Reason(s) for Reading:
- Jane Eyre has always been a favorite of mine – and I’ve let too much time lapse since reading it last.
I also recommend:
Summary from GoodReads:
Charlotte Bronte’s impassioned novel is the love story of Jane Eyre, a plain yet spirited governess, and her arrogant, brooding Mr. Rochester. Published in 1847, under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, the book heralded a new kind of heroine–one whose virtuous integrity, keen intellect and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved. Hailed by William Makepeace Thackeray as “the masterwork of great genius,” Jane Eyre is still regarded, over a century later, as one of the finest novels in English literature.
One of the most challenging aspects of reading classic literature is, for me, reviewing it once I’ve finished. Why is that? Well, what do I have to say that could shed some new, some interesting light on a story that has been enjoyed by so many for so many years? I can’t. It’s impossible. However, I can try to impart some sense of why I enjoyed the book (or disliked it if it came to that). So that’s how I will handle Jane Eyre.
It’s been over a decade since I’ve read this book. I have no clue why I’ve waited so long to pick it up, but I did find that the length of time provided me with some sense of “newness”. I’d forgotten about St. John and his sisters, I’d remembered Lowood as a place of anger and misery, and I’d forgotten much of why I loved Jane so much.
Today I read so many books that center around beautiful men and women, boys and girls, that I forget sometimes that love transcends outward beauty in stories. Jane is not a beautiful girl, and never lays claim to being so and I was struck again by her method of reminding herself of this fact and how she dealt with it.
Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own picture, faithfully, without softening one defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, ‘Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.’
I admit to choking a bit of a sob back when I read this part of the book, but I don’t quite know why I did. It wasn’t tragic that Jane isn’t beautiful, we all know how the story ends (and if you don’t, read it and stop reading this!), so why did it affect me so much?
I think because I can relate to Jane. I give myself reality checks because I tend to run away with hopes and dreams that aren’t realistic. But that’s not to say I shouldn’t have hope and shouldn’t dream – but like Jane I need an anchor, something to look at to remind myself that, as much as I love to dream, I also need to live in the here and now.
So that’s what I took away from reading Jane Eyre this time. I also thoroughly enjoyed the deep mystery, the beautiful, sweeping love story and the tragic brilliance of the story.
Check out these review(s):