Jane and 1941   Leave a comment

Jane, I think, isn’t an active character, just a piece of imagination of one of the characters in the story that I’ll meet eventually.

I’m not sure what to make of Jane, but the story goes that there is a very pretty house with a family of four and a kitten and a dog inside. Jane asks most everyone in turn to play with her, or rather the narrator of the story does, and they just…don’t. The cat just news at her, her “very nice” mother laughs, her father smiles, until finally a friend comes and she will play with Jane. “Play, Jane, play.” The whole paragraph is repeated exactly, but without any punctuation, and then again without anything but the letters, no spaces, no punctuation.

Tenth grade english, if the author goes to so much trouble as to do (insert something the author did, like math or repetition) then it’s probably important. I’m pretty sure Jane is white, but it doesn’t specify, and it doesn’t say anything about blue eyes. The way the sentences are structured, the first paragraph remind me of a children’s book, except without pictures or having only one sentence per page. Which is why it struck me as odd that no one would play with Jane, or even talk to her, or be near her. The animals kept running away, and her parents just looked at her. I thought if a child were seeing this in a dream, or something like that, someone would play with Jane, or rather everyone would play with Jane whenever she asked, but that isn’t the case.

It is strange that Jane cannot find someone who will play her in this children’s book-type world, and I think that the author was trying to say that even the definition of perfect has something wrong with it, loneliness in Jane’s case.

In 1941, the marigolds didn’t bloom. Of course, the only logical explanation is that it’s because Pecola was having her fathers baby. Oh wait, that’s not normal. I admit, this was a little shaking after reading the whole thing with Jane, then the second sentence I read next is about incest. Anyways, it turns out that probably isn’t why the seeds failed, since all of the marigolds failed that year, too. I don’t know who the narrator is yet. I think it’s one of Pecola’s sisters. The narrator reveals that both Cholly and the baby are dead. She closed the unnamed section by saying “since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.” This means that it’s much easier to understand what actually happened as opposed to what it’s purpose was, like why Cholly would impregnate his daughter, or why the earth didn’t let the flowers grow, or maybe why God didn’t let them grow, but I don’t know yet of these girls are religious.

I’ve already said that the marigold were probably important, and now there are none, so whatever beauty or safety the marigolds had brought each year in the past was gone now. It’s not hard to understand why the narrator linked the flowers with Pecola’s baby. They were both sources of hope, most likely, and both definitely beautiful things, so I can see why whichever girls is narrating would think that the flowers needed to be healthy for the baby to live.

Both of these unnamed sections in the book offer a little foreshadowing. The Jane scene was someone’s idea of perfect, or their dream, and that was ruined when Jane couldn’t find a playmate and no one would talk to her, making her lonely. The marigolds seemed like such a strong symbol, and all the seeds are dead, so that can’t be promising anything good. The narrator in the 1941 section is unable to say why she thinks things are going wrong, but her attitude suggests there are similarly tragic things to come.


Posted February, 2012 by emilienoel2013 in Uncategorized

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