The problem with reviewing a book like Jane Eyre is that I won’t be contributing anything new. Everything that I type today has be said, discussed, vlogged and blogged a million times. I guess I can only write my own thoughts about the novel.
I just cannot avoid a brief summary though.
The book is in the form of a memoir. Jane Eyre starts by talking about the day she rebels against her older cousin and how that affected her future. We readers then learn about her schooldays and then her move to Thornhill to apply for the role as a private tutor. We then meet Mr.Rochester and the. millions of secrets he keeps. After that Jane moves again has one last admirer and then decides that Mr. Rochester is the right one for her.
What I liked about Jane Eyre is that Brontë doesn’t stick to one genre. Some parts of this is a coming of age, some parts are Gothic, there’s an element of horror, some scenes fall into the thriller genre, now and then there are satirical moments when Jane Eyre is in the presence of upper class people . It’s definitely a feminist novel. It can also be seen as an experimental novel for there’s the stream of consciousness narrative. My summary made it seem like a huge love affair and, although, there is an element of that there’s A LOT going on in Jane Eyre.
As a character Jane Eyre is a formidable creation. Her main motive is to break free; her first house is like a prison, her school is like a prison, Thornhill is one, her eventual marriage to Mr. Rochester makes her think she’ll be in one and when she reaches her last destination, she is also put in a prison-like relationship. However she is always managing to break free and surge ahead. Like all people she has her faults but the characters she meets on her journey, shape her way of thinking and she is able to cope.
Saying that, when Jane Eyre finally marries Mr. Rochester (who is badly crippled due to an accident) is she put in a powerful position. Does this mean that in order to break free you have to find an advantageous position? Is Jane Eyre’s way of thinking a correct one?
Jane Eyre has been noted for having a hypnotic grip on people while reading it, and it happened to me as well. What kept me going was the unpredictability of the text. Brontë throws a lot of curveballs into the story so one never knows how it will develop as this was my first reading of the book, I was surprised at a lot of things that happened ( I did know about Rochester’s attic before).
I’m not stating anything new by saying why Jane Eyre is a classic but even if you dislike it, I do think it is one of those books that has to be read, not only is it a story but it provides a lot to think about afterward.