Theme Thursdays: Name

1 Mar

This week’s Theme Thursdays prompt asks readers to find the word “name” in the books they are currently reading. My passage comes from Jane Eyre, a book I am thoroughly enjoying:

“Even in that obscure position, Miss Scatcherd continued to make her an object of constant notice; she was continually addressing to her such phrases as the following: – ‘Burns’ (such as it seems was her name; the girls here were all called by their surnames, as boys elsewhere), ‘Burns, you are standing on the side of your shoe; turn your toes out immediately.’ ‘Burns, you poke your chin most unpleasantly; draw it in.’ ‘Burns, I insist on your holding your head up; I will not have you before me in that attitude,’ &c., &c.”

Helen Burns is a saintly figure in the novel, marked by a selfless, forgiving demeanor. Though Miss Scatcherd treats Helen with marked antipathy due to the girl’s untidiness, Helen does not respond with anger or disbelief. Though they are close friends, Helen’s patience and quiet submission make her a foil of Jane. I admire Helen’s contentedness, yet I find Jane’s spirited nature to be much more realistic and relatable.

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4 Responses to “Theme Thursdays: Name”

  1. Enbrethiliel March 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    +JMJ+

    There is something dehumanising about Miss Scatcherd’s use of the girls’ last names, isn’t there?

    Jane Eyre is probably my favourite novel in the world. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it! =)

    • salmeida March 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      It is quickly becoming my favorite as well! You are certainly right about Miss Scatcherd’s use of the girls’ last names in a dehumanizing manner. Most of the time, we use a person’s name to show familiarity; however, Miss Scatcherd seems to use her pupils’ names to maintain an impersonal distance from them.

  2. Megan March 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    I felt like Helen Burns was a tragic character before, but I prefer Jane’s spirit for sure!

  3. kavyen March 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Ok, I read the snippet.. read the quote and instantly felt I knew this book. So I went back to see which book this was. 🙂 Ok, so I did it the wrong way.. but what matters is that you chose an awesome snippet from an even awesome book!

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