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1/18/2014 8:47 pm  #1


Don't call her Miss Janet

I've watched the movies... all of them... many times but I'm thrilled to read Jane Eyre for the first time. Seeing the differences between Bronte and Hollywood has been fantastic and educational but there's something I don't understand, nor like. After the engagement, Rochester starts addressing Jane as both Jane and Janet. One source told me this reflects him giving her a more adult form of address. Any opinions? 

1/21/2014 10:52 am  #2


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

JA wrote:

I've watched the movies... all of them... many times but I'm thrilled to read Jane Eyre for the first time. Seeing the differences between Bronte and Hollywood has been fantastic and educational but there's something I don't understand, nor like. After the engagement, Rochester starts addressing Jane as both Jane and Janet. One source told me this reflects him giving her a more adult form of address. Any opinions? 

If this is a Janet Jackson reference, I'm delighted. If not, I'm still delighted to have you join the discussion!

I read through these chapters over the weekend, and the "Janet thing" stuck out to me, too. It was a little off-putting - I couldn't figure out if maybe Jane was a derivative of Janet at that time, or, and I mostly interpreted it this way, Rochester was giving her a pet name. I think it's because I kept thinking of 'poppet' - which means I'm intrigued by the idea that he's giving her a more adult form of address.

Something along similar lines (the way people address one another) is how brutally honest everyone is most of the time. This really started to stick out to me in these chapters. Was this really common for people of the time? Does anyone have experience in studying the era to answer this? I mean, not only to Rochester and Jane discuss their countenances and looks WITH EACH OTHER multiple times, but then once Jane ends up on her incredible journey through the Moors, things GET REAL. How does everyone not hate everyone else? Or get offended? The worst is when she calls Hannah out for judging her for being impoverished, all the while saying "but it's okay, because clearly you're an idiot."

Is this true to the times, or just a glimpse into Bronte's subconscious (or, as the case may be, not so sub)?

1/21/2014 11:25 pm  #3


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

CulturePoppe wrote:

If this is a Janet Jackson reference, I'm delighted. If not, I'm still delighted to have you join the discussion!

I read through these chapters over the weekend, and the "Janet thing" stuck out to me, too. It was a little off-putting - I couldn't figure out if maybe Jane was a derivative of Janet at that time, or, and I mostly interpreted it this way, Rochester was giving her a pet name. I think it's because I kept thinking of 'poppet' - which means I'm intrigued by the idea that he's giving her a more adult form of address.

Something along similar lines (the way people address one another) is how brutally honest everyone is most of the time. This really started to stick out to me in these chapters. Was this really common for people of the time? Does anyone have experience in studying the era to answer this? I mean, not only to Rochester and Jane discuss their countenances and looks WITH EACH OTHER multiple times, but then once Jane ends up on her incredible journey through the Moors, things GET REAL. How does everyone not hate everyone else? Or get offended? The worst is when she calls Hannah out for judging her for being impoverished, all the while saying "but it's okay, because clearly you're an idiot."

Is this true to the times, or just a glimpse into Bronte's subconscious (or, as the case may be, not so sub)?

Thank you! That certainly was a Janet Jackson reference. I couldn't resist!

The Jane/Janet question vexed me so much that I reached out to an English professor of mine. Her opinion was that it was a consistant typo. (I took it as "Don't know/don't care" response. lol) In thinking more about it. Perhaps it's not a more adult form of address. The only other characted addressed with liberal casualness was Richard Mason, Rochester's brother-in-law. Edward referrs to him as Richard, Dick and Mason at various times, plus Edward tells Jane how Mason admired and looked up to him. This leads me to believe that persons Rochester holds in affection but sees as inferrior in some way, he takes liberities with their address. It may be the least of his power issues when his gruffness is dismissed by other's affections, such as Jane and Mason.

As for the honesty issue... it's likely both a cultural issue and part of Bronte's psyche. She's a product of the culture and, as a writer, her work would influence and perpetuate that mentality. I'm certain it is a cultural thing. My grandmother was an Irish immigrant and had no concept of conversational boundaries like we see in Bronte's work. I could hear her voice when reading those passages and found my own subconscious shaking my head as I read.

     Thread Starter

1/21/2014 11:58 pm  #4


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

I found the use of Janet off-putting as well.  At first I thought/hoped it might be an e-book typo, but no such luck.  I think Janet is most likely a pet name.  According to a google search, it is a diminutive of Jane (starting in the middle ages) rather than the other way around. 

Everyone on the moors seemed pretty blunt, though generally more civil than Hannah.  I think Hannah's attitude is partly meant to heighten the contrast of the reception Jane received on the moors and the charitable reaction of St. John Rivers.  Any opinions on this thought?

I found the journey through the Moors to be one of the more emotionally difficult parts to read, where in the film versions it is always Jane's time at Lowood School that I find most difficult.  I'm wondering if this is the case for anyone else?  

 

1/28/2014 10:18 am  #5


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

Yvette wrote:

I found the journey through the Moors to be one of the more emotionally difficult parts to read, where in the film versions it is always Jane's time at Lowood School that I find most difficult.  I'm wondering if this is the case for anyone else?  

 

Yes! That's so interesting that you say that. In the film versions of Lowood School, it's all very "Little Princess-y" and filled with hardship, stern and unrelenting teachers, poor little Helen (who is almost always shown as a direct peer and not an older girl), and none of the kindness that came across in the pages of the book. Also in the films, the time on the Moors is just a blip on the radar. I was honestly shocked at the number of pages dedicated to her time with the Rivers. I had no idea!!!

11/12/2015 6:49 am  #6


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

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11/12/2015 6:59 am  #7


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

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9/26/2016 6:10 pm  #8


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

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9/26/2016 10:14 pm  #9


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

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10/02/2016 7:53 pm  #10


Re: Don't call her Miss Janet

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