Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Excerpt: Resurgam

Now Playing: Joe Hisaishi - The Name of Life (Spirited Away OST)

[Introduction].

Here's yet another one of my favorites. Like Frankenstein, this is another book I read in college, although this one actually was part of the required reading for one of my lit classes. Because it was the super rushed six-week summer semester, my professor scaled down the number of pages we needed to read and had us start the book when Jane gets to Thornfield.

But I refused to jump in the middle. Despite the limited time given, I started at the beginning and completely had my heart broken by the section I picked out today. It's strange; Helen and Jane's friendship in only lightly touched upon, but I still feel much more connected to that than Jane's eventual romance with Rochester.

Some early spoilers for Jane's time at Lowood Institution.

"You will come to the same region of happiness: be received by the same mighty, universal Parent, no doubt, dear Jane." 
Again I questioned, but this time only in thought. "Where is that region? Does it exist?" And I clasped my arms closer round Helen; she seemed dearer to me than ever; I felt as if I could not let her go; I lay with my face hidden on her neck. Presently she said, in the sweetest tone - 
"How comfortable I am! That last fit of coughing has tired me a little; I feel as if I could sleep: but don't leave me, Jane; I like to have you near me."
"I'll stay with you, dear Helen: no one shall take me away." 
"Are you warm, darling?" 
"Yes." 
"Good-night, Jane." 
"Good-night, Helen." 
She kissed me, and I her, and we both soon slumbered. 
When I awoke it was day: an unusual movement roused me; I looked up; I was in somebody's arms; the nurse held me; she was carrying me through the passage back to the dormitory. I was not reprimanded for leaving my bed; people had something else to think about; no explanation was afforded then to my many questions; but a day or two afterwards I learned that Miss Temple, on returning to her own room at dawn, had found me laid in the little crib; my face against Helen Burns's shoulder, my arms round her neck. I was asleep, and Helen was - dead. 
Her grave is in Brocklebridge churchyard: for fifteen years after her death it was only covered by a grassy mound; but now a grey marble tablet marks the spot, inscribed with her name, and the word 'Resurgam.'
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.