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The part I like best—I don’t say it’s the best thing in the book absolutely, I don’t have an argument to establish that—is in Chapter 28, when Jane Eyre finds herself “face to face with Necessity” at what she will call “the sordid village” (and why sordid, exactly? because corrupt and mean in more than one sense). “Amongst the romantic hills … a hamlet and a spire” seem to promise well, situated by a green valley with a stream running through it, even if the scene summons the hitherto superior traveler to “strive to live and bend to toil like the rest.”

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