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Jane Steele
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Archived VBC Selections > Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye - VBC Feb 2017

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Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Our February selection is Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. The cover blurb for this book calls it a "gothic retelling of Jane Eyre," but retelling might not actually be the best way to describe this book. It's certainly inspired by Jane Eyre, but the Jane of this book is a bit more take-charge than Bronte's beloved character. If you're familiar with Jane Eyre, you can probably spot the plot similarities (an orphan cast out by her only remaining relatives to survive a terrible boarding school and become a governess and then face heart-ache before eventually finding love and happiness); but what really makes Jane Steele a fun read is where it branches off in different directions. And this book had one of the best tag-lines! "Reader, I murdered him."

So what did you think of Jane Steele?


message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments I was surprised it wrapped up so happily. I thought "Reader, I murdered him" would refer to Mr. Rochester.

(Besides Jane Eyre , I recommend Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair to go with it.)


message 3: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
I have long wished for a "Reader, I murdered him" teeshirt!
I think this book is a great example of a heroine whom one expects to dislike and somehow, ends up understanding and even liking. Yes, murder is wrong, but to paraphrase a line from "Chicago," most of the victims in this book Had It Coming.
I also liked the very clever (and exotic) twist that Faye introduced on the character of Mr. Rochester. I agree with our Mod that this is not precisely a re-telling of "Jane Eyre." It's more like a rhapsody developed on a similar theme.


Lenore | 1078 comments Merrily wrote: "I have long wished for a "Reader, I murdered him" teeshirt!
I think this book is a great example of a heroine whom one expects to dislike and somehow, ends up understanding and even liking. Yes, m..."


In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing intentional about it. And the last one was a clear case of self-defense. The others definitely Had It Coming, especially given that there were no non-murderous alternatives available to avoid harm to Jane and her defenseless friends.

Like Emily, I feared that the "him" she murdered would be the master of Highgate, and was pleased to discover otherwise.

I thought this book got a slow start, but once we left the boarding school I thought it became a lot more interesting. And I enjoyed learning about Sikh culture (hopefully learning correct things).

Finally, I was amused by the explicit references to Jane Eyre. I felt this was like a nod and a wink from the character herself.


message 5: by Erin (last edited Feb 01, 2017 03:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
I have to say, I never much cared for Mr. Rochester in the original Jane Eyre, so I wouldn't have been all that put out if Jane had ended up murdering him. But Mr. Thornfield struck me as a much better man than Mr. Rochester. Mr. Rochester always struck me as something of a cad for leading Jane on when he clearly had skeletons he wasn't sharing.

Is that one of the flips of the story, do you think? That Jane is the one with the questionable past and Thornfield is the one who forgives and loves anyway? (Not that Jane Eyre forgave Mr. Rochester, now that I think of it; she runs away and gets lucky and only comes back after his house burns down).

ETA: its funny that several of you assumed she had murdered Mr. Rochester, though. It never occurred to me to speculate in advance!


Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Lenore wrote: "In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing intentional about it."

Absolutely, Lenore. As Inspector Quillfeather points out at the end of the book too. But the key point is that young Jane believes she's murdered him, which really sets the course of her life.

Do you think her life would have been different if she had known herself not at fault for Edwin at the start?

She probably still would have ended up at the school with the terrible headmaster, right?


Lenore | 1078 comments Erin wrote: "Lenore wrote: "In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing intentional about it."

...She probably still would have ended up at the school with the terrible headmaster, right? "


Right! So I'm not at all sure it would have made a difference.


message 8: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Lenore wrote: "Erin wrote: "Lenore wrote: "In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing intentional about ..."

There was a certain amount of "I am a horrible human being" going on, and it seemed to be mixed between a) a genuine self-image, which predated even the first death and was partly due to her relatives' comments, b) a response to having killed people, and c) self-dramatization. I didn't altogether feel that it worked psychologically, especially when a happy ending is thrown in there ("I guess I'm not so bad! All is forgiven!" - which isn't exactly what happens, but is close enough for the ending to feel a little off.)

In Jane Eyre, there is some Christian, we-are-all-fallen stuff mixed in, but I would say that was mostly alluded to here, if included at all.


message 9: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "Lenore wrote: "Erin wrote: "Lenore wrote: "In point of fact, two of her "murders" were not murders at all. She pushed her cousin away and he slipped on the stones and fell to his death. Nothing int..."

I think Jane's actions are so far from the norm in that period that she'd be bound to feel that she is a horrible human being, even if at some level her actions are justified. Women were supposed to be so meek and ladylike at all times that even giving her repellant cousin a good shove would probably have been seen as shocking - much less killing him. I suppose you could say she's ambivalent about her character even while sticking to her pattern of eliminating evil people.


message 10: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Merrily wrote: "I think Jane's actions are so far from the norm in that period that she'd be bound to feel that she is a horrible human being, even if at some level her actions are justified..."

I'd say just about anyone at any period would tend to feel they were horrible if they caused someone's death (heck, Russell spends a fair amount of time feeling guilty about this, and she's generally upstanding and clear-eyed), let alone multiple ones. I guess to me Jane S. doesn't seem that ambivalent about herself, so I expected that darker self-image to carry through.


message 11: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
True. I guess what I meant is that she's quick to think herself a murderer and to assume that no one will understand or forgive what she did (even though she had no intention of killing her cousin), but that doesn't keep her from offing the next person who Has It Coming.


message 12: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Merrily wrote: "True. I guess what I meant is that she's quick to ... to assume that no one will understand or forgive what she did ..."

She's probably not far off on that. The expectations on women, as you say, and just general treatment of sexual assault at more or less any time period, make that fairly probable. Quillfeather is remarkably enlightened, actually.


message 13: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "Merrily wrote: "True. I guess what I meant is that she's quick to ... to assume that no one will understand or forgive what she did ..."

She's probably not far off on that. The expectations on wom..."


Very true, Emily!


message 14: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "There was a certain amount of "I am a horrible human being" going on."

I actually had the opposite sense. That she didn't actually consider herself a bad person or feel any amount of regret or remorse for those men she had killed, outside of being afraid of what other people might think of her or getting nabbed by the police. Like she was far more upset over Clark's rejection than she was over the gruesome death of the headmaster or the flippant drowning of their landlord.

Does this count as sociopathic behavior, do you think?


message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Well, she says she's as bad as everyone thinks she is. Are you a sociopath if you know you're evil, you're just not bothered by it? Maybe. I think most people are a little more self-justifying than that, though.

(OTOH, I more or less happily participate in any number of systems which benefit me but exploit other people and the planet. Are we all sociopaths, to a degree?)


message 16: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "Emily wrote: "There was a certain amount of "I am a horrible human being" going on."

I actually had the opposite sense. That she didn't actually consider herself a bad person or feel any amount of..."


I don't think she's a sociopath because sociopaths supposedly have no true feelings of any kind, much less empathy. They have to mimic the feelings of normal people in order to "pass" in society. Jane is clearly capable of love and worries about other people's feelings (at least in some cases), so while she may be a criminal, she's not a sociopath.


Lenore | 1078 comments Merrily wrote: " I don't think she's a sociopath because sociopaths supposedly have no true feelings of any kind, much less empathy. They have to mimic the feelings of normal people in order to "pass" in society. ..."

I think that's the textbook definition. I have The Sociopath Next Door on my nightstand and have been meaning to get started on it. (But there's SO much to read!) But it doesn't sound to me las though Jane fits what I know about the subject.


message 18: by KarenB (new)

KarenB | 352 comments I've just started on Jane Eyre as a prelude to Jane Steele, which I have already read when it came out. I'm still in the beginning, but Jane E. is constantly told how bad she is, how evil, even. It's been a long time since I've read it, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out over the course of the book and how Jane S. does and does not reflect that.


message 19: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments KarenB wrote: "I've just started on Jane Eyre as a prelude to Jane Steele, which I have already read when it came out. I'm still in the beginning, but Jane E. is constantly told how bad she is, how evil, even. It..."
Yes, I presume some of the idea for Jane Steele was "What if Jane Eyre was as evil as everyone keeps telling her she is?"


message 20: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
KarenB wrote: "I've just started on Jane Eyre as a prelude to Jane Steele, which I have already read when it came out. I'm still in the beginning, but Jane E. is constantly told how bad she is, how evil, even. It..."

A couple years back I decided to start listening to some of my all-time favorite books, and one of the first I chose was "Jane Eyre," which I must have read four or five times as a young girl. I was amazed at how much more I understood about Jane as I listened to the book as an adult. For one thing, she makes it pretty clear that she is an extremely passionate person who's been punished for that since she was a child, and of course one of her challenges in dealing with Mr. Rochester is keeping that passion under control. It seems to me that in Jane Steele, we see a Jane who is willing to release her passions rather than trying to stifle them as society would demand. (I also was amused at the advice Mrs. Fairfax gives Jane, which I'd totally not "gotten" as a child, namely that Mr. Rochester's proposal might not be legitimate, since gentlemen will say anything when they want....well, you get the idea.)


message 21: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Merrily wrote: I was amazed at how much more I understood about Jane as I listened to the book as an adult. .."

I had read Jane Eyre a few times over the years, but everything that happens between the interrupted wedding and Jane and Rochester getting back together had dropped from my head. This time, I found those portions to be some of the most revealing about Jane's character - that she would refuse to marry a man she respected and admired, because she didn't feel it was the proper emotional framework for her.


message 22: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments OT, but in Busman's Honeymoon there are a couple of references to Jane Eyre's being married in grey alpaca - I was looking for that in my copy I couldn't find it. Did I miss it, or do I have the wrong edition or something?


message 23: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "OT, but in Busman's Honeymoon there are a couple of references to Jane Eyre's being married in grey alpaca - I was looking for that in my copy I couldn't find it. Did I miss it, or do I have the wr..."

Which copy do you mean, Emily, Jane Eyre or Busman's Honeymoon? I think the reference to Jane's refusal of a fancy wedding gown may be in one of the letters at the beginning of the novel, where (perhaps) the Dowager Duchess is commenting on how wise it was of Harriet to let Peter give her nice things. (I say this without having checked, but I have read the book LOTS, LOL.)


message 24: by Lenore (last edited Feb 06, 2017 02:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lenore | 1078 comments Merrily wrote: "... I think the reference to Jane's refusal of a fancy wedding gown may be in one of the letters at the beginning of the novel, where (perhaps) the Dowager Duchess is commenting on how wise it was of Harriet to let Peter give her nice things..."

Yes, Amazon's "Look inside" feature confirmed that. But when I tried to use that feature on Jane Eyre, to find a reference to "grey alpaca," zilch. I am re-reading Jane Eyre now. If I run across the phrase, I'll let people know.

BTW -- slightly different subject -- Rochester lives in Thornfield Hall. Jane Steele's love, the master of Highgate House, is Charles Thornfield. I guess that was another wink and nod at Jane Eyre, but somehow struck me as a misplaced parallel. Not sure why it annoys me so.


message 25: by Merrily (new)

Merrily | 1791 comments Mod
Lenore wrote: "Merrily wrote: "... I think the reference to Jane's refusal of a fancy wedding gown may be in one of the letters at the beginning of the novel, where (perhaps) the Dowager Duchess is commenting on ..."

Please let us know about the gray alpaca, Lenore. All I remember is that Jane wore a very plain frock to her wedding. (Although I will say that alpaca is today a very expensive wool, but lovely - so soft, like and warm.) I once had an alpaca coat, although it was only part alpaca...


message 26: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Later, too, Harriet tells Peter she's spent all her money, "Because, Mr. Rochester, I wasn't going to be married in grey alpaca." But I couldn't find that reference in Jane Eyre, so I was wondering if there was another edition?

Anyway. Sikhism, interesting, huh? That didn't have an obvious parallel in Jane Eyre, so I wonder where it came from.


message 27: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "Anyway. Sikhism, interesting, huh? That didn't have an obvious parallel in Jane Eyre, so I wonder where it came from.."

I believe Lyndsay had said (either at Bouchercon or at one of her book events) that it came up while she was doing research into the time period.

That was one of my favorite parts of the book, really. Learning about lesser-known bits of history is the best part of good historical fiction. :-)


message 28: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Erin wrote: " Learning about lesser-known bits of history is the best part of good historical fiction. :-) ..."

Absolutely. The next book on my regular reading list is about WWI in the Middle East, and I'm looking forward to it much more after reading Elizabeth Peters last month.


message 29: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
I was going to save this question for a little later in the month because it's maybe a tad spoiler-y (but not much), but since we're flagging a bit:

One of the characters I can't seem to wrap my brain around is Rebecca Clark. Maybe it's just youthful illogic, but I can't figure out how she can compare Jane's actions with that of the landlord (whose name I can't remember, even though I just read this two weeks ago, LOL). Her comment about the landlady (ie. how could she continue living with her husband knowing that he has killed their unborn child) and then throwing that in Jane's face (ie. how can Clark live knowing that Jane murdered someone). I just can't see the parallel.

But then Clark seemed way more upset that Jane lied to her than about the murder, so maybe it was more not being able to continue living with someone whom you know doesn't trust you with their biggest secrets?


Antoinette | 186 comments I thought that Clark's reaction resulted from Jane's lack of honesty. Clark says she would have been willing to follow Jane anywhere. I suspect she couldn't continue living with someone who didn't trust her with their biggest secrets.


Antoinette | 186 comments I finished Jane Steele last night. Throughout the whole book it bothered me that I knew how it was going to end. Because we know it advance it's a retelling of Jane Eyre I knew she would become a governess, fall in love with her employer and after much conflict and tension, marry him. There were lots of interesting subplots, lots of historically bits that I love, but it was like listening to a song performed by a cover band. although a good cover band. I may be the only person who felt this. The book was well-written but some of the suspense was gone for me.


message 32: by KarenB (new)

KarenB | 352 comments I think Clark's reaction also had to do with Jane's lack of honesty, but it wasn't so much the lie per se, it was that Jane's lack of trust and openness with her (R) showed her (R) that Jane didn't love her as deeply as she loved Jane. Rebecca loved Jane as a friend, and also romantically, sexually, and while Jane love Rebecca, it was as a friend that she (J) loved her (R). I think Rebecca wanted a fuller relationship with Jane and knowing that Jane had hidden this huge part of her life from R made R realize she wasn't going to get that fuller relationship. (First written, there were wayyy too many she's and her's in that to make sense, hence the (R) and (J) to clarify.)


message 33: by KarenB (new)

KarenB | 352 comments In response to Antoinette's comment - I feel that knowing the ending going in tends to be true for both romances and for mysteries. For romances, you know the leads are going to get together, it's the journey that makes the book worth reading. For mysteries, you know you'll find out whodunnit, it's the finding out that makes the plot. I don't mind spoilers as I find the journey more interesting than the destination, but if the destination is the only interesting part of a book, I tend to find it not worth reading. I realize I may well be in a minority in my opinion, witness the crushing blows that have landed on people who have given minor plot points away! (Not here, but in other groups I have been a part of. There's one group in which no plot points are ever to be discussed even in books published 20 years ago, which I find to be exceedingly odd.)


message 34: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana Brazil (panab) | 43 comments Erin wrote: "but since we're flagging a bit:

This story started pretty slowly for me and I had to keep going. One reason, I think, is that I'm more engaged by women's stories than girls' stories. The story picked up once Jane got to school. So keep reading! I'm really enjoying Part II.

Also, I have no problem knowing how a story will end or the path it follows. As a young reader, once I was engaged in a novel, I always flipped to the last couple of pages to see how it would end.


message 35: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Roger Ebert had a comment like, "I always get criticism for giving away the ending of action movies. Here's the ending of every action movie: the good guy kills the bad guy." I don't mind spoilers either, though I mind more for books than movies. I actually find too much suspense distracting - I'm too busy wondering what will happen at the end to pay attention to the middle.
As I mentioned, I was somewhat surprised at the ending. It was dark enough to start with that I thought she would go full-bore and have her kill him.


message 36: by Erin (last edited Feb 10, 2017 07:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Antoinette wrote: "it was like listening to a song performed by a cover band. although a good cover band."

I can see that. Though I'd say it's more like a Gary Joule's cover of "Mad World" or a Perfect Circle cover of "Imagine" (both of whom took a song written in a major key and changed to a minor key). The lyrics are the same, but the presentation totally changes the meaning you get out of those same lyrics.

Jane Steele has the same general plot steps and outcome, but all the in-between stuff is different. Especially the characters and character development. So I was definitely paying more attention to the cultural and historical bits that were added and the change in themes.


message 37: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Ana wrote: "This story started pretty slowly for me and I had to keep going. One reason, I think, is that I'm more engaged by women's stories than girls' stories. The story picked up once Jane got to school. So keep reading! I'm really enjoying Part II."

I totally agree, Ana; the very beginning of the story was pretty slow and really picked up once Jane got to school and made friends and picked up even more once Jane and Clark head to London.

I think those early scenes most closely aligned with Jane Eyre as well so it was pretty clear where those events were leading. Plus Jane didn't really develop a character until she's at school.


message 38: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
KarenB wrote: "I realize I may well be in a minority in my opinion, witness the crushing blows that have landed on people who have given minor plot points away!"

Karen, I agree with you in general, but there are still some spoilers I'd rather have not been spoiled.

I remember when Harry Potter 6 came out. (view spoiler)


message 39: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana Brazil (panab) | 43 comments Small point: I appreciate how Jane changed her last name from Steele to Stone. From one hard, potentially deadly object to another. Jane's in charge!


message 40: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate (kate_schechter) | 2 comments Though I'd say it's more like a Gary Joule's cover of "Mad World" or a Pe..."

Agree! I really enjoyed this retelling.
And (OT) thanks for mentioning those covers. Perfect Circle's Imagine, in particular, was like a completely different song. Had to buy 'em both. :-)


message 41: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate (kate_schechter) | 2 comments Merrily wrote: "I have long wished for a "Reader, I murdered him" teeshirt!

Please, somebody, make that t-shirt!!!!


message 42: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "And (OT) thanks for mentioning those covers. Perfect Circle's Imagine, in particular, was like a completely different song.."

Right?! It's so interesting how a different voice or different key can so completely change a song (or story).

Have you heard Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt"? That one is absolutely amazing. Paste did an article a few years ago of covers that were possibly better than the original.

(Sorry, continuing OT) Fun fact from that link: Aretha Franklin's iconic "Respect" was actually a cover of Otis Redding!! Changing just a few lines of lyrics completely changed the meaning of the song from a man begging his girlfriend to respect him when he's finally home after traveling, to a confident woman demanding respect after she's worked hard all day. Brilliant.


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Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
What did everyone think about Mr. Thornfield's history and the Anglo-Sikh wars? Was an area of history that you were familiar with or was it a bit of an Easter Egg?

Personally, it left me rather wondering what was going on in history during all the other classic novels. Like, while everyone was swooning over Mr. Darcy, was there some history being made in some other part of the world?


Lenore | 1078 comments Erin wrote: "What did everyone think about Mr. Thornfield's history and the Anglo-Sikh wars? Was an area of history that you were familiar with or was it a bit of an Easter Egg?

..."


Total Easter Egg! I had never heard of any of this, and I was fascinated. I'm assuming Faye's account is more or less accurate.


Antoinette | 186 comments KarenB wrote: "In response to Antoinette's comment - I feel that knowing the ending going in tends to be true for both romances and for mysteries. For romances, you know the leads are going to get together, it's ..."

Thanks for your perspective.


message 46: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Erin wrote: "What did everyone think about Mr. Thornfield's history and the Anglo-Sikh wars? Was an area of history that you were familiar with or was it a bit of an Easter Egg?..."

I found it very interesting, though she certainly could have made it up from whole cloth for anything I know to the contrary. I think these days authors generally make the effort to make these things accurate, but a compelling storyline can really warp one's view of a historical event. I remember reading someone who said their view of the French Revolution for many years was noble aristocrats going to their doom, since they primarily knew it via The Scarlet Pimpernel.


message 47: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "but a compelling storyline can really warp one's view of a historical event."

True. Though every telling of any event, historical or current, is colored by the teller, right? Hearing events told from someone who was actually there or was directly impacted vs someone who just read about it can be totally different. Or two people with different political views will emphasize different perspectives.

We kind of get this from the characters in Jane Steele. The "Company men" see the war and casualties very differently from Mr. Thornfield and his friend. We, the readers, lean more toward sympathizing with Mr. Thornfield because he's one of our protagonists and the "good guy" and the reps from the Company are sending scoundrels round to terrorize the house. But I'm guessing that most English people at the time would have been wholly against the Sikhs (if they had given it any thought at all, since it was happening on a different continent).


message 48: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments Erin wrote: "Emily wrote: "but a compelling storyline can really warp one's view of a historical event."

True. Though every telling of any event, historical or current, is colored by the teller, right? Hearing..."


Sure. I mean, in Jane Eyre, Jane's cousin is going to evangelize to the unenlightened Indian natives, right? And she finds this wholly admirable; she's just not sure it's something she should do. Now, it's hard to read that sort of thing without getting itchy - but I'm a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and what is that but the modern incarnation?


message 49: by KarenB (new)

KarenB | 352 comments One of the things I like so much about Lyndsay's writing is, like Laurie's, her careful research. Everything I looked into historically about the Sikhs and the Sikh war checked out. Admittedly I didn't do incredibly in depth research, but still . . .

Lyndsay doesn't fall into the whites saving the benighted natives paradigm, nor does she fall into the Noble Savage paradigm. While the members of the East India Company seem despicable to a man, we are told of at least one who was a good man - the one whose funeral Mr. Thornfield attended. And while Sardar remains a good man throughout the book, the Sikh rulers are indicted as is . . . . are we allowed spoilers yet? So how is it that Jane is so free from prejudice? She is not taken aback at all when confronted with a house decorated in a decidedly foreign style, a child to whom she is to be governess who is clearly not white, and a whole house of non-white people, saving Mr. Thornfield.


message 50: by Emily (new)

Emily | 341 comments KarenB wrote: "So how is it that Jane is so free from prejudice? ..."
Jane seems ... unformed? Almost naive, in some ways? Since she doesn't have much guidance from her family, she isn't really given a moral/social framework to operate within (to some extent). Which means she is less prejudiced, just because she doesn't have many prejudgments of any sort to work with.


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