Jane Eyre

Megan Dutoit
Prof. M. H. Dutheil
Introduction to Literary Analysis
April 6, 2014
Passage: page 83.
Redefinition of the Stick: Malone, the prisoner of Plato’s cave.
“It is when we lose something that we realise its real value and its utility for our life”. Are we ready, however, to use it in its fair value, knowing that our life can completely change? It is the reflection that Malone, the first narrator, makes in the short passage. This old man is in his present state and he has lost his stick on the floor, therefore, he cannot bring the objects closer and push them as he did when he still had it. His impotent body is, from that moment even more impotent than before. Thanks to the loss of the stick, Malone reveals, on the one hand, with the valorisation of the first letter of the word “stick” and a despair lexical field, the importance of this object for him and the anxiety, on the other hand, of its loss because it’s considered as a part of his body. Nevertheless, by the aid of a metaphor, the narrator is aware of the Essence of the object and that he had used it during his life in a wrong way. However, with the reference of a quibble, Malone demonstrates that he rejects the use of the stick in his life. Thanks to a link with the allegory of Plato’s cave and through rhetorical questions, Malone reveals, consequently, that he does not want to leave his present situation, chained in his fictional world.
In this passage, the narrator illustrates, with a despair vocabulary such as “disaster”, “painfully”, “accidents” and “catastrophes” (p.83), the anxiety of the loss of the stick. It is the first time in the book that Malone is without this possession and that he “realize[s] what it is [he] [has] lost and all it meant to [him]” (p.83). This sentence explains that the stick is an indispensable object and really important for him because it helps him to bring his other possessions closer to him. That is exactly what happens with the pot for instance; he cannot...