Friday, October 23, 2009

Eutychus Allusion in Jane Eyre

I enjoyed this allusion to the story of Eutychus in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. (The story of Eutychus is found in Acts 20:7-12; see this post for more information.)

"The Sunday evening was spent in repeating, by heart, the Church Catechism, and the fifth, sixth and seventh chapters of St. Matthew; and in listening to a long sermon, read by Miss Miller, whose irrepressible yawns attested her weariness. A frequent interlude of these performances was the enactment of the part of Eutychus by some half dozen little girls; who overpowered with sleep, would fall down, if not out of the third loft, yet off the fourth form, and be taken up half dead. The remedy was, to thrust them forward into the center of the school-room, and oblige them to stand there till the sermon was finished. Sometimes their feet failed them, and they sank together in a heap; they were then propped up with the monitors’ high stools."

By the way, it is interesting to note that readers of Jane Eyre in the nineteenth century would not have been at all surprised that the girls could recite the catechism, as well as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

The picture: movie poster for the Masterpiece Theater adaptation of the novel, which my wife and I enjoyed.

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.