Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Poor and plain, Jane Eyre begins life as a lonely orphan in the household of her hateful aunt. Despite the oppression she endures at home, and the later torture of boarding school, Jane manages to emerge with her spirit and integrity unbroken. She becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she finds herself falling in love with her employer--the dark, impassioned Mr. Rochester. But an explosive secret tears apart their relationship, forcing Jane to face poverty and isolation once again.
Character Development: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 7/10
Total Score: 63/70
NOTE: As this book is a 19th century classic, these scores aren't entirely reliable.
Obtained: Bought from Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Age Appropriate? G
Cussing: Very limited.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc: Some drinking and drunkenness, but not much.
Sexual Content: None.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Some time-period child abuse (meaning, we consider it abuse, they don't), etc. Small amount of violence and some graphic imagery.
Jane Eyre is a classic for a reason. I was shocked at the ease of reading. Charlotte Bronte writes with a voice and a diction that, while somewhat archaic, is not yet incomprehensible (like, say, Charles Dickens, etc). This is a masterfully crafted novel that I believe everyone should read whether they like classics or not (generally, I hate them).
The characters of Jane Eyre were a fascinating lot. Jane herself has become one of my favorite protagonists of all. She is strong, likeable, and flawed, and her thoughts and decisions are clear and sensible. Mr. Rochester--wow. He is the perfect foil to Jane's easy calm and inferior, modest attitude. His sarcasm and wit were hilarious, and their conversations will make you fall in love with him. I thought it was a nice touch (and a big statement) that both Jane and Edward were ugly people. Yet Bronte doesn't write with scorn for the beautiful or any kind of prejudice. Indeed, she writes with intimacy and truth, much like our authors today.
If you fancy a novel full of beauty of the heart and mind, intelligence, and grace, read Jane Eyre--but be prepared for a slightly tedious undertaking (it has taken me a week of non-stop reading just to read 500 pages! Gah!). But it is completely worth it.