Friday, September 16, 2011

Jane Eyre: Post Number 1 "The Curtain"

I am unsure if the observation I feel stood out to me is a legitimate reference, but I am going to start my first blog with it and see what you, my fellow classmates, and Professor Hager have to add.  In the early chapters of Jane Eyre we saw that Jane found solice in her seat in the window, "behind the curtain". This was most graphically described just before John Reed attacked Jane. Fast forward now to Chapter seventeen where Jane is coming in to "the guest" dinner party. Jane had described she was not comfortable with Mr. Rochester's request for her to attend in the first place, however she did not want to let him down. (My suspicion is his threat to come up and get her himself should she not attend was the push she needed for fear she would be looked at as disobedient in his eyes). Nevertheless, Jane did go, and what I noticed was when she felt awkward watching and listening to the ladies converse around her, especially regarding a "governess" for little Adele, Jane became very uncomfortable. It was described (to paraphrase), that Jane sat in the 'shadows' half hidden by the curtain.  I found it curious, and not a coincidence that she found herself seated where she once favored as a child in a home where she was made to feel the outcast.  At this dinner party, she felt the outcast for certain.  I worry I may be reading into something that really did not have that intentional meaning and look forward to what everyone has to provide in input.


  1. It makes a lot of sense, and it goes to follow the whole theme of this course, that being "the outsider within"

    As Jane was the outsider in her first home with the Reeds, so to was she now an outsider within Thornfield, amongst the lady visitors. The curtain could further signify that purely by being a window seat, it's the closest thing to being outside you can get while remaining inside the house.

  2. Great point! We might also think of these curtains as protective and potentially womb-like