Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Classic Novel Recommendation.

 A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. This updated edition features a new introduction discussing the novel’s political and magical dimensions. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. This time I chose Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

This is a classic that I often find myself going back to, I’ve read it several times and every time I do I find myself  getting something more out of it.  It’s a book that offers lots of food for thought, thanks to the many themes we find in it, that make the reader think and ponder on different aspects of life that still ring true nowadays: women’s equality, the relationship between a man and a woman,  what it means to love and seek freedom at the same time…

Jane is a strong female character whose integrity and commitment to principle are put hard to the test while she tries to find balance between love and freedom.  She’s a plain woman who embodies intelligence, self-confidence and willpower but who wants to belong somewhere, to feel loved, all the while seeking her autonomy.

The real struggle between her passions and her integrity begins when she meets the enigmatic and tortured Edward Rochester. It’s not easy for Jane to sort out her feelings:  what does it mean for Jane to truly love him and what does love implicate? Can independence and love coexist?  With Rochester she can set her passions  free,  but on the other hand, she feels like she’d be robbed of her dignity and freedom by being his mistress. And marrying the austere and ambitious St. John Rivers would mean sacrificing her passions and the dream of a loving relationship for integrity. The journey the characters undertake is an interesting one to follow, more so when we begin seeing the changes that the relationships they establish trigger in them. Jane’s character becomes a  heroine whose love, patience and willingness to forgive bring a tortured soul to redemption, and at the same time she doesn’t lose her determination and self-worth.

Charlotte Brontë wrote an intriguing novel about love, mystery, redemption, strength that still enchants readers all over the world.  Through her descriptive writing and vivid imagery she evokes striking  scenes that remain impressed in the reader’s mind.  Jane Eyre is a classic of nineteenth-century English Literature that’s really worth the read.

And now some of my favorite passages:

“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you, – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!”

 

“And was Mr. Rochester now ugly in my eyes? No, reader. Gratitude, and many associations, all pleasurable and genial, made his face the object I best liked to see. His presence in a room was more cheering than the brightest fire.”

 

“And there is enchantment in the very hour I am now spending with you. Who can tell what a dark, dreary, hopeless life I have dragged on for months past? Doing nothing, expecting nothing; merging night in day; feeling but the sensation of cold when I let the fire go out, of hunger when I forgot to eat: and then a ceaseless sorrow, and, at times, a very delirium of desire to behold my Jane again. Yes: for her restoration I longed, far more than for that of my lost sight. How can it be that Jane is with me, and says she loves me? Will she not depart as suddenly as she came? To-morrow, I fear I shall find her no more.”

 

” I knew you would do me good, in some way, at some time; I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not -( again he stopped) – did not ( he proceeded hastily ) strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing.”

 

Elena

About Elena

Literature is my passion. I love reading so much that I spend countless hours in bookstores and libraries. I have a soft spot for poetry and art. I like traveling and discovering new places. I can't do without a book.

15 thoughts on “Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Classic Novel Recommendation.

  1. Jess says:

    *squee* I ADORE Jane Eyre!!! I’ve read it 4 times. And have two of the movie adaptations (the new one could have been great had it not been so horribly abridged). I get something new from re-reading it as well. The last, most recent time (about a month ago) I couldn’t help but notice what a sanctimonious prick St John is. And what a good man Rochester is underneath his harsh exterior. As much of an albatross as Bertha was he never stopped taking care of her. And that Jane is really kind of a smartass. Love it!

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    • Elena says:

      Loved your comment, Jess. I think you said it better than I did 🙂
      As far as the movie adaptations go, I’ve only seen the BBC series, but I’ll make sure to check out also the one with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska 🙂

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    • jyoti mehra says:

      it was nice by an abriged book

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  2. ChocoMG2112 says:

    Such a great book!

    I must agree on the sanctimonious prick reference. Jeez.

    And forgive me but I indulge in my fav version of the BBC version of this with Toby Stephens. What a wonderful adaptation. I love what BBC does. Just genius!!

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  3. Sara R. Rice says:

    I haven’t read this book in years. After reading what you wrote, I think I will look for my copy and gift it a run through again. Thank you.

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  4. I love jane eyre and the bbc movie. But i would love to see this on the big screen.

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  5. kiTT says:

    Another great post! In terms of classics, this has always been one of my favorites! I haven’t seen the newest movie version, but read a great article about the screenwriter and how she went about it differently than other versions.

    I very happily saw the broadway version of Jane Eyre years ago. The actor who played Mr Rochester was perfect.

    Stephenie Meyer once said that Jane Eyre in essence was her best friend growing up, and inspiration for twilight. 🙂

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    • Elena says:

      Thank you KiTT 🙂 I haven’t seen the broadway version. Do you happen to know the name of the actor?
      Some aspects of Twilight are indeed similar to the ones of Jane Eyre. I like that Stephenie Meyer modelled each book after a classic 🙂

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  6. […] Last but not least… Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (see Elena’s review here) […]

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