I wanted to read Jane Eyre since a long time but couldn’t make myself do it. Firstly, because I find classics really difficult to read. Secondly, it’s too long. The 490 pages copy I have has very small font and everything is kind of crowded with the next chapter starting on the same page the previous one ends.
So when I picked up the book to read I was expecting a very difficult read. But the first 100 pages were a breeze.
Jane Eyre is an orphan who is living with her aunt, who is not a very compassionate woman, nor are her cousins. She suffers a lot in that house. Jane is a spirited girl, she believes she should be treated fairly and even knows there is injustice in the way her Aunt and her cousins treat her. She also believes in speaking her mind.
The Aunt gets tired of her and sends her to an orphanage school at the age of 10 where she spends the next 8 years of her life.’ I loved the life she described in the school. This section I found very similar to Anne of green gables. Not that there was anything similar in their circumstances but I found their natures quite similar.
“A great deal: you are good to those who are good to you. It is all I ever desire to be. If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.”
Jane works for 2 years as a teacher in the same school before she gets bored with the monotony and decides to explore something else. She applies for the post of a governess and gets a letter from Mrs. Fairfax. When Jane reaches there she finds out that Adele, her pupil is Mr. Rochester’s ward and Mrs. Fairfax is the housekeeper.
Mr. Rochester is the hero of course. As romance builds up, Rochester proposes to her and on the day of their marriage she finds out that he is already married, albeit to a lunatic. She leaves the house the same night without informing anyone and loses touch with him. She builds a life for herself as a village school teacher and in the end returns to find Rochester blind and his wife dead.
What I really liked about the book was that the author seemed to talk to the readers directly. She addresses the readers pulling them into the story very quickly.
I found the book a little too descriptive and the language, although very beautiful, very tedious a times.
At the very end, when Jane learns of Rochester’s ill fate from the manager of the Inn, she decides to go and meet him. I was so excited at this point, I could hardly stay still. I wanted to find out what happened instantly. But again, there were so many descriptions of the path and of the house, I was really irritated.
I proceeded: at last my way opened, the trees thinned a little; presently I beheld a railing, then the house—scarce, by this dim light, distinguishable from the trees; so dank and green were its decaying walls. Entering a portal, fastened only by a latch, I stood amidst a space of enclosed ground, from which the wood swept away in a semicircle. There were no flowers, no garden-beds; only a broad gravel-walk girdling a grass-plat, and this set in the heavy frame of the forest. The house presented two pointed gables in its front; the windows were latticed and narrow: the front door was narrow too, one step led up to it.
I mean hello? At this point I wasn’t really interested in reading about whether there were flowers in the path or not. I was way too impatient and I admit I skipped a lot from that chapter.
And Rochester? I think he spoke too much. At one point I wanted to say, ‘Oh stop talking already’. I thought he was selfish and manipulative. I realized that I will love the book more when I read it for the second time. As I already know the story I won’t skip anything and I am sure I will appreciate the language even more.
Although I loved the book and although it’s supposed to be one of the greatest love stories, Pride and Prejudice is still on top of my list. And Darcy is still the yummiest of all the literary heroes.
For those who have read the book, is there anything about it you did not like?
This book is one down for the Classics Challenge and one down for the Chunkster Challenge. yay…
I’ve not read this one yet… I think I might now.
Have you read Anna Karenina yet? It’s daunting but I loved it.
Pinky: No, I haven’t. I have been wanting to read it but it’s really very huge. But yeah, someday!!!
Glad you enjoyed it! There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book, but yes, the detailed writing you find in those older novels can be a bit hard to get used to. Then you learn to love them! 🙂
Oh and yes, definitely read Anna Karenina – it’s AMAZING!
Huw: I have 2 recomendations for Anna Karenina. I guess i’ll have to read it now 🙂
btw, have you finished War and Peace yet? Hows it going?
War and Peace is nearly done! Only 200 pages to go…! I’m planning to blog on it when it’s done, so I won’t say too much yet, but suffice to say it’s AMAZING! (And well worth the 1000 pages so far!)
I am embarrassed to say I haven’t read this either. Have you heard about Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? It’s all about the past of the madwoman in the attic.
I really enjoyed this book and I was surprised to find it so readable…I got through it much quicker than I was expecting. One thing I didn’t like at all was St John Rivers, but it’s not that I think his presence in the book is a bad thing… for me he was one of those love-to-hate-him sort of characters 😛
I think I’m the last person to read this book! It has been sitting on my pile for some time… I guess I need to move it forward since I’ve been hearing nothing but raves about this book!
I love P&P! Mr. Darcy is my favourite classic hero… of course I need to mention that I’ve not read too many romantic classics but I’m getting there! 😀
Cool…I’ll be waiting for your review Huwie.
Lenore: Thanks for the name. I had never heard of it, but I googled it and it definetely sounds interesting.
Nymeth: I agree. I would have felt bad if Jane would have abandoned Rivers to go to Rochester. As i said i didn’t like him much. But i guess he is gorgiven because he loved Jane so much 🙂
Melody: I think you would like it. For me this book had some unforgettable characters.
I read this one aeons ago, when I was still in school!!! It was a dreary read then. I recently bought a new copy as I want to re-read it. I think I’ll be able to appreciate it more now that I’m older (and hopefully, wiser). 😀
This is one that I still love to this day. (I’ve got a review coming up of Wuthering Heights and suffice it to say…..ugh!). But did you happen to catch Masterpiece Theater’s production of Jane Eyre? It was fabulous! Gets rid of the long descriptions for you, LOL.
Thanks for the review….it brings fond memories back for me!
I’ve tagged you with a Happy Things Meme. See my post here. 🙂
Jace: Hope you enjoy it the second time around 🙂
Michele: I saw some parts of it. It was good, but I don’t think Rochester was ugly as suggested in the book 🙂
Oh how I love this book! But I’m also a fan of the older classics so I didn’t mind the “excess” language.