but what is it now, when I must give it over to foreign guidance, as a child does its weakness

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 37) | Genius

Quotation: “His chastisements are mighty; and one smote me which has humbled me for ever. You know I was proud of my strength: but what is it now, when I must give it over to foreign guidance, as a child does its weakness? Of late, Jane—only—only of late—I began to see and acknowledge the hand of God in my doom. I began to experience remorse, repentance; the wish for reconcilement to my Maker.”

Context: Once with keen eyes and robust body, Mr. R now was a crippled, blind man.
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Hi everyone! I don’t quite understand the bold part. The expression of “give it over to foreign guidance” is somewhat odd to me. I try to interpret it as below. Is it correct?

The sentence => But now I’ve lost the strength: like a weak child, I must resign to other’s guidance.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    :thumbsup: But now I’ve lost the strength: like a weak child, I must resign myself to others' guidance.

    It is not "a weak child" - "a child" is, itself, a symbol of weakness.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    It is not that he has not lost his strength, but that he is no longer able to use it. He has to be guided by someone else, like a weak child. Therefore his strength is not much good to him.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I too agree with Paul and bennymix for the most part. The only point I meant to make was that Rochester's physical strength, though useless to him now, is not entirely lost.
     
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