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Fiction

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre (Don't click! it's just an image from Amazon.co.uk)

This is not one of the most easiest book to read. However, I am rewarded for my perserverance.

Jane Eyre is an autobiography about an orphan who is under the care of her aunt, Mrs Reed, after both her parents died. Regarded as a nuisance, Jane endured years of oppressions and mistreatments at Gateheads from her cousins, John, Eliza and Georgina. Jane in her plain looking and common ways does not consider herself attractive, yet considers herself intelligent and independent enough to make her choices in life. A rare attribute in the time of 1847. I suppose this is also where the moniker of plain Jane originated.

Things were looking bleak, up until Jane was sent away to Lowood charitable boarding school. Not entirely out from privation, Jane was schooled in an improverish circumstances with food rations, strict disciplinary rules and breakouts of epidemic. Jane survived and became the teacher of Lowood, proficient in French Language (you will see many untranslated dialogue in French as well in the book) and sketch paintings. Jane then decided to advertise for a position as governess and her service was sought by one Mr. Rochester at Thornfield Hall to educate his ward, Adele. But her discovery of Mr. Rochester’s terrible secret forces Jane to follow her moral convictions, even if it means giving up her chance of happiness. She became what she described as “the instrument of evil to what she wholly love” and left Thornfield Hall without worldly possession. The Rivers family, St. John, Mary and Diana with helper Hannah nursed Jane through hunger and fatigue. Jane soon worked for a local parish backed school as a principal, followed on with a marriage proposal from St. John Rivers. St John with his perfect Greek God features, intelligent and eloquent, man with high moral principles looks to be a good catch, but Jane hesitated to the proposal, cited as scorning the idea of St. John’s love ideology. For she was sought as a wife for her suitable attributes to be a missionary wife, not for her personality, not for being herself. There was no amourous love in the equation.

It all sounded like a book of chic list genre in my attempt to present the beauty of this classic. However the book is more than that.

I particular love the way Bronte describe love in the eyes of her heroine:

It had been formerly been my endeavour to study all sides of his character: to take the bad with the good; and from the just weighing of both, to form an equitable judgment. Now I saw no bad. The sarcasm that had repelled, the harshness that had startled me once, were only like keen condiments in a choice dish: their presence was pungent, but their absence would be felt as comparatively insipid.

Would anyone learn to love like that?

What is less public knowledge was Jane Eyre is an evangelist diary. A woman faithful to God and His moral codes, who lay her outcomes in the hands of God, yet had the grace and benevolence to love an imperfect lover (not attempting to spoil the story by disclosing the ending, the man that Jane eventually chosen is as imperfect physically as it is characteristically).

It’s been an enjoyable read. Not to mention adding a few more new vocabulary into my expanding collection, such as: “Mrs Fairfax laid out the cups and spoons on the table with assiduous celerity“. Contemporaries do not write like this anymore. It is all the more interesting and piquant to read classics again once one is weary of the run of the mill vulgarity in recent literature, be it chick lit or thrillers. If it is not vulgar, it will not cut it in the popular fiction. So it is my pleasure to complete the readings of Jane Eyre, to appreciate the beauty of Ms Charlotte Bronte’s writings and to restore the faith of God in life. If it worked for Jane, perhaps it would work for me (I know, I know, it is fiction!). Maybe I should try Jane Austen next. Hmmm….

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.

Discussion

15 thoughts on “Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  1. I am in the process of reading Jane Eyre right now (for the second time) first time was a long time ago-I recently read The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, a kind of prequel to Jane Eyre and this is bleeding over into my reading of Jane Eyre-

    I really think you might like Wide Sargasso Sea if you have not read-

    Posted by Mel u | February 1, 2010, 10:20 am
  2. I love this book so hard. Jane and Rochester are a marvelous couple. Are you thinking of reading more Brontes? I always try to read Wuthering Heights right after Jane Eyre, and it never lives up. :p

    Posted by Jenny | December 6, 2010, 12:04 am
    • Jenny, I never lives up to reading Wuthering Heights either. I have a copy which sits on my shelf for ages. I heard it can be a infuriating read, because there are times you might want to strangle Heathcliff or maybe like me, throw the book against the wall. Do you want to read this together? That way we could both live this up! 😉

      I often wonder if I want to read more Bronte. I want to read more of Jane Austen, I am not sure about Bronte. After Wuthering Heights, no more Bronte for me I think.

      Posted by JoV | December 6, 2010, 8:50 am
  3. I’ve read this book a zillion times, but I must admit to skipping over a lot of it (in later reading) to get to the “good” parts! :–)

    What’s happening with your son?

    Posted by rhapsodyinbooks | December 6, 2010, 1:44 am
    • Thanks for asking Jill, my little boy is recuperating but he is still coughing. It is one of those things that when it happened, you want to give everything (everything!) in the world for him to make him feel better. I am reluctant to send him back to the nursery. I think he is not ready yet. 😦

      Posted by JoV | December 6, 2010, 8:47 am
  4. No stars? *looking for rating*
    Now it’s your turn to read books I want to read! I planned to read Jane Eyre this year, but I don’t think I can make it. Next year then. I did read Pride and Prejudice early in the year though 🙂

    Posted by mee | December 6, 2010, 2:16 am
    • Mee, again embarrassed to admit I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice yet. One of those book titles that sort of gets on your nerves now because every media in the literary world is mentioning it, esp. I’m living in the birth place of Austen! I need to bump this up my TBR! 😉

      I don’t know what happened to wordpress these days. Sometimes it does weird thing. Jane Eyre is my first ever blog post in my book blogging history, so there is no rating. I just took a look at it last night and correct two words and update it and it popped up as recent post!!! How bizarre is that?

      Posted by JoV | December 6, 2010, 8:45 am
  5. Really glad you enjoyed Jane Eyre! I would recommend Anne Bronte’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I read Shirley, expecting to love it because I loved Jane Eyre, and was bored stiff. And yes, you should definitely get cracking on the Austen collection!

    Hope your son gets better soon.

    Posted by Yvann | December 6, 2010, 10:45 pm
    • Yvann, thank you so much. ahh…. Tenant of Wildfell Hall… Sounds good… that way I would have covered the 3 Bronte sister’s books. I’ll let you know when I get to Austen! 😉

      Posted by JoV | December 7, 2010, 8:38 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë « The Bookworm Chronicles - May 25, 2012

  2. Pingback: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys « JoV's Book Pyramid - October 4, 2012

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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