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Blanche Ingram is 25 years old, beautiful rich, conceited and haughty. She is also proud and condescending. When she first meets Adele and Adele speaks to her in French, Miss Ingram replies:
And Miss Ingram had looked down at her with a mocking air, and exclaimed, "Oh, what a little puppet!"
She makes it clear she is not fond of children. She tells Mr. Rochester that she didn't think he was fond of children either.
She also is very insulting about governesses. Knowing that Jane can hear her comments, she tells Mr. Rochester:
"No, you men never do consider economy and common sense. You should hear mama on the chapter of governesses: Mary and I have had, I should think, a dozen at least in our day; half of them detestable and the rest ridiculous, and all incubi--were they not, mama?"
She and her mother continue to discuss governesses. Her mother, trying to be polite, does not want to discuss it in front of Jane Eyre, telling Mr. Rochester to ask her daughter about it, but Miss Ingram does not care about sparing Jane's feelings. She says:
"Oh, don't refer him to me, mama! I have just one word to say of the whole tribe; they are a nuisance.
She then tries to change the subject of governesses, since others in the party chime in and share their own experiences with governesses. Miss Ingram says:
I suppose, now," said Miss Ingram, curling her lip sarcastically, "we shall have an abstract of the memoirs of all the governesses extant: in order to avert such a visitation, I again move the introduction of a new topic. Mr. Rochester, do you second my motion?"
She then goes over the piano to play, but on the way she starts talking about how "boring" young men are, that she wants a man who can be a "foil" to her. Rochester eggs her on, and she says to him:
"Take care, then: if you don't please me, I will shame you by showing how such things SHOULD be done."
She is feisty and obviously playing up to Rochester, who is 40 years (much older than she).
Read more of her quotes in Chapter 17. The etext is available here on enotes.
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