dorian does not leave the house. The thought of falling prey to James Vane dominates him: every time he closes his eyes, the image of James's face in the window reappears. He begins to wonder, though, if this apparition is a figment of his imagination. The idea that his conscience could assert such fearful visions terrifies Dorian and makes him wonder if he will get any rest.
On the third day after the incident, Dorian ventures out. He strolls along the grounds of his estate and feels reinvigorated. He reflects to himself that the anguish that recently kept him in bed is completely against his nature. He has breakfast with the duchess and then joins a shooting party in the park. While strolling along with the hunters, Dorian is captivated by the graceful movement of a hare and begs his companions not to shoot it. Dorian's companion laughs at Dorian's silliness and shoots at the hare. The gunshot is followed by the cry of a man in agony. Several men thrash their way into the bushes to discover that a man has been shot. Having taken
"the whole charge of shot in his chest,"
the man has died instantly. As the hunters head back toward the house, Dorian shares his worry with Lord Henry that this episode is a
Lord Henry dismisses such notions, assuring Dorian that destiny is
"too wise or too cruel"
to send us omens.
Attempting to lighten the mood, Lord Henry teases Dorian about his relationship with the duchess. Dorian assures Henry that there is no scandal to be had and utters, quite pathetically,
"I wish I could love."
He bemoans the fact that he is so concentrated on himself, on his own personality, that he is thus unable to love another person. He entertains the idea of sailing away on a yacht, where he will be safe. When the gentlemen come upon the duchess, Dorian leaves Lord Henry to talk to her and retires to his room. There, the head keeper comes to speak to Dorian. Dorian inquires about the man who was shot, assuming him to have been a servant, and offers to make provisions for the man's family. The head keeper reports that the man's identity remains a mystery. As soon as he learns that the man is an anonymous sailor, Dorian demands to see him. He rides to a farm where the body is being kept and identifies it as that of James Vane. He rides home with tears in his eyes, feeling safe.
Several weeks have passed, it seems, and Dorian visits Lord Henry. Dorian claims that he wants to reform himself and be virtuous. As evidence of his newfound resolve, Dorian describes a recent trip to the country during which he passed up an opportunity to seduce and defile an innkeeper's innocent daughter. Lord Henry dismisses Dorian's intentions to reform, and he turns the conversation to other subjects —Alan Campbell's recent suicide and the continued mystery of Basil Hallward's disappearance. Dorian asks if Lord Henry has ever considered that Basil might have been murdered. Lord Henry dismisses the idea, noting that Basil lacked enemies. Dorian then asks:
"What would you say, Harry, if I told you that I had murdered Basil?"
Lord Henry laughs and responds that murder is too vulgar for a man like Dorian.
The conversation drifts away from Basil. Lord Henry then asks Dorian,
"What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
Dorian starts nervously; Lord Henry explains that he heard a street preacher posing this question to a crowd. He mocks the man in his typical fashion, but Dorian cuts him short, insisting that the soul is very real. Lord Henry laughs at the suggestion, wondering aloud how Dorian has managed to remain so young after all these years. He wishes he knew Dorian's secret and praises Dorian's life as being
He commends Dorian's mode of living and begs him not to spoil it by trying to be virtuous. Dorian somberly asks his friend not to loan anyone else the
which has had such a corrupting effect upon his own character, but Lord Henry discounts his
and remarks that
"art has no influence upon action. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."
Before leaving, Lord Henry invites Dorian to visit him the next day.
That night, Dorian goes to the locked room to look at his portrait. He hopes his decision to amend his life will have changed the painting, and he considers that perhaps his decision not to ruin the innkeeper's daughter's reputation will be reflected in the painted face. But when Dorian looks at his portrait, he sees there is no change —except that
"in the eyes there was a look of cunning, and in the mouth the curved wrinkle of the hypocrite."
He realizes his pitiful attempt to be good was no more than hypocrisy, an attempt to minimize the seriousness of his crimes that falls far short of atonement. Furious, he seizes a knife —the same weapon with which he killed Basil— and drives it into the portrait in an attempt to destroy it.
From below, Dorian's servants hear a cry and a clatter. Breaking into the room, they see the portrait, unharmed, showing Dorian Gray as a beautiful young man. On the floor is the body of an old man, horribly wrinkled and disfigured, with a knife plunged into his heart. It is not until the servants examine the rings on the old man's hands that they identify him as Dorian Gray.
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Re: Good comics (and books)
January 02, 2024, 07:39 PM
: January 02, 2024, 07:42 PM by scarface
Today, I'm going to present a Summary of the book Jane Eyre.
It is a novel by the English writer Charlotte Brontë, published in 1847. Jane Eyre is a novel which follows the experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall. The novel revolutionized prose fiction by being the first to focus on its protagonist's moral and spiritual development through an intimate first-person narrative, where actions and events are coloured by a psychological intensity.
The cover of my book:
Here is my summary of this novel.
The novel opens on a dreary November afternoon at Gateshead, the home of the wealthy Reed family. "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question." A young girl named Jane Eyre sits in the drawing room reading Bewick's History of British Birds. Jane's aunt, Mrs. Reed, has forbidden her niece to play with her cousins Eliza, Georgiana, and the bullying John. John chides Jane for being a lowly orphan who is only permitted to live with the Reeds because of his mother's charity. John then hurls a book at the young girl, pushing her to the end of her patience. Jane finally erupts, and the two cousins fight. Mrs. Reed holds Jane responsible for the scuffle and sends her to the "red-room"—the frightening chamber in which her Uncle Reed died—as punishment.
Two servants, Miss Abbott and Bessie Lee, escort Jane to the red-room, and Jane resists them with all of her might. " The red-room was a square chamber, very seldom slept in, I might say never, indeed, unless when a chance influx of visitors at Gateshead Hall rendered it necessary to turn to account all the accommodation it contained: yet it was one of the largest and stateliest chambers in the mansion. A bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask, stood out like a tabernacle in the centre; the two large windows, with their blinds always drawn down, were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery; the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth; the walls were a soft fawn colour with a blush of pink in it; the wardrobe, the toilet-table, the chairs were of darkly polished old mahogany."
Once locked in the room, Jane catches a glimpse of her ghastly figure in the mirror, and, shocked by her meager presence, she begins to reflect on the events that have led her to such a state. She remembers her kind Uncle Reed bringing her to Gateshead after her parents' death, and she recalls his dying command that his wife promise to raise Jane as one of her own. Suddenly, Jane is struck with the impression that her Uncle Reed's ghost is in the room, and she imagines that he has come to take revenge on his wife for breaking her promise. "A singular notion dawned upon me. I doubted not — never doubted — that if Mr. Reed had been alive he would have treated me kindly; and now, as I sat looking at the white bed and overshadowed walls — occasionally also turning a fascinated eye towards the dimly gleaning mirror — I began to recall what I had heard of dead men, troubled in their graves by the violation of their last wishes, revisiting the earth to punish the perjured and avenge the oppressed; and I thought Mr. Reed's spirit, harassed by the wrongs of his sister's child, might quit its abode — whether in the church vault or in the unknown world of the departed — and rise before me in this chamber."
Jane cries out in terror, but her aunt believes that she is just trying to escape her punishment, and she ignores her pleas. Jane faints in exhaustion and fear.
When she wakes, Jane finds herself in her own bedroom, in the care of Mr. Lloyd, the family's kind apothecary. Bessie is also present, and she expresses disapproval of her mistress's treatment of Jane. Jane remains in bed the following day, and Bessie sings her a song. Mr. Lloyd speaks with Jane about her life at Gateshead, and he suggests to Jane's aunt that the girl be sent away to school, where she might find happiness. Jane is cautiously excited at the possibility of leaving Gateshead.
Soon after her own reflections on the past in the red-room, Jane learns more of her history when she overhears a conversation between Bessie and Miss Abbott. Jane's mother was a member of the wealthy Reed family, which strongly disapproved of Jane's father, an impoverished clergyman. When they married, Jane's wealthy maternal grandfather wrote his daughter out of his will. Not long after Jane was born, Jane's parents died from typhus, which Jane's father contracted while caring for the poor.
About two months have passed, and Jane has been enduring even crueler treatment from her aunt and cousins while anxiously waiting for the arrangements to be made for her schooling. Now Jane is finally told she may attend the girls' school Lowood, and she is introduced to Mr. Brocklehurst, the stern-faced man who runs the school. Mr. Brocklehurst abrasively questions Jane about religion, and he reacts with indignation when she declares that she finds the psalms uninteresting. Jane's aunt warns Mr. Brocklehurst that the girl also has a propensity for lying, a piece of information that Mr. Brocklehurst says he intends to publicize to Jane's teachers upon her arrival. When Mr. Brocklehurst leaves, Jane is so hurt by her aunt's accusation that she cannot stop herself from defending herself to her aunt. Mrs. Reed, for once, seems to concede defeat. Shortly thereafter, Bessie tells Jane that she prefers her to the Reed children. Before Jane leaves for school, Bessie tells her stories and sings her lovely songs.
Four days after meeting Mr. Brocklehurst, Jane boards the 6 a.m. coach.
"The moon was set, and it was very dark; Bessie carried a lantern, whose light glanced on wet steps and gravel road sodden by a recent thaw. Raw and chill was the winter morning: my teeth chattered as I hastened down the drive. There was a light in the porter's lodge: when we reached it, we found the porter's wife just kindling her fire: my trunk, which had been carried down the evening before, stood corded at the door. It wanted but a few minutes of six, and shortly after that hour had struck, the distant roll of wheels announced the coming coach; I went to the door and watched its lamps approach rapidly through the gloom."
She travels alone to Lowood. When she arrives at the school, the day is dark and rainy. "The afternoon came on wet and somewhat misty: as it waned into dusk, I began to feel that we were getting very far indeed from Gateshead: we ceased to pass through towns; the country changed; great grey hills heaved up round the horizon: as twilight deepened, we descended a valley, dark with wood, and long after night had overclouded the prospect, I heard a wild wind rushing amongst trees." She is then led through a grim building that will be her new home. The following day, Jane is introduced to her classmates and learns the daily routine, which keeps the girls occupied from before dawn until dinner. Miss Temple, the superintendent of the school, is very kind, while one of Jane's teachers, Miss Scatcherd, is unpleasant, particularly in her harsh treatment of a young student named Helen Burns. Jane and Helen befriend one another, and Jane learns from Helen that Lowood is a charity school maintained for female orphans, which means that the Reeds have paid nothing to put her there. She also learns that Mr. Brocklehurst oversees every aspect of its operation: even Miss Temple must answer to him.
On Jane's second morning at Lowood, the girls are unable to wash, as the water in their pitchers is frozen. "The next day commenced as before, getting up and dressing by rushlight; but this morning we were obliged to dispense with the ceremony of washing; the water in the pitchers was frozen. A change had taken place in the weather the preceding evening, and a keen north-east wind, whistling through the crevices of our bedroom windows all night long, had made us shiver in our beds, and turned the contents of the ewers to ice."
Jane quickly learns that life at the school is harsh. The girls are underfed, overworked, and forced to sit still during seemingly endless sermons. Still, she takes comfort in her new friendship with Helen, who impresses Jane with her expansive knowledge and her ability to patiently endure even the cruelest treatment from Miss Scatcherd. Helen tells Jane that she practices a doctrine of Christian endurance, which means loving her enemies and accepting her privation. Jane disagrees strongly with such meek tolerance of injustice, but Helen takes no heed of Jane's arguments. Helen is self-critical only because she sometimes fails to live up to her ascetic standards: she believes that she is a poor student and chastises herself for daydreaming about her home and family when she should be concentrating on her studies.
Jane is talking about the daily life at Lowood. "During January, February, and part of March, the deep snows, and, after their melting, the almost impassable roads, prevented our stirring beyond the garden walls, except to go to church; but within these limits we had to pass an hour every day in the open air. Our clothing was insufficient to protect us from the severe cold: we had no boots, the snow got into our shoes and melted there: our ungloved hands became numbed and covered with chilblains, as were our feet".
For most of Jane's first month at Lowood, Mr. Brocklehurst spends his time away from the school. When he returns, Jane becomes quite nervous because she remembers his promise to her aunt, Mrs. Reed, to warn the school about Jane's supposed habit of lying. When Jane inadvertently drops her slate in Mr. Brocklehurst's presence, he is furious and tells her she is careless. He orders Jane to stand on a stool while he tells the school that she is a liar, and he forbids the other students to speak to her for the rest of the day.
Finally, at five o'clock, the students disperse, and Jane collapses to the floor. Deeply ashamed, she is certain that her reputation at Lowood has been ruined, but Helen assures her that most of the girls felt more pity for Jane than revulsion at her alleged deceitfulness. Jane tells Miss Temple that she is not a liar, and relates the story of her tormented childhood at Gateshead. Miss Temple seems to believe Jane and writes to Mr. Lloyd requesting confirmation of Jane's account of events. Miss Temple offers Jane and Helen tea and seed cake, endearing herself even further to Jane. When Mr. Lloyd's letter arrives and corroborates Jane's story, Miss Temple publicly declares Jane to be innocent. Relieved and contented, Jane devotes herself to her studies. She excels at drawing and makes progress in French.
In the spring, life at Lowood briefly seems happier, but the damp forest dell in which the school resides is a breeding-ground for typhus, and in the warm temperatures more than half the girls fall ill with the disease.
"Have I not described a pleasant site for a dwelling, when I speak of it as bosomed in hill and wood, and rising from the verge of a stream? Assuredly, pleasant enough: but whether healthy or not is another question.
That forest-dell, where Lowood lay, was the cradle of fog and fog-bred pestilence; which, quickening with the quickening spring, crept into the Orphan Asylum, breathed typhus through its crowded schoolroom and dormitory, and, ere May arrived, transformed the seminary into an hospital."
Jane remains healthy and spends her time playing outdoors with a new friend, Mary Ann Wilson. Helen is sick, but not with typhus—Jane learns the horrific news that her friend is dying of consumption. One evening, Jane sneaks into Miss Temple's room to see Helen one last time. Helen promises Jane that she feels little pain and is happy to be leaving the world's suffering behind. Jane takes Helen into her arms, and the girls fall asleep. During the night, Helen dies. Her grave is originally unmarked, but fifteen years after her death, a gray marble tablet is placed over the spot (presumably by Jane), bearing the single word Resurgam, Latin for "I shall rise again."
After Mr. Brocklehurst's negligent treatment of the girls at Lowood is found to be one of the causes of the typhus epidemic, a new group of overseers is brought in to run the school.
"When the typhus fever had fulfilled its mission of devastation at Lowood, it gradually disappeared from thence; but not till its virulence and the number of its victims had drawn public attention on the school. Inquiry was made into the origin of the scourge, and by degrees various facts came out which excited public indignation in a high degree. The unhealthy nature of the site; the quantity and quality of the children's food; the brackish, fetid water used in its preparation; the pupils' wretched clothing and accommodations — all these things were discovered, and the discovery produced a result mortifying to Mr. Brocklehurst, but beneficial to the institution."
Conditions improve dramatically for the young girls, and Jane excels in her studies for the next six years. After spending two more years at Lowood as a teacher, Jane decides she is ready for a change, partly because Miss Temple gets married and leaves the school. She advertises in search of a post as a governess and accepts a position at a manor called Thornfield.
Before leaving, Jane receives a visit from Bessie, who tells her what has happened at Gateshead since Jane departed for Lowood. Georgiana attempted to run away in secret with a man named Lord Edwin Vere, but Eliza foiled the plan by revealing it to Mrs. Reed. John has fallen into a life of debauchery and dissolution. Bessie also tells Jane that her father's brother, John Eyre, appeared at Gateshead seven years ago, looking for Jane. He did not have the time to travel to Lowood and went away to Madeira (a Portuguese island west of Morocco) in search of wealth. Jane and Bessie part ways, Bessie returning to Gateshead, and Jane leaving for her new life at Thornfield.
Jane's driver is late picking her up from the station at Millcote.
"Reader, though I look comfortably accommodated, I am not very tranquil in my mind. I thought when the coach stopped here there would be some one to meet me; I looked anxiously round as I descended the wooden steps the "boots" placed for my convenience, expecting to hear my name pronounced, and to see some description of carriage waiting to convey me to Thornfield. Nothing of the sort was visible; and when I asked a waiter if any one had been to inquire after a Miss Eyre, I was answered in the negative: so I had no resource but to request to be shown into a private room: and here I am waiting, while all sorts of doubts and fears are troubling my thoughts."
When she finally arrives at Thornfield it is nighttime. Although she cannot distinguish much of the house's facade from among the shadows, she finds the interior "cosy and agreeable." Mrs. Fairfax, a prim, elderly woman, is waiting for Jane. It turns out that Mrs. Fairfax is not, as Jane had assumed from their correspondence, the owner of Thornfield, but rather the housekeeper. Thornfield's owner, Mr. Rochester, travels regularly and leaves much of the manor's management to Mrs. Fairfax. Jane learns that she will be tutoring Adèle, an eight-year-old French girl whose mother was a singer and dancer. Mrs. Fairfax also tells Jane about Rochester, saying that he is an eccentric man whose family has a history of extreme and violent behavior. Suddenly, Jane hears a peal of strange, eerie laughter echoing through the house, and Mrs. Fairfax summons someone named Grace, whom she orders to make less noise and to "remember directions." When Grace leaves, Mrs. Fairfax explains that she is a rather unbalanced and unpredictable seamstress who works in the house.
Jane finds life at Thornfield pleasant and comfortable. Adèle proves to be exuberant and intelligent, though spoiled and at times a bit petulant. Nonetheless, Jane is frequently restless and collects her thoughts while pacing Thornfield's top-story passageway. One evening a few months after her arrival at Thornfield, Jane is alone watching the moon rise when she perceives a horse approaching. It calls to her mind the story Bessie once told her of a spirit called a Gytrash, which disguises itself as a mule, dog, or horse to frighten "belated travellers." Oddly enough, a dog then appears as well. Once she realizes that the horse has a rider, the uncanny moment ceases. Just after the horse passes her, it slips on a patch of ice, and its rider tumbles to the ground. Jane helps the man rise to his feet and introduces herself to him. She observes that he has a dark face, stern features, and a heavy brow. He is not quite middle-aged. Upon reentering Thornfield, Jane goes to Mrs. Fairfax's room and sees the same dog—Pilot—resting on the rug. A servant answers Jane's queries, explaining that the dog belongs to Mr. Rochester, who has just returned home with a sprained ankle, having fallen from his horse.
The day following his arrival, Mr. Rochester invites Jane and Adèle to have tea with him.
"Adele and I had now to vacate the library: it would be in daily requisition as a reception-room for callers. A fire was lit in an apartment upstairs, and there I carried our books, and arranged it for the future schoolroom. I discerned in the course of the morning that Thornfield Hall was a changed place: no longer silent as a church, it echoed every hour or two to a knock at the door, or a clang of the bell" "Mr. Rochester would be glad if you and your pupil would take tea with him in the drawing-room this evening," said she: "he has been so much engaged all day that he could not ask to see you before."
He is abrupt and rather cold toward both of them, although he seems charmed by Jane's drawings, which he asks to see. When Jane mentions to Mrs. Fairfax that she finds Rochester "changeful and abrupt," Mrs. Fairfax suggests that his mannerisms are the result of a difficult personal history. Rochester was something of a family outcast, and when his father died, his older brother inherited Thornfield. Rochester has been Thornfield's proprietor for nine years, since the death of his brother.
Jane sees little of Rochester during his first days at Thornfield. One night, however, in his "after-dinner mood," Rochester sends for Jane and Adèle. He gives Adèle the present she has been anxiously awaiting, and while Adèle plays, Rochester is uncharacteristically chatty with Jane. When Rochester asks Jane whether she thinks him handsome, she answers "no" without thinking, and from Rochester's voluble reaction Jane concludes that he is slightly drunk. Rochester's command that she converse with him makes Jane feel awkward, especially because he goes on to argue that her relationship to him is not one of servitude. Their conversation turns to the concepts of sin, forgiveness, and redemption. When Adèle mentions her mother, Jane is intrigued, and Rochester promises to explain more about the situation on a future occasion.
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Re: Good comics (and books)
January 02, 2024, 07:44 PM
: January 02, 2024, 07:48 PM by scarface
second part of the summary.
A while later, Rochester fulfills his promise to Jane to tell her about his and Adèle's pasts. He had a long affair with Adèle's mother, the French singer and dancer named Celine Varens.
"Mr. Rochester did, on a future occasion, explain it. It was one afternoon, when he chanced to meet me and Adele in the grounds: and while she played with Pilot and her shuttlecock, he asked me to walk up and down a long beech avenue within sight of her.
He then said that she was the daughter of a French opera-dancer, Celine Varens, towards whom he had once cherished what he called a "grande passion." This passion Celine had professed to return with even superior ardour. He thought himself her idol, ugly as he was: he believed, as he said, that she preferred his "taille d'athlete" to the elegance of the Apollo Belvidere."
When he discovered that Celine was engaged in relations with another man, Rochester ended the relationship. Rochester has always denied Celine's claim that Adèle is his daughter, noting that the child looks utterly unlike him. Even so, when Celine abandoned her daughter, Rochester brought Adèle to England so that she would be properly cared for.
Jane lies awake brooding about the strange insights she has gained into her employer's past. She hears what sound like fingers brushing against the walls, and an eerie laugh soon emanates from the hallway. She hears a door opening and hurries out of her room to see smoke coming from Rochester's door. Jane dashes into his room and finds his bed curtains ablaze. She douses the bed with water, saving Rochester's life. Strangely, Rochester's reaction is to visit the third floor of the house. When he returns, he says mysteriously, "I have found it all out, it is just as I thought." He inquires whether Jane has ever heard the eerie laughter before, and she answers that she has heard Grace Poole laugh in the same way. "Just so. Grace Poole—you have guessed it," Rochester confirms. He thanks Jane for saving his life and cautions her to tell no one about the details of the night's events. He sleeps on the library sofa for the remainder of the night.
The next morning, Jane is shocked to learn that the near tragedy of the night before has caused no scandal. The servants believe Rochester to have fallen asleep with a lit candle by his bed, and even Grace Poole shows no sign of guilt or remorse. Jane cannot imagine why an attempted murderer is allowed to continue working at Thornfield. She realizes that she is beginning to have feelings for Rochester and is disappointed that he will be away from Thornfield for several days. He has left to attend a party where he will be in the company of Blanche Ingram, a beautiful lady. Jane scolds herself for being disappointed by the news, and she resolves to restrain her flights of imaginative fancy by comparing her own portrait to one she has drawn of Blanche Ingram, noting how much plainer she is than the beautiful Blanche.
Rochester has been gone for a week, and Jane is dismayed to learn that he may choose to depart for continental Europe without returning to Thornfield—according to Mrs. Fairfax, he could be gone for more than a year. A week later, however, Mrs. Fairfax receives word that Rochester will arrive in three days with a large group of guests. While she waits, Jane continues to be amazed by the apparently normal relations the strange, self–isolated Grace Poole enjoys with the rest of the staff. Jane also overhears a conversation in which a few of the servants discuss Grace's high pay, and Jane is certain that she doesn't know the entire truth about Grace Poole's role at Thornfield.
Rochester arrives at last, accompanied by a party of elegant and aristocratic guests. Jane is forced to join the group but spends the evening watching them from a window seat. Blanche Ingram and her mother are among the party's members, and they treat Jane with disdain and cruelty. Jane tries to leave the party, but Rochester stops her. He grudgingly allows her to go when he sees the tears brimming in her eyes. He informs her that she must come into the drawing room every evening during his guests' stay at Thornfield. As they part, Rochester nearly lets slip more than he intends. "Good-night, my—" he says, before biting his lip.
The guests stay at Thornfield for several days.
"Merry days were these at Thornfield Hall; and busy days too: how different from the first three months of stillness, monotony, and solitude I had passed beneath its roof! All sad feelings seemed now driven from the house, all gloomy associations forgotten: there was life everywhere, movement all day long. You could not now traverse the gallery, once so hushed, nor enter the front chambers, once so tenantless, without encountering a smart lady's-maid or a dandy valet."
Rochester and Blanche compete as a team at charades. From watching their interaction, Jane believes that they will be married soon though they do not seem to love one another. Blanche would be marrying Rochester for his wealth, and he for her beauty and her social position. One day, a strange man named Mr. Mason arrives at Thornfield. Jane dislikes him at once because of his vacant eyes and his slowness, but she learns from him that Rochester once lived in the West Indies, as he himself has done.
"His manner was polite; his accent, in speaking, struck me as being somewhat unusual, — not precisely foreign, but still not altogether English: his age might be about Mr. Rochester's, — between thirty and forty; his complexion was singularly sallow: otherwise he was a fine-looking man, at first sight especially. On closer examination, you detected something in his face that displeased, or rather that failed to please. His features were regular, but too relaxed: his eye was large and well cut, but the life looking out of it was a tame, vacant life"
One evening, a gypsy woman comes to Thornfield to tell the guests' fortunes. Blanche Ingram goes first, and when she returns from her talk with the gypsy woman she looks keenly disappointed.
Jane goes in to the library to have her fortune read, and after overcoming her skepticism, she finds herself entranced by the old woman's speech.
"The library looked tranquil enough as I entered it, and the Sibyl — if Sibyl she were — was seated snugly enough in an easy-chair at the chimney-corner. She had on a red cloak and a black bonnet: or rather, a broad-brimmed gipsy hat, tied down with a striped handkerchief under her chin. An extinguished candle stood on the table; she was bending over the fire, and seemed reading in a little black book, like a prayer-book, by the light of the blaze: she muttered the words to herself, as most old women do, while she read; she did not desist immediately on my entrance: it appeared she wished to finish a paragraph."
The gypsy woman seems to know a great deal about Jane and tells her that she is very close to happiness. She also says that she told Blanche Ingram that Rochester was not as wealthy as he seemed, thereby accounting for Blanche's sullen mood. As the woman reads Jane's fortune, her voice slowly deepens, and Jane realizes that the gypsy is Rochester in disguise. Jane reproaches Rochester for tricking her and remembers thinking that Grace Poole might have been the gypsy. When Rochester learns that Mr. Mason has arrived, he looks troubled.
The same night, Jane is startled by a sudden cry for help.
"The night — its silence — its rest, was rent in twain by a savage, a sharp, a shrilly sound that ran from end to end of Thornfield Hall. My pulse stopped: my heart stood still; my stretched arm was paralysed. The cry died, and was not renewed. Indeed, whatever being uttered that fearful shriek could not soon repeat it: not the widest-winged condor on the Andes could, twice in succession, send out such a yell from the cloud shrouding his eyrie. The thing delivering such utterance must rest ere it could repeat the effort."
She hurries into the hallway, where Rochester assures everyone that a servant has merely had a nightmare. After everyone returns to bed, Rochester knocks on Jane's door. He tells her that he can use her help and asks whether she is afraid of blood. He leads her to the third story of the house and shows her Mr. Mason, who has been stabbed in the arm. Rochester asks Jane to stanch the wound and then leaves, ordering Mason and Jane not to speak to one another. In the silence, Jane gazes at the image of the apostles and Christ's crucifixion that is painted on the cabinet across from her. Rochester returns with a surgeon, and as the men tend to Mason's wounds, Rochester sends Jane to find a potion downstairs. He gives some of it to Mason, saying that it will give him heart for an hour. Once Mason is gone, Jane and Rochester stroll in the orchard, and Rochester tells Jane a hypothetical story about a young man who commits a "capital error" in a foreign country and proceeds to lead a life of dissipation in an effort to "obtain relief." The young man then hopes to redeem himself and live morally with a wife, but convention prevents him from doing so. He asks whether the young man would be justified in "overleaping an obstacle of custom." Jane's reply is that such a man should look to God for his redemption, not to another person. Rochester—who obviously has been describing his own situation—asks Jane to reassure him that marrying Blanche would bring him salvation. He then hurries away before she has a chance to answer.
Jane has heard that it is a bad omen to dream of children, and now she has dreams on seven consecutive nights involving babies. She learns that her cousin John Reed has committed suicide, and that her aunt, Mrs. Reed, has suffered a stroke and is nearing death. Jane goes to Gateshead, where she is reunited with Bessie. She also sees her cousins Eliza and Georgiana. Eliza is plain and plans to enter a convent, while Georgiana is as beautiful as ever. Ever since Eliza ruined Georgiana's hopes of eloping with a young man, the two sisters have not gotten along. Jane tries to patch things up with Mrs. Reed, but the old woman is still full of hostility toward her late husband's favorite. One day, Mrs. Reed gives Jane a letter from her father's brother, John Eyre. He declares that he wishes to adopt Jane and bequeath her his fortune. The letter is three years old; out of malice, Mrs. Reed did not forward it to Jane when she received it. In spite of her aunt's behavior, Jane tries once more to smooth relations with the dying woman. But Mrs. Reed refuses, and, at midnight, she dies.
Jane remains at Gateshead for a month because Georgiana dreads being left alone with Eliza, with whom she does not get along. Eventually, Georgiana goes to London to live with her uncle, and Eliza joins a convent in France. Jane tells us that Eliza eventually becomes the Mother Superior of her convent, while Georgiana marries a wealthy man. At Gateshead, Jane receives a letter from Mrs. Fairfax, which says that Rochester's guests have departed and that Rochester has gone to London to buy a new carriage—a sure sign of his intention to marry Blanche. As Jane travels toward Thornfield, she anxiously anticipates seeing Rochester again, and yet she worries about what will become of her after his marriage. To her surprise, as she walks from the station at Millcote, Jane encounters Rochester. When he asks her why she has stayed away from Thornfield so long, she replies, still a bit bewildered, "I have been with my aunt, sir, who is dead." Rochester asks Jane whether she has heard about his new carriage, and he tells her: "You must see the carriage, Jane, and tell me if you don't think it will suit Mrs. Rochester exactly." After a few more words together, Jane surprises herself by expressing the happiness she feels in Rochester's presence: "I am strangely glad to get back again to you; and wherever you are is my home—my only home." Back at the manor, Mrs. Fairfax, Adèle, and the servants greet Jane warmly.
After a blissful two weeks, Jane encounters Rochester in the gardens. He invites her to walk with him, and Jane, caught off guard, accepts. Rochester confides that he has finally decided to marry Blanche Ingram and tells Jane that he knows of an available governess position in Ireland that she could take. Jane expresses her distress at the great distance that separates Ireland from Thornfield. The two seat themselves on a bench at the foot of the chestnut tree, and Rochester says: "we will sit there in peace to-night, though we should never more be destined to sit there together." He tells Jane that he feels as though they are connected by a "cord of communion." Jane sobs—"for I could repress what I endured no longer," she tells us, "I was obliged to yield." Jane confesses her love for Rochester, and to her surprise, he asks her to be his wife. She suspects that he is teasing her, but he convinces her otherwise by admitting that he only brought up marrying Blanche in order to arouse Jane's jealousy. Convinced and elated, Jane accepts his proposal. A storm breaks, and the newly engaged couple hurries indoors through the rain. Rochester helps Jane out of her wet coat, and he seizes the opportunity to kiss her. Jane looks up to see Mrs. Fairfax watching, astonished. That night, a bolt of lightning splits the same chestnut tree under which Rochester and Jane had been sitting that evening.
Preparations for Jane and Rochester's wedding do not run smoothly. Mrs. Fairfax treats Jane coldly because she doesn't realize that Jane was already engaged to Rochester when she allowed him to kiss her. But even after she learns the truth, Mrs. Fairfax maintains her disapproval of the marriage. Jane feels unsettled, almost fearful, when Rochester calls her by what will soon be her name, Jane Rochester. Jane explains that everything feels impossibly ideal, like a fairy-tale or a daydream. Rochester certainly tries to turn Jane into a Cinderella-like figure: he tells her he will dress her in jewels and in finery befitting her new social station, at which point Jane becomes terrified and self-protective. She has a premonitory feeling that the wedding will not happen, and she decides to write her uncle, John Eyre, who is in Madeira. Jane reasons that if John Eyre were to make her his heir, her inheritance might put her on more equal footing with Rochester, which would make her feel less uncomfortable about the marriage.
The night before her wedding, Jane waits for Rochester, who has left Thornfield for the evening. She grows restless and takes a walk in the orchard, where she sees the now-split chestnut tree. When Rochester arrives, Jane tells him about strange events that have occurred in his absence. The preceding evening, Jane's wedding dress arrived, and underneath it was an expensive veil—Rochester's wedding gift to Jane. In the night, Jane had a strange dream, in which a little child cried in her arms as Jane tried to make her way toward Rochester on a long, winding road. Rochester dismisses the dream as insignificant, but then she tells him about a second dream. This time, Jane loses her balance and the child falls from her knee. The dream was so disturbing that it roused Jane from her sleep, and she perceived "a form" rustling in her closet. It turned out to be a strange, savage-looking woman, who took Jane's veil and tore it in two. Rochester tells her that the woman must have been Grace Poole and that what she experienced was really "half-dream, half-reality." He tells her that he will give her a full explanation of events after they have been married for one year and one day. Jane sleeps with Adèle for the evening and cries because she will soon have to leave the sleeping girl.
Sophie helps Jane dress for the wedding, and Rochester and Jane walk to the church. Jane notes a pair of strangers reading the headstones in the churchyard cemetery. When Jane and Rochester enter the church, the two strangers are also present. When the priest asks if anyone objects to the ceremony, one of the strangers answers: "The marriage cannot go on: I declare the existence of an impediment." Rochester attempts to proceed with the ceremony, but the stranger explains that Rochester is already married—his wife is a Creole woman whom Rochester wed fifteen years earlier in Jamaica. The speaker explains that he is a solicitor from London, and he introduces himself as Mr. Briggs. He produces a signed letter from Richard Mason affirming that Rochester is married to Mason's sister, Bertha. Mr. Mason himself then steps forward to corroborate the story. After a moment of inarticulate fury, Rochester admits that his wife is alive and that in marrying Jane he would have been knowingly taking a second wife. No one in the community knows of his wife because she is mad, and Rochester keeps her locked away under the care of Grace Poole. But, he promises them all, Jane is completely ignorant of Bertha's existence. He orders the crowd to come to Thornfield to see her, so that they may understand what impelled him to his present course of action.
At Thornfield, the group climbs to the third story. Rochester points out the room where Bertha bit and stabbed her brother, and then he lifts a tapestry to uncover a second door. Inside the hidden room is Bertha Mason, under the care of Grace Poole. Jane writes: Bertha attempts to strangle Rochester, who reminds his audience, "this is the sole conjugal embrace I am ever to know." Jane leaves the room with Mason and Briggs, who tells her that he learned of her intent to marry Jane via a letter from Jane's uncle, John Eyre, to Mason. It turns out that the two men are acquaintances, and Mason had stopped in Madeira on his way back to Jamaica when John received Jane's letter. Approaching death, John asked Mason to hurry to England to save his niece. After the wedding crowd disperses, Jane locks herself in her room and plunges into an inexpressible grief. She thinks about the almost calm manner in which the morning's events unfolded and how it seems disproportionate to the immense effect those events will have on her life. She prays to God to be with her.
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January 02, 2024, 07:49 PM
Third part of the summary.
After falling asleep for a short while, Jane awakes to the realization that she must leave Thornfield. When she steps out of her room, she finds Rochester waiting in a chair on the threshold. To Rochester's assurances that he never meant to wound her, and to his pleas of forgiveness, Jane is silent, although she confides to the reader that she forgave him on the spot. Jane suddenly feels faint, and Rochester carries her to the library to revive her. He then offers her a new proposal—to leave England with him for the South of France, where they will live together as husband and wife. Jane refuses, explaining that no matter how Rochester chooses to view the situation, she will never be more than a mistress to him while Bertha is alive. Rochester realizes that he must explain why he does not consider himself married, and he launches into the story of his past.
Unwilling to divide his property, Rochester's father left his entire estate to his other son, Rowland, and sent Rochester to Jamaica to marry Bertha, who was to inherit a massive fortune—30,000 pounds. Bertha was beautiful, and although she and Rochester spent hardly any time alone, the stimulated, dazzled, and ignorant youth believed himself to be in love and agreed to the marriage. Shortly after the wedding, Rochester learned that Bertha's mother was not, as he had been led to believe, dead, but mad and living in an insane asylum. Bertha's younger brother was a mute idiot. Rochester's father and brother had known about the family's unpromising genetic legacy, but they had promoted the marriage for the sake of the money. Bertha soon revealed herself to be coarse, perverse, and prone to violent outbreaks of temper and unhealthy indulgences. These excesses only hastened the approach of what had been lurking on her horizon already: absolute madness. By this time, Rochester's father and brother had died, so Rochester found himself all alone with a maniacal wife and a huge fortune. He considered killing himself but returned to England instead. He resolved to place Bertha at Thornfield Hall "in safety and comfort: to shelter her degradation with secrecy, and leave her." Rochester then drifted around the continent from one city to the next, always in search of a woman to love. When he was met with disappointment, he sank into debauchery. He was always disappointed with his mistresses, because they were, as he puts it, "the next worse thing to buying a slave." Then he met Jane. Rochester retells the story of their introduction from his point of view, telling her that she enchanted him from the start.
Jane feels torn. She doesn't want to condemn Rochester to further misery, and a voice within her asks, "Who in the world cares for you?" Jane wonders how she could ever find another man who values her the way Rochester does, and whether, after a life of loneliness and neglect, she should leave the first man who has ever loved her. Yet her conscience tells her that she will respect herself all the more if she bears her suffering alone and does what she believes to be right. She tells Rochester that she must go, but she kisses his cheek and prays aloud for God to bless him as she departs. That night, Jane has a dream in which her mother tells her to flee temptation. She grabs her purse, sneaks down the stairs, and leaves Thornfield.
Riding in a coach, Jane quickly exhausts her meager money supply and is forced to sleep outdoors. She spends much of the night in prayer, and the following day she begs for food or a job in the nearby town. No one helps her, except for one farmer who is willing to give her a slice of bread. After another day, Jane sees a light shining from across the moors. Following it, she comes to a house. Through the window, Jane sees two young women studying German while their servant knits. From their conversation Jane learns that the servant is named Hannah and that the graceful young women are Diana and Mary. The three women are waiting for someone named St. John (pronounced "Sinjin"). Jane knocks on the door, but Hannah refuses to let her in. Collapsing on the doorstep in anguish and weakness, Jane cries, "I can but die, and I believe in God. Let me try to wait His will in silence." A voice answers, "All men must die, but all are not condemned to meet a lingering and premature doom, such as yours would be if you perished here of want." The voice belongs to "St. John," who brings Jane into the house. He is the brother of Diana and Mary, and the three siblings give Jane food and shelter. They ask her some questions, and she gives them a false name: "Jane Elliott."
After she is taken in by the Rivers siblings, Jane spends three days recuperating in bed. On the fourth day, she feels well again and follows the smell of baking bread into the kitchen, where she finds Hannah. Jane criticizes Hannah for judging her unfairly when she asked for help, and Hannah apologizes. Hannah tells the story of Mr. Rivers, the siblings' father, who lost most of the family fortune in a bad business deal. In turn, Diana and Mary were forced to work as governesses—they are only at Marsh End (or Moor House) now because their father died three weeks ago. Jane then relates some of her own story and admits that Jane Elliott is not her real name. St. John promises to find her a job.
Jane befriends Diana and Mary, who admire her drawings and give her books to read. St. John, on the other hand, remains distant and cold, although he is never unkind. After a month, Diana and Mary must return to their posts as governesses. St. John has found a position for Jane, running a charity school for girls in the town of Morton. Jane accepts, but St. John presumes that she will soon leave the school out of restlessness, perhaps because he himself is quite restless. His sisters suspect he will soon leave England for a missionary post overseas. St. John tells his sisters that their Uncle John has died and left them nothing, because all his money went to another, unknown, relative. Jane learns that it was Uncle John who led Mr. Rivers into his disastrous business deal.
At Morton, the wealthy heiress Rosamond Oliver provides Jane with a cottage in which to live. Jane begins teaching, but to her own regret, she finds the work degrading and disappointing. While on a visit to Jane, St. John reveals that he, too, used to feel that he had made the wrong career choice, until one day he heard God's call. Now he plans to become a missionary. The beautiful Rosamond Oliver then appears, interrupting St. John and Jane's conversation. From their interaction, Jane believes that Rosamond and St. John are in love.
Jane's students become more familiar and endeared to her, and Jane becomes quite popular among them. At night, though, she has troubling nightmares that involve Rochester. Jane continues to pay attention to the relationship between St. John and Rosamond, who often visits the school when she knows St. John will be there. Rosamond asks Jane to draw her portrait, and as she is working on it one day, St. John pays her a visit. He gives her a new book of poetry (Sir Walter Scott's Marmion) and looks at the drawing. She offers to draw him a duplicate, and then boldly declares that he ought to marry Rosamond. St. John admits that he loves her and is tempted by her beauty, but he explains that he refuses to allow worldly affection to interfere with his holy duties. The flirtatious, silly, and shallow Rosamond would make a terrible wife for a missionary. Suddenly, St. John notices something on the edge of Jane's paper and tears off a tiny piece—Jane is not certain why. With a peculiar look on his face, he hurries from the room.
One snowy night, Jane sits reading Marmion when St. John appears at the door. Appearing troubled, he tells Jane the story of an orphan girl who became the governess at Thornfield Hall, then disappeared after nearly marrying Edward Rochester: this runaway governess's name is Jane Eyre. Until this point, Jane has been cautious not to reveal her past and has given the Rivers a false name. Thus although it is clear that St. John suspects her of being the woman about whom he speaks, she does not immediately identify herself to him. He says that he has received a letter from a solicitor named Mr. Briggs intimating that it is extremely important that this Jane Eyre be found. Jane is only interested in whether Mr. Briggs has sent news of Rochester, but St. John says that Rochester's well-being is not at issue: Jane Eyre must be found because her uncle, John Eyre, has died, leaving her the vast fortune of 20,000 pounds.
Jane reveals herself to be Jane Eyre, knowing that St. John has guessed already. She asks him how he knew. He shows her the scrap of paper he tore from her drawing the previous day: it is her signature. She then asks why Mr. Briggs would have sent him a letter about her at all. St. John explains that though he did not realize it before, he is her cousin: her Uncle John was his Uncle John, and his name is St. John Eyre Rivers. Jane is overjoyed to have found a family at long last, and she decides to divide her inheritance between her cousins and herself evenly, so that they each will inherit 5,000 pounds.
Jane closes her school for Christmas and spends a happy time with her newfound cousins at Moor House. Diana and Mary are delighted with the improvements Jane has made at the school, but St. John seems colder and more distant than ever. He tells Jane that Rosamond is engaged to a rich man named Mr. Granby. One day, he asks Jane to give up her study of German and instead to learn "Hindustani" with him—the language he is learning to prepare for missionary work in India. As time goes by, St. John exerts a greater and greater influence on Jane; his power over her is almost uncanny. This leaves Jane feeling empty, cold, and sad, but she follows his wishes. At last, he asks her to go to India with him to be a missionary—and to be his wife. She agrees to go to India as a missionary but says that she will not be his wife because they are not in love. St. John harshly insists that she marry him, declaring that to refuse his proposal is the same as to deny the Christian faith. He abruptly leaves the room.
During the following week, St. John continues to pressure Jane to marry him. She resists as kindly as she can, but her kindness only makes him insist more bitterly and unyieldingly that she accompany him to India as his wife. Diana tells Jane that she would be a fool to go to India with St. John, who considers her merely a tool to aid his great cause. After dinner, St. John prays for Jane, and she is overcome with awe at his powers of speech and his influence. She almost feels compelled to marry him, but at that moment she hears what she thinks is Rochester's voice, calling her name as if from a great distance. Jane believes that something fateful has occurred, and St. John's spell over her is broken.
Jane contemplates her supernatural experience of the previous night, wondering whether it was really Rochester's voice that she heard calling to her and whether Rochester might actually be in trouble. She finds a note from St. John urging her to resist temptation, but nevertheless she boards a coach to Thornfield. She travels to the manor, anxious to see Rochester and reflecting on the ways in which her life has changed in the single year since she left. Once hopeless, alone, and impoverished, Jane now has friends, family, and a fortune. She hurries to the house after her coach arrives and is shocked to find Thornfield a charred ruin. She goes to an inn called the Rochester Arms to learn what has happened. Here, she learns that Bertha Mason set the house ablaze several months earlier. Rochester saved his servants and tried to save his wife, but she flung herself from the roof as the fire raged around her. In the fire, Rochester lost a hand and went blind. He has taken up residence in a house called Ferndean, located deep in the forest, with John and Mary, two elderly servants.
Jane goes to Ferndean. From a distance, she sees Rochester reach a hand out of the door, testing for rain. His body looks the same, but his face is desperate and disconsolate. Rochester returns inside, and Jane approaches the house. She knocks, and Mary answers the door. Inside, Jane carries a tray to Rochester, who is unable to see her. When he realizes that Jane is in the room with him, he thinks she must be a ghost or spirit speaking to him. When he catches her hand, he takes her in his arms, and she promises never to leave him. The next morning they walk through the woods, and Jane tells Rochester about her experiences the previous year. She has to assure him that she is not in love with St. John. He asks her again to marry him, and she says yes—they are now free from the specter of Bertha Mason. Rochester tells Jane that a few nights earlier, in a moment of desperation, he called out her name and thought he heard her answer. She does not wish to upset him or excite him in his fragile condition, and so she does not tell him about hearing his voice at Moor House.
Jane and Rochester marry with no witnesses other than the parson and the church clerk. Jane writes to her cousins with the news. St. John never acknowledges what has happened, but Mary and Diana write back with their good wishes. Jane visits Adèle at her school, and finds her unhappy. Remembering her own childhood experience, Jane moves Adèle to a more congenial school, and Adèle grows up to be a very pleasant and mild-mannered young woman.
Jane writes that she is narrating her story after ten years of marriage to Rochester, which she describes as inexpressibly blissful. They live as equals, and she helps him to cope with his blindness. After two years, Rochester begins to regain his vision in one eye, and when their first child—a boy—is born, Rochester is able to see the baby. Jane writes that Diana and Mary have both found husbands and that St. John went to India as he had planned. She notes that in his last letter, St. John claimed to have had a premonition of his own approaching death. She does not believe that she will hear from St. John again, but she does not grieve for him, saying that he has fulfilled his promise and done God's work. She closes her book with a quote from his letter, in which he begs the Lord Jesus to come for him quickly.
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