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Charlotte Bronte S Impassioned Novel Is The Love Story Of Jane Eyre, A Plain Yet Spirited Governess, And Her Arrogant, Brooding Mr Rochester Published In , Under The Pseudonym Of Currer Bell, The Book Heralded A New Kind Of Heroine One Whose Virtuous Integrity, Keen Intellect And Tireless Perseverance Broke Through Class Barriers To Win Equal Stature With The Man She Loved Hailed By William Makepeace Thackeray As The Masterwork Of Great Genius, Jane Eyre Is Still Regarded, Over A Century Later, As One Of The Finest Novels In English Literature For years I ve been saying that Jane Eyre is my favorite novel of all time and that it is The character of Jane is, to me, one of the most admirable and appealing fictional characters of all time Poor and plain she may be, but her spirit is indomitable.In an era when women were expected to be brainless and ornamental, Jane through the words of Charlotte Bronte refused to bow to those expectations Reader, I gave it five stars Please let me tell you why Jane Eyre is the quintessential Victorian novel It literally has everything that was typical of the period, but, unlike other novels, it has all the elements in one story At the centre is the romance between Jane and Rochester, which is enhanced by gothic elements such as the uncanniness of the doppleganger and the spectre like qualities of Bertha In addition, it is also a governess novel these were an incredibly popular type of storytelling in the age and for it to be combined with gothic elements, which are interposed with a dualistic relationship between realism and romance, is really quite unique The correct term for this is a hybrid, in which no genre voice is dominant they exist alongside each other creating one rather special book And this is so, so, special it s an excellent piece of literature Jane s journey is gut wrenching and emotional Through her life she experiences real sorrow, the kind that would make a lesser person give up She also experiences real friendship, the type that comes across perhaps once in a lifetime But, most significantly, she experiences true love and the development of independence to form he own ending I really do love this book Bronte utilises the first person narrative, which creates a high degree of intimacy with her character it makes me feel like I know Jane as well as she comes to know her own selfI am no bird and no net ensnares me I am a free human being with an independent willJane s a strong willed individual From a very young age she had the clarity of intelligence to recognise the injustice that was her life yes, she is narrating her story retrospectively, though she still had the perceptiveness to realise how mistreated she was I love the pathetic fallacy Bronte uses at the beginning The child Jane looks out the window, shielded by the curtain, and witnesses the horrible weather It is cold and bleak it is windy and morose thus, we can immediately see the internal workings of Jane s mind The weather reflects her feelings throughout the novel, and at the very beginning the situation was at its worse This can also be seen with the fire imagery that represents her rage when she is shoved in the red room it later mirrors that of Bertha s fury Everybody needs love, children especially so These early experiences help to define her later character, and, ultimately influence how she sees the world she still hides behind a curtain in Rochester s house when he flirts with Miss Ingrum These experiences set her on an almost perpetual quest for love, for belonging and for the independence to make her own decisions She finds friendship in the form of Helen Burns she gives her some sound advice, but Jane cannot fully accept such religious fatalism However, it does inspire her, a little, to continue with life she realises, no matter what happens, she will always have the love of her greatest friend Jane clings to this idea, but, ultimately, has to seek a permanent solution to her loneliness She needs a vocation, one that will fulfil her and give her life meaning thus, she becomes a governess and crosses paths with the downtrodden, miserable wretch that is Mr Rochester Sometimes I feel like Rochester didn t know quite what he wanted When he sees Jane he sees a woman with strength, blunt honesty and integrity he sees an emotional equal This attracts her to him, which develops into love However, when he tries to express his love he does it through trying to claim her as his own Through doing so, not only does he show the nature of Victorian marriage, he shows his own deep vulnerability He loves her mind, her intelligence, and he too wants to be loved He longs for it with a frightening passion So, instead of doing things the way Jane would have wanted him to do, he overwhelms her with expensive affection By doing so he almost loses her All Jane wanted was his heart, nothing nothing less By showering her with such flattery and expensive items, he insults her independence He risks destroying the thing that attracted him to her in the first place, their equality their mutual respect and love He takes away her dignity I really don t think the original marriage would have worked Ignore the existence of the mad woman in the attic I just think Rochester would have spoilt it It would have become too awkward They needed to be on the same societal level as well as one of intellect and character The ending is touching and a little sad, but it is the only one that could ever have worked for these two characters Without the tragedy there could never have be rejuvenation and the chance for them to be together on equal terms, no matter what it cost to get there If that wasn t enough reason for me to love this book, there are also elements of fantasy and desire This is a realism novel, it pertains to credible events, but the suggestions of fantasy only add to the strong romantic notions Rochester is enamoured by Jane he cannot believe that a woman like her actually exists All his misguided notions are brushed away in an instant Whilst he views Jane as special, it is clear that he realises that other women may also have a similar rebellious voice, only hidden He considers her an elf, a witch, an improbable woman that has captured his desire, his heart, his soul, his life He knows he will never be the same again From Jane s point of view, her first encounter with him is otherworldly She had grown bored with her governess role, and when she sees the approach of Rochester and his dog Pilot, she sees the gytrash myth she wants to see something fantastical instead she finds her heart, which is something much rarer Then there are also the feminist elements Jane transgresses the boundary associated with her gender in the Victorian age For a woman to be recognised as having equal intellect to that of a man was sadly a rare thing Women could actually attend university, but the downside was they could never get the full degree They could spend months studying, though never be recognised as actually having gained the qualification It was just another attempt to keep women under the thumb, so for Bronte to portray the truth of Jane s equal intellect is a great step for the recognition of women, and women writers This book received a whole host of negative reviews at the time of its publication for this element alone Stupid really, but that s misogyny for you Reader, I love this book I really could go on, but this is getting kind of long I hope I ve made it clear why I love this story so much I shall be reading this again later this year to correspond with my exams, which I m already looking forward to the reading that is, not the exams I don t think will ever have read this story enough though.FBR Twitter Facebook Insta Academia Yes, I suppose you can view this book mostly as a love story That s what I did at age 13 but that s why I was left disappointed back then.Or you can view this as an story of formation of a strong and independent female protagonist, a nineteenth century feminist, light years ahead of its time And that s what left my now closer to thirty than twenty self very satisfied and, quite frankly, rather impressed view spoiler The guy kept his wife in the attic Seriously no Just no You don t get all the way to your SECOND wedding forgetting to mention that your FIRST wife is hidden in the attic Seriosly, Rochester, what the hell is wrong with you How can you even attempt to build a marriage on such a lie hide spoiler FIVE REASONS WHY JANE EYRE WOULD NEVER BE A BESTSELLER IN OUR TIMES 5 Four hundred odd pages of purely descriptive writing4 Overt religious themes and moral preaching3 A plain Jane heroine who stays plain No makeovers to reveal a hitherto hidden prettiness that only needed an application of hydrogen peroxide and some eyebrow plucking to emerge full blown.2 The world is not well lost for love In the war between self respect and grand passion, principles win hands down Rousing, yet tender speeches do not make our heroine forsake her creed to fall swooning and submissive into her alpha s arms 1 NO SEX When I was a little girl, I had a doll named Saloni Now Saloni wasn t a particularly attractive specimen as dolls go, especially since, over the years, I had drilled a hole in her little rosebud mouth in order to feed her, I had brushed her hair till all the poor synthetic threads had fallen out and I had dragged her around with me so much, one of her big blue eyes had fallen off But in my eyes, Saloni was the best doll ever created She was my comfort, my mainstay in a world filled with confusing new things like school and daycare and other little people Jane Eyre is my grown up version of Saloni Comfort food for my brain There are two authors I will read over and over and over again, until the day I die One of them is Charlotte Bronte, the other one is Georgette Heyer I have read Jane Eyre a million times, but I never tire of the story Every time I reach the scene where she professes her love to Mr Rochester, I come out in goosebumps Every single time Age and experience have taught me to spot the flaws in the story and the characters The ineffable belief in English superiority The condescending attitude towards servants and people of the lower class The ill treatment of mentally disabled people The almost Quaker ish sentiments of Jane Eyre But all of this detracts not a whit from one of the greatest love stories ever told And there are a lot of things to admire in this book as well Edward Rochester, ugly as sin, but powerful and dominant and unbelievably attractive in spite of his looks A love that grows and strengthens on the basis of mutual sympathy, respect and a meeting of the minds, that a lot of our authors would do well to learn from Jane Eyre, who does not think that her great love excuses acts of selfishness and immorality Despite being drawn as a somewhat submissive personality, Jane manages to hold her own with quiet fortitude, never loudly asserting her intelligence or talent, but nonetheless displaying a strength of character that would put the Bellas and Noras of out time to shame Jane Eyre would never, as I have said above, be a bestseller if it had been written in our times And that is a loss we must take upon ourselves That we have put such prime value on lust and looks and power that we have forgotten to be real in our writing There is a reason why millions of people the world over remember and revere a book written a hundred and fifty odd years ago while the bestsellers of our times slip quickly and quietly from our memories Jane Eyre is than just a beautiful book about a love story that transcends all boundaries it is a testament to the power of pure emotion, that can be felt through the ages and across all barriers of time and culture.