Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review: Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

“If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we would-so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.” 
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:  Orphaned at an early age, Jane Eyre leads a lonely life until she finds work as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester and sees a ghostly woman who roams the halls by night. This is a story of passionate love, agony but ultimately triumph. Jane Eyre is a gutsy heroine who possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. She battles against the pressure of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order that restrict her life and position.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. In Jane Eyre, nothing can better show a man's moral worth than the way in which he treats the women in his life. How is Rochester's character reflected in the way he treats Jane, Adele, Bertha Mason, and Miss Ingram, and in his reported treatment of Celine Varens? How is St. John's character reflected in the way he treats Jane, Miss Oliver, and Diana and Mary? Why does this serve as such a good gauge of a man's morality and worth? 
  2. Brontë fills the novel with many female characters roughly the same age as Jane—Georgiana and Eliza Reed, Helen Burns, Blanche Ingram, Mary and Diana Rivers, and Rosamund Oliver. How do comparisons with these characters help shape your understanding of Jane's characters?
  3. What is the balance of power between Jane and Rochester when they marry? Does this balance change from the beginning of the marriage to the time ten years later that Jane describes at the end of the novel?
  4. Should an individual who holds a position of authority be granted the respect of others, regardless of his or her character?
(Adapted from Simon & Schusters Collecter’s Series, Random House, and Penguin Classics Edition and photo from My Book Covers by Megan Wilson)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday #52- YOUR DAY!

Make Today Matter...

Today is your day.
Today you get to pick how you want to make a difference. You know the drill. Think of something--and go do it. Pretty simple.

There is only one catch: we want to hear it.
Let us know what you did and what resulted. The authors of this book will be selecting one of your ideas to be one of the "Mondays" in their next book.
So be creative, have fun, and make sure to let us know what you did to make today matter.

Go to EVERYMONDAYMATTERS.COM to learn about the "Your Day" Contest!

Thanks for taking this journey with us. 
Every time you took care of yourself, did something for someone else, protected the environment, gave from your heart, volunteered your time, and donated your possessions, your action had a ripple effect on your friends, neighbors, co-workers, community, city, country, and the world.

We are confident that you had an amazingly gratifying year and that you know in your heart that you really did make a difference. Every smile, every thank you, and every gesture of appreciation confirmed this for you.

Yet the work has just begun. It's a big world out there. 
Now you understand just how much you matter!

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday #51- No Nicotine!

Make Today Matter...
  • Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
  • 12 million deaths have been caused by cigarette smoking over the last 40 years.
  • 8.6 million people have at least one serious illness caused by smoking.
  • 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18.
  • Every day 4,000 people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette, of which 80% become adult smokers.
  • Every year, $75 billion or more is spent on cigarette-related medical conditions.
  • Nicotine can be found in the umbilical cord blood of a fetus during pregnancy as well as in breast milk.
  • 70% of smokers say they want to quit.
  • 91.2% of all successful long-term quitters quit cold turkey, without the assistance of patches, gum, hypnosis, acupuncture, inhalers, or prescriptions.
Take action today!
  1. Stop smoking--do it cold turkey. Don't light up! And if you chew tobacco, avoid even a pinch today. You can do it.
  2. Quit with a friend so that you can hold each other accountable.
  3. If necessary, use one of the many nicotine replacement therapies.
  4. If you are a nonsmoker, "adopt" a smoker. Support them by giving encouragement, exercising together, going out where there isn't likely to be smoking, and providing comfort and accountability.
You matter!
There will be 1 billion fewer cigarettes smoked and 274 million fewer cigarette butts littered, if nobody lights up today.
People say it's hard to give up smoking, but isn't it harder to keep doing it? To continue smoking, you have to pay for cigarettes, always have a light, get rid of the ashes, and figure out what to do with the butt. Oh...and hope it doesn't kill you.
May this one day off be the first day of the rest of your or your friends' tobacco-free life!

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)