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As always, I'm having serious issues with the horrible way they're treating these kids at the school. Maybe that's why I'm having issues with Helen's attitude, too: I'm torn.

I agree it's right to not take revenge on people who have hurt you. But is it ever wrong to also have a balanced view - as in knowing that you're really NOT at fault?

Helen has her faults, but she's not ALL bad. The fact that she is a thoughtful girl is, I think, a good trait to have, not to mention what appears to be a personal relationship with/dependence on God.

What's your take on Helen's response to the constant nagging, scolding, and punishing?

Comments

( 17 pages turned — Post )
singersdd
Jul. 10th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
I'm reminded of James, telling us that we'll be rewarded for bearing patiently with unjust punishments, etc.

But poor Helen. All of the children in those situations deserved a much better life than they had.
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
True. I also started thinking about Jesus' own response to the accusations at His trial, he stood there and didn't say a word. If Jesus did it, I guess we should aspire to do the same.

I love the subtle digs she gives to Brocklehurst in the text. Without ever coming out and saying, "He was a hypocrite," she makes an even more decisive statement. I am always happy to get to the part where the school gets a makeover.
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
Ugh, Brocklehurst. I just want to give him a wedgie.
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Of course the kid would prefer learning a Psalm over having a sweet if he knows he gets TWO for learning the Psalm. Was he so dense he couldn't see through that?
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
I know! I was thinking the EXACT SAME THING.
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
Kids aren't stupid. I'll bet even Jane saw right through that, though she's too nice to say so.
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
The book titled Things Jane Could Have Said But Didn't would be quite a long one, I think.
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
I agree.
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Not to mention AWESOME. We might have to write it ourselves.
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Brocklehurst
And what kind of a dweeb doesn't know that some hair just curls naturally.

*auto-wedgie*
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Brocklehurst
Especially when his own DAUGHTERS are *oh, horrors* wearing silk, fur, and curls.
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Brocklehurst
I KNOW! The injustice of it all just galls me.

What a DWEEB.
ruthette
Jul. 10th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
We are supposed to "overcome evil with good"...

But what I don't get is Helen's "I'm bad and I deserve it" attitude. The only way she would react that way would be if that's how she was treated at home from childhood; however, Bronte doesn't give us much information about her childhood years, other than the fact that her mother is dead and her father remarried.
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
I think that's exactly what bothers me. I couldn't find the right words to put it in - she doesn't seem to have the concept that one can, with God's help, become good and be rewarded here as well. It's almost like she's resigned herself to not really try anymore to be good because she'll never be able to.
(Deleted comment)
butterbobbin
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I think it's grand to aspire to a level of meekness like that, especially if we're being punished for doing right, as Christians will be in some form or other.

But I don't think God wants us, either, to have NO feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence!

It's interesting how Jane develops, as well. She does come to grips, as it were, with acceptance of her lowly station and seems to have genuine humility - yet there's also an honesty, common sense, and a realistic outlook on life. That's how I want to be.
joyfulmelody
Jul. 20th, 2009 08:24 am (UTC)
I just read chapter 6 (I started reading later) and I think part of Helen's reaction is just acceptance of her situation. Because after so many years of being treated like garbage, you start to think "well, I must be garbage" and I think she simply resigns herself to the fact that there is nothing she can really do to change it (at least at this point in the book). If she stands up for herself or shows more emotion it'll only get her into more trouble and prove & fuel their false accusations and bad feelings towards her. So really, diving into the spiritual virtues of meekness and contrition, and the Jesus-like attitude of taking it with silence and grace is her only refuge--the only positive way to deal with it without allowing it to completely destroy her. I may be projecting a bit though, but those were my thoughts and feelings while reading.
butterbobbin
Jul. 20th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
That's definitely true. I know if I'm around people who perceive me a certain way for any length of time, I start to think they're right, whether it's a positive or negative way. I wouldn't have thought to apply it to this, though.
( 17 pages turned — Post )