Monthly Archives: February 2016

Jane Eyre- Charlotte Brontë (and some thoughts about technology)

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I am not an angel,’ I asserted; ‘and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me – for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.

Alright, confession time. For those of you who are friends with my on Facebook or have seen me at work you already know. A little over a week ago I was having a glass of wine after work. Then I had another glass of wine. Then I decided to get on Amazon. Two days later (Praise Amazon Prime) I had a kindle. I know…I know. I have received a lot of backlash from my fellow literary minded friends. I also chastised myself quite a bit. Years ago my mother bought me a Kindle because I was hauling The Autobiography of King Henry VIII: with notes from his fool 2 miles to and from the train in Chicago. This book is 1,000 pages and was a back wrencher. I finished that book in hardcopy, mostly just to say I did it, then moved to the Kindle. I read a few modern books; The Hunger Games, Beaches, etc. Then found “The List” and dove head first in to reading The Hobbit. As I sat on the train looking around at the people reading newspapers and the like I realized that this was sacrilegious. This is not how this book was supposed to be read. I sold my Kindle and never looked back. Flash forward to a week ago and wine. The new version of the Kindle is lightyears ahead of the clunker that I had back in 200(I don’t remember). The screen actually has the look of paper and just feel nice. The tap anywhere to turn the page is also a nice feature. A regular of mine at work said that I would love the dictionary function and that it would be hard for me to read hardcopies again because of it. She was right. If you’re on WIFI it can even translate different languages for you (Where were you when I was laboring over the Greek in The Secret History!). There’s no glare and which will be nice for when we are able to have Porch Time again. So, yes, I like my Kindle. Nay, I love my Kindle. Never fear, friends, I shall continue to read hardcopies, my own library is too large to not. I have also toyed with the idea of subscribing to Kindle Unlimited; think Netflix for Kindle. Anyone out there have it? In fact, anyone out there have thoughts about the Kindle and want to share? Comment away! Now, on to Jane Eyre.

Keeping with the theme of honesty, I saw the movie first. My fiancé was out of town and it was a rainy September night. What better way to watch Jane Eyre? I loved the movie and when I saw it on The List I knew I would probably love the book as well. I loved Wuthering Heights after all, this should be no different. It wasn’t. Eyre was easier to read actually, only towards the end does she start to write in the cadence of people’s accents. Something her sister did right from the get go. The language is beautiful and easy to understand even if you don’t know the correct definition to the words they are speaking, you get the emotion behind them.

As far as characters go…Jane was very likable sometimes annoyingly so. She always seems to do what is right for everyone around her. That’s not to say that she doesn’t look out for herself, above all things she knows the importance of being true to one’s self. Something I, and I’m sure most women, admire in her. Rochester…Oh, Rochester. For me his character swayed like the grass on the moors. One minute I felt as though the love he had for Jane would tear him in two. The next I thought he would strike her and keep her docile and compliant. As I was telling a coworker of mine; you have to keep in mind that this was written at a time when women were supposed to be docile and sit in corners with their sewing. I believe that this is why Rochester cherishes Jane so. She is different than the rest of the ladies that come in contact with him throughout his life. She can sit quietly and stare out a window meditating over her day or she can sit by his side and have the witty repartee that I believe he craves.

In the end Jane Eyre is a book not only about love but about forgiveness and how we, as a community, treat one another. There are many similarities between Eyre and Heights and I can’t help but imagine the sister’s sitting in a parlor together swapping notes and reading each other’s manuscripts.  That is a beautiful thought.


“Hey, Boo” I said

Dear Friends, today my heart is sad. I woke this morning and went through my normal routine of checking emails and such when I came to buzzfeed and the first headline I saw was: “Harper Lee dies at age 89”.

I was in sixth grade when I was asked to play Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird along side my friends and colleagues at The Magik Theatre in San Antonio. I quickly cut my hair, to that Jean Louise bowl cut and grabbed a copy of the book. I tore through it. Surprisingly, or maybe not, it was never required reading. At least I never remember it being. The characters in the book spoke to me as they do to everyone who reads it. You want to be as good as Atticus and see the world the way the children, Scout, Jem, and Dill do. To somehow get back to a place where the world was still a mystery and you didn’t know of all the evil happening around you.

I have many memories of that show, but one that stands out for me always when I think back on it is a scene where Scout and the boys follow Atticus to the jail cell where Tom Robinson is being held. Atticus was told that a mob was coming to take Tom away and ultimately lynch him for the crimes he allegedly committed. Disobeying her brother’s orders of not getting involved she rushes to her father’s side and recognizes one of the men as boy’s father whom she goes to school with, even hidden under his white sheet.

Is that you, Mr. Cunningham? Well, don’t you recognize me, sir? I go to school with your boy Walter.

I turned to see my friend David Morgan take the sheet off of his head and face me with tears in his eyes. “Yes, I recognize you.”

The show and all the people in it live with my forever. The book changed lives, the play changed mine. I will aways have a part of Scout with me. So it is on this day, and yes, with tears in my eyes I say my goodbyes to Ms. Harper Lee. You wanted to be the Jane Austen of the South and you were, ma’am, you were. We will never forget your words and the lessons you so beautifully taught us. Thank you and rest easy.

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks”

Nelle Harper Lee- 1926-2016