| Quote #4
"What is all this," [Mr. Mason] shouted. "What do you want?" A horrible noise swelled up, like animals howling, but worse. (I.1.8.2)
At this point, the novel seems to be agreeing with Mr. Mason's stereotypical view of blacks as primitive and animalistic. But remember that this is from Antoinette's point of view – she's telling the story. And a page or two later, Antoinette notices that some of the women rioters are crying in sympathy with her family's fate, so the rioters aren't all feral "howling." At the very least, the depiction of blacks at this point reflects Antoinette's conflicting feelings about race.
| Quote #5
[Amélie's] expression was so full of delighted malice, so intelligent, above all so intimate that I felt ashamed and looked away. (II.1.1.24)
This quote is one of many in which Rochester reveals his almost paranoid concern with the way blacks perceive him. Since Amélie's expression is filtered through Rochester's narrative, it's hard to read her expression without thinking about what it reveals about Rochester's own feelings. Is he paranoid? Or is she really giving him this look? Does the fact that the look is "intimate" and causes Rochester to feel "ashamed" actually reveal more about Rochester's attraction to Amélie, an attraction that he can't admit to himself at this point but will, we know, act on later on in the novel?
| Quote #6
"Her coffee is delicious but her language is horrible and she might hold her dress up. It must get very dirty, yards of it trailing on the floor."
Like Mr. Mason in Quote #2, Rochester expresses here a similar belief that blacks are lazy. Like her mother Annette, Antoinette is being placed in the position here of a guide or an interpreter, as somebody who can read the true significance of what blacks say and do. Of course, like her mother, Antoinette is ignored.