I can’t believe that I am just getting round to reading this classic novel! I’ve never found the motivation to read it because I thought that it was just going to be another over-hyped classic book, but I was so wrong! I had to read this book for my Gothic module at university so I’m glad that I have finally had the opportunity (and lack of choice!) to read it.
Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
I loved this book so much! I just saw myself in the character of Jane loads and it really helped with me enjoying this book because I was motivated to find out what happened to her throughout the different problems that she faced at Thornfield. Because I had to read this for university, I was reading it with a critical mind and the feminist in me completely took over and I kept seeing how the character of Jane sometimes broke the societal rules in how outspoken she was, how determined, courageous and rash. Even though – I’m sure – many many women during the Victorian era felt like this, it was interesting to see a character who acted on her feelings and wasn’t afraid of what people thought of her.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë,
I think that one of the things that stopped me from reading this book for pleasure was also BECAUSE I was reading it with an academic mind. My essay question was about madness in Jane Eyre, so I was constantly on the lookout for when madness was portrayed and then tabbing the book when it was. I’m very excited to give it a re-read in the near future so that I can – yet again – immerse myself in this amazing story.
This is the first book that I have read by Charlotte Brontë, and now that I have had a taste of her writing style, I’m eager to read more of her work and also that of her sister, Emily. The writing style wasn’t too descriptive so that it became really boring (I’m looking at you, Dickens!), but then there wasn’t too little so that I couldn’t picture the scenery where the characters were.
I devoured this book. I had a week to read it, and I read it in two days. I just couldn’t get enough of it and I’m excited to explore and research this book further for my final assessment for my Gothic module.