Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review- Jane Eyre

This summer I re-read Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. It's a book I've been meaning to re-read for a long time and I'm glad I finally got around to it.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
It had been a long time since I read Jane Eyre originally but since then I have seen several different film versions so I was pretty up on the storyline. However, I soon realized while re-reading it that there is so much in the book that you simply can't put into a movie. Jane Eyre's personal thoughts are what drives this story. There isn't a lot of dialogue. Translating thoughts onto film is never easy. I remember there was one miniseries that I saw that basically had Jane narrating the movie... though of course there was still dialogue and all of that but you got to hear her thoughts. It's been a long time since I've seen it but I think from looking at IMDB it was the 1973 miniseries. I don't remember how practically that turned out but I remember really liking it and wishing all movies were like that... which is definitely not practical. ;)
There's a lot going on in this book. There are plot points and characters that are introduced at the beginning and not resolved or reintroduced until later. Each detail contributes to the genius of the story.
Then there's Jane Eyre herself. Jane is quiet, patient and kind but she has no problem speaking up for herself and doing what she knows is right. Her narrative is thought provoking and beautiful.
Rochester on the other hand I'm not so crazy about. He's manipulative to Jane and he has a lot of self-pity going on that I can't respect. Yes I feel sorry for him and he's in a pretty tough spot but that gives him no excuses for his actions.
I don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said. Jane Eyre is a great book with a lot to learn from it's pages. I would definitely recommend it!

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  1. Yep you hit the nail on the head...Jane's personal thoughts driving the novel. She's one of my most admired characters in lit. My review: http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/2014/10/jane-eyre-by-charlotte-bronte-31-down.html

  2. I've never really liked Rochester, either. I understand he changes at the end, but when Jane first agrees to marry him, he's keeping secrets from her, he's lying to her, and he's basically using her moral integrity to make himself feel better about his own past. Not a great match.


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