Response to Jane Eyre vol. II
Pages 224 – 225, Involving the encounter between Blanche Ingram and the gypsy fortune teller.
“ Would she laugh? Would she take it as a joke? All eyes met her with a glance of eager curiosity, and she met all yes with one of rebuff and coldness: she looked neither flurried nor merry; she walked stiffly to her seat, and took it in silence…I watched her for nearly half an hour: during all that time she never turned a page, and her face grew momently more darker, more dissatisfied… She had obviously not heard anything to her advantage.” (224)
The above passage explains Blanche Ingram’s outward emotions immediately following the revealing of her fortune. Although she is private about the specifics of her conversation, she reveals enough to make her disappointment in her experience obvious. The juxtaposition between her initial excitement at the prospect of the gypsy’s presence and her downtrodden expression and attitude in the wake of the interview all evidence this interpretation. Jane Eyre’s description of Blanche as “obviously not [having] heard anything to her advantage” also speaks to this concept.
The significance of this passage lies in its relationship to truth, and accurately demonstrates the theme of the supernatural as a truthful indicator of future events. Despite Jane’s confidence that Rochester will offer Blanche his hand in marriage, Rochester turns her down and instead proposes to Jane. The parallel between Blanche’s expectations of good news from the gypsy and Rochester’s proposal cannot be ignored. Blanche’s encounter foreshadows Rochester’s true feelings towards her.
This passage mirrors many other similar encounters with the supernatural that Jane Eyre experiences throughout the course of the novel. When she is a child, she sees her uncle’s ghost while locked in the red room, and this leads directly to her departure from Mrs. Reed’s imprisonment. Later in the novel, Jane Eyre hears Rochester’s voice calling to her and promptly goes to him and begins her life with him. In each of these cases, encounters with the supernatural serve as indicators of change, and always reveal the conflict between the desires of the individual and realities of the circumstances in their lives. All of these experiences conflict with Jane’s interpretation of the events around her, proposing the question of the nature of truth in the novel.