Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Brönte
Published by Puffin Books, 2011
How I discovered this book: Who doesn’t know Jane Eyre? I discovered the Brönte sisters after I became a fan of Jane Austen’s work. I’ve read Wuthering Heights a couple of years ago and it became one of my favourite books, so I decided to read Jane Eyre when I got a chance to put my hands in a copy of the book. It happened to be after the movie adaptation with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
Review: Classic books are always so hard to review. I think it’s because they are usually so great that you can’t just say you like it a lot without feeling you owe more to the book. Still, I’m not one to use big words and lose myself with very clever literary analysis. Also, almost everyone knows the story of the book, or part of it at least. So, I’m reviewing this book just by expressing my feelings for the characters and while I read it. And since this book is about one called Jane Eyre, I’m going to tell you what I think of her.
I loved Jane Eyre, the character. I thought that she was so relatable and so realistic! Her life full of misfortunes, her childhood, her tale of war as Rochester calls it, was the tale of hundreds of other girls living in the 19th century. She was plain, poor and simple, she had a horrible life, but she never let me pity her. Because despite going through so much pain and hardships, she was always a fighter. She fought for a better life. She fought to remain true to herself and to keep her moral principles. Jane is a feminist. She is one of those incredible female characters who doesn’t need a man to live and do things for her, because she may not have life favouring her, but she can make do on her own and kick some ass if need be. I would love to meet her on this century we are currently living.
This said, and now that you know how much I liked her, it’s quite obvious that I enjoyed the book quite a lot, since it is her biography, so to speak. My heart bled and rejoiced for her and when all her dreams were shattered in the ground after she discovered the great secret of Thornfield Hall, I cried and applaud her inner strength and the choices she made. And Thornfield, with all its mysterious, ghostly kind of vibe (that was really great and added some spice to the story), brings me to Mr. Rochester. I liked Edward a lot, too. I liked him for loving Jane and for the good heart he used to hide with his cranky moods. Yet, I can’t quite forgive him for lying to Jane like that. I get he was quite desperate, and I don’t know what I would do if I could step in his shoes, but still…that was not ok. But I really liked him! And despite all that I, too, fell in love with him, a little.
The writing, like Jane, is very simple and straight to the point. However, sometimes I did felt a little bit bored with the descriptions of her life with St. John, Mary and Diana. I think that the time she spent with them was too slow passed, mostly because she was recovering for yet another blow in the face given by destiny. Also, I couldn’t relate with St John Rivers as well as I did with all the other secondary characters of the book. I thought he was too harsh and a little to obsessed with achieving his mighty goals in life. I didn’t like how he thought that others should be like him. Still, he was very well written as a character, like all the others.
Overall: It was a great book with a heroine I won’t forget. Definitely a new favourite of mine. If you like stories with strong, independent and kick-ass heroines, this one is the perfect classic match for you.
Quotes worth mentioning:
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”