Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Review
If you had asked me two months ago, whether or not I enjoyed reading classical books, commonly known to most of us as ‘books that bore the living days out of us!’, my response would have been on the lines of ‘Hell no!’. However, upon finally completing my GCSE’s, I found myself doing two things: being bored and complaining about being bored. So the committed Grammarian I was, I decided to do something a little more time consuming so I purchased Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
I was very sceptical at first and have to admit I judged the book within five minutes of it arriving through my door. However after a few hours of watching Eggheads and Pointless on repeat and more bored than I could ever have comprehended, I decided to open the dreaded book. Admittedly, I have probably read virtually every single romance novel known to the WGGS library therefore I can safely say that I know a decent romance novel when I’ve read one and Jane Eyre undoubtedly qualifies as one of my personal favourites.
Nevertheless, I am very ashamed of judging that book by its cover because, without a doubt, this book has affected me on such a profound level. Jane Eyre was such powerful book to have read and I could not put it down at all. It was not an easy book to read but I feel positively enriched by it. Jane Eyre was remarkably different from the usual teen romance stories I have read.
The novel starts off with ten year old orphan Jane Eyre who is living in her late uncle’s house with her aunt and cousins, all of which abuse her mentally and physically abuse her which makes the reader sympathise with her very much.
There are moments when you feel, how can one person suffer so much and from a young age, too? But by taking the journey with Jane, you realize that all Jane’s suffering had a purpose. It shaped her into a woman who could look beneath the façade and love what others could never love or understand. It made her the woman who could love and heal Mr Rochester, making the reader feel that Mr Rochester was made for Jane Eyre. He had searched his life for a woman like her, and made quite a few slip-ups along the way. And out of love, he was able to let her go when he wanted to keep her. Nonetheless she came back to him, when he needed her the most.
Her harsh aunt sends her away to Lowood School to become a governess. Even though conditions at the school are very unfortunate, Jane makes friends there and finishes her education, even gaining a position as governess to the young French girl Adele at a house called Thornfield. The owner of the house, Edward Rochester, is never home; therefore Jane spends most of her time with Adele and the housekeeper, Mrs Fairfax. Throughout Jane’s stay at Thornfield, strange events occur at Thornfield.
Without giving too much away, Jane continually saves Mr Rochester’s life and realises that she loves him but is too proud to confess her feelings.
Mercifully for the reader, Bronte does not torture us for long and Jane and Mr Rochester confess their love. He soon proposes to her but unfortunately for Jane, Mr Rochester had a major secret he never told her, resulting in her running away and living the life of a poor beggar until she meets Reverend Rivers and ends up living with him and his two sisters.
It is whilst she is residing with the Rivers’ that Jane finds out that an uncle of hers called, John Eyre, has died and left his wealth to her. She finds out that John Eyre had three children… The Rivers’ siblings who reside with her. Despite knowing that they are cousins, Reverend wants to marry Jane, not because he loves her but because he feels that she would make a good missionary. I think that if the story had ended with her leaving Mr Rochester and falling in love with the Reverend for real, then I feel positively certain that I would not be writing such a shining review for Bronte’s novel today.
However, it does not end there as we go on to see her grow and act as the brilliant and phenomenal person that she has always been. Although on many occasions, she has been put down, she has not given up and she always fights back. It is her determination that keeps her going instead of dying or giving up like so many others. She is neither a user or a backstabber or even an abuser which makes her even more appealing as a character.
Luckily, the story ends on a phenomenally happy note where one night, Jane hears Mr Rochester calling to her so she returns to Thornfield and finds the house burned down. Jane tracks Mr Rochester down and finds he has lost his arm and eyesight in the fire which burnt Thornfield house down. But still undoubtedly in love with him, she accepts his second marriage proposal and they even have a son together, which shows processes of healing and after two years his eye sight was vastly improved.
It is a story for people who wonder why they keep on trying to do the right thing and striving for me instead of just taking what they are given or even taking what they want and when they want. Personally I feel that if Jane Eyre was the greedy sort then she would not have had such a happy ending. Instead she gave up what she wanted most in the world and nearly died doing what she felt was the right thing to do. I respected her bravery and her willpower, her yearning to be free, regardless of what little she had or was given, her cleverness, and her love for others.
There is no question about Jane’s level of strength and integrity. Even though it is made clear several times in this novel, that Jane is not beautiful, her kind and caring soul makes her a beautiful and desirable character.
I feel I am failing to write the review I want to write for this book because the words are failing me. All I can say is that this book will always be a favourite of mine because of the way it touched my heart and made me cry more than I have ever in my life.
I have never felt that the quote above has ever made sense to me more than after I attempted to read this phenomenon and ended up loving it!!