Book Review: Jane Eyre
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.