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Book Review: Jane Eyre

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Β  Ten year old Jane Eyre is poor, plain, and living an insufferable life with her intolerant aunt and cousins. After a traumatizing incident, Jane is sent to boarding school, where the conditions are little improved. Despite this, her spirit is unbroken. At the age of 18, Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she finds herself falling in love with Thornfield’s master, the mysterious Mr. Rochester. Yet, a dark secret may prevent their relationship from ever occurring…

One of the best things about this novel is the passion. While this book is favored for its romantic passion, the fiery nature of Jane Eyre should be commended as well. During the author’s time, women were expected to be quiet and submissive, especially toward men. Instead, Jane Eyre says things such as, “Do you think because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart!” Bold statements such as these transfer Jane’s fire to the reader’s own heart.

Another notable thing is the important role the supporting characters play. The role is that of a crossroads, at which Jane must decide what type of person to be. For instance, Helen Burns, a classmate at school, advises her to always submit to punishment without becoming passionate. Yet, Jane knows that by taking Helen’s advice, she wouldn’t be able to stand up for herself.

The last statement of praise on this novel has to do with how it exceeds one genre and one time period. Most people think of Jane Eyre as just a romantic novel. However, it also has mystery and horror elements in it that makes it more entertaining. Furthermore, this novel can resonant with anyone today, no matter what gender or age they are. A student dealing with bullying can find some strength and comfort in Jane’s resilient and independent spirit. Adults in bad relationships can find the courage to get out of it and appreciate being on their own for a while. No matter what, this novel is and will be brilliant, inspiring, and timeless.

Written by Serena Zola

August 31, 2012 at 6:03 PM

18 Responses

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  1. On my TBR list and will be getting to it sooner rather than later.


    August 30, 2013 at 4:56 AM

  2. I am ashamed to say, while I have read other Bronte works, I have not yet read this one. I need to make it a priority. TY for the recommendation!

    Laura Ritchie

    September 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM

  3. Ohhh I cannot wait to read this book, I’m so looking forward to it and you’ve just made me even more excited about it. I loved Wuthering Heights so much that I’m really hoping I will love Jane Eyre equally. Unfortunately I do know the story, so the ending won’t be a surprise but I can’t remember what happens with some of the characters etc so I’m hoping that will keep it fresh.
    I couldn’t help noticing your comment to easyondeyes. Where did you get the impression it was romantic from? I tend to think of that being one of the main misconceptions about Wuthering Heights, it’s about twisted romance I guess, but it’s not actually all that romantic, it’s about the darker side of love, how it can twist and warp people into something unrecognizable. It’s about nature vs nurture. Are people born twisted or do they become that way? And like may other novels from the time, it’s also about restrictions placed on women related to marriage etc, and that’s only part of what I got out of it and I have never done any study on it for school etc, I’m sure there is tonnes more that I didn’t even pick up on. It’s one of my all time favourite books. πŸ˜€ However I will say one thing, a lot of people hate Wuthering Heights because they can’t get on with the characters, so whether it will be for you or not, you’ll only know once you start reading it. πŸ™‚


    September 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    • I guess I got that impression about Wuthering Heights because some people who like it are romantics. I will always love Jane Eyre the most (unless of course Villette ends up being better), but I will give Wuthering Heights a try someday. Thank you for answering my question πŸ™‚


      September 1, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      • Haha that’s fair enough, I would say (judging by the adaptation of Jane Eyre I saw) that the two books are about equal in terms of romance. I guess you could compare it to Jane Austen as well, although there are love stories going on, the novels are about so much more than that. (Although in terms of writing style, Emily Bronte is the polar opposite of Austen.)
        Oooh yeah I’m really curious about Villette too because I know nothing about the story at all, I’d also like to try some Anne BrontΓ« at some point too. πŸ™‚
        Haha, that’s alright, I can’t help it, I’m nosy. πŸ˜‰


        September 1, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      • I’ve never read any of Jane Austen’s material before. Are any of her works similar to Jane Eyre? I’ve been reluctant to read Jane Austen because even though she uses women and romance to talk about social classes, it just doesn’t seem like my kind of book. With me, I need something creative like Jane Eyre having horror elements.

        When I googled Villette the other day, it was stated on Wikipedia (it may not be factual, but its good for summaries) that the novel was praised for the use of a Gothic double to show duality in the main character. Before, I was only mildly interested in the novel because I’ve heard it is better than Jane Eyre. Now that I know Vilette is considered a Gothic novel, I definitely want to read it someday. Although, I will probably end up reading Wuthering Heights first to see if I like Emily Bronte’s writing (and because it is considered a Gothic novel as well).

        Anne’s material doesn’t look interesting to me, but I hope you enjoy it when you read it.


        September 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      • No, no supernatural or mysterious elements really, she sticks to intelligent observations of human nature and society. I get what you mean, I didn’t think that I would like Jane Austen’s work either but I actually ended up quite enjoying it. But that being said, she isn’t a favourite author because like you I tend to crave books that are slightly darker or have supernatural elements. To me it seems like a lot of Austen’s plots are quite similar as well, it’s her humor and sarcasm that makes them enjoyable really, πŸ™‚ but I definitely wouldn’t want to read a lot of her work in one go.

        Ohh right, that sounds great! I don’t really know anything about Anne’s work, I would just like to be able to say I have read work from all three sisters really. πŸ˜› Aggh, all this talk on Jane Eyre, I may have to pick up up the book and read it now! πŸ™‚ I was planning to pick it up soon anyway.


        September 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      • Thanks for answering my question; happy reading πŸ™‚


        September 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

  4. Great review, ive got this on my kindle and will get around to reading this one day πŸ™‚


    September 1, 2012 at 3:30 AM

  5. I’ve often wondered if our reading experience of books differs depending on when we read it. I remember reading both Wuthering Heights and then Jane Eyre when I was about 15 and deciding the Bronte sisters were probably terminally depressed and that I’d never read a book by one of them again (and I actually like reading classics).

    Ironically, I ended up having Wuthering Heights as a part of my Masters course and had to re-read not just the book but also endless interpretations of it AND having to form my own opinion for an assignment where I couldn’t just groan (like my 15 year-old self) and get away with it. Needless to say, not only did my appreciation of WH and the dark and slightly unwholesome lead characters the Brontes created increase, I also now know a lot more about the Bronte sisters (and several theories say they were probably depressed) but I somehow haven’t been able to summon the enthusiasm to forge a return to the pages of Jane Eyre. :-/ Maybe someday…


    September 1, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    • Speaking of Wuthering Heights, how is that book? I’ve been avoiding it because it seemed too romantic for my taste. One of the reasons I liked Jane Eyre was because of the main character and the element of horror added to the story.

      And, yes, I think our reading experiences differs depending on when we read a book. This year, I reread The House on Mango Street, a book I was forced to read in high school. I didn’t understand it or relate to it at the time. Now, I love it!


      September 1, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      • Wuthering Heights is actually a brilliant piece of work. Funny, in fact, that you thought it might be too romantic. I don’t think the Bronte sisters really do sappy romance. You should give it a shot. πŸ™‚


        September 3, 2012 at 4:43 AM

      • Beckday6 actually recommended the book as well, so thank you both! I started reading the book on my Kindle yesterday; it’s pretty interesting so far πŸ™‚


        September 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

  6. I feel exactly the same way about this book. Jane is one of the most fascinating, fiery heroines fiction has ever seen and the novel is so beautifully written with themes that are still pertinent today. Lovely review! Makes me want to read it again! πŸ™‚


    August 31, 2012 at 9:08 PM

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