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Jane Eyre

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message 1: by Mom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mom I was given this novel by my piano teacher in early high school, and it brought to me the love of reading. My imagination transported me back to this era of puritanistic morals. The life of a single woman was so limited and restricted. It made me appreciate the freedoms and oppurtunities of today.


Patricia I agree; I think that Jane Eyre is the ultimate feminist heroine. She was a strong woman, but was not strong because she acted in a masculine way. It's one of my favorite books.

Have you read the Harry Potter books? The name "Brockelhurst" shows up in one of her books, and it's pretty easy to see that the character of Harry shares a lot in common with Jane Eyre.


Laura-lou i can't believe you have just compared Jane Eyre to Harry Potter!


Patricia Why not?


Laura-lou because Jane Eyre is just the best and harry potter sucks! And Jane isn't a wizard.


Patricia I didn't say Jane Eyre mirrored Harry Potter exactly. I said that the rare name of "Brockelhurst" came up, which indicates, to me, that Rowling was making a connection. Harry was an orphan raised by an unloving aunt and living with a mean cousin; he then went off to a boarding school where he was to learn his trade, and ended up living with a different family.

It doesn't matter if you like the book or not; you can't act like connections don't exist just because you don't like something.


whichwaydidshego? Patricia, EXCELLENT last point!

And though I hadn't thought of it, I do see the similarities between Jane Eyre and Harry Potter not only in the upbringing as you mentioned, but in facing difficult decisions, choosing integrity - what is right over what is most desirable. Also, choosing what's best for others over what's best for self. It's really cool that Rowling paid that tribute in using the name Brockelhurst in the first book.


message 8: by Lakshmi (new)

Lakshmi I think that it is safe to say that in one way or the other Jane Eyre has influenced nearly every novel ever written about an English orphan. I hadn't really thought of the Harry-Jane comparisons before, but you can definitely see how Jane Eyre influenced books like the Secret Garden.


Rachel Yeah, the Jane Eyre-Secret Garden comparision is kind of obvious now that I think about it...Ha.


Amelia What about Anne of Green Gables...do you think that Jane Eyre influenced LM Montgomery as well?


Cathy (cathepsut) Jane/Harry - Brilliant idea, never occured to me! Thanks for pointing it out.

I haven't read Jane Eyre yet, but it's on top of my TBR pile and will be next. I have seen various movie adaptations and can't wait to experience the real deal - I hope I'll like it!


Cristal I read Jane Eyre for a book report, and, to my surprise, really enjoyed it! The author's writing is gorgeous, and the character development is intriguing.


Emily Rule How cool would it be if Jane WAS a wizard? Eh?! Eh?! Yeah, I am soooooo down with that. But seriously, Jane Eyre is honestly one of the greatest masterpieces in literature, at least in my opinion. To me, the beauty of the Jane/Harry comparison lies not in the fact that they were both orphans, both abused by family, both sent away to school...but in the way they chose to handle their situations. In both books, the hero(ine) was faced with a moral dilema where they had to sacrifice their own chance at a happy life in order to do the right thing (Jane leaving her love and Harry chosing to give up his life). Both made the sacrifice and, in the end, were rewarded. That's where I like the comparison....the same beautiful lesson taught in slightly different ways.


Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* i really liked this book, only a few parts were a little weird...


Cathy (cathepsut) Brigid, weird in what way?


Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* i don't know... just the whole thing with the crazy wife who bites people hidden in the attic. that was a little random.


message 17: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne She's a stock character type, though. The mad wife in the attic is a remnant of/influenced by the Gothic fiction most popular in the late 18th, early 19th century. The fashion was for lots of spooky and mysterious events, settings, and characters. Wikipedia:"Prominent features of Gothic fiction include terror (both psychological and physical), mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, decay, doubles, madness, secrets and hereditary curses."

By the time Bronte was writing, Gothic fiction had largely faded in favor of more realistic romances, but clearly there's a definite touch of Gothic horror in Jane Eyre. I agree with Brigid that she kind of stands out in what is otherwise a pretty realistic romantic novel.

I like her, though; I first read JE when I was younger, and I thought grammar lessons and whatnot was a little dull compared with mysterious cackles from the attic. In a strange way, she also made Jane more interesting, because once you realize there's a nutcase in the attic biting people, and almost everyone around her is covering up for her, suddenly Jane's not dull, she's just normal, surrounded by weirdos. Watching her react to the general crazy was pretty cool.



Jayne I was not as interested in the woman in the attic as I was in Jane's reactions to romance and social life, Also, Bronte gave some interesting consequences to the behavior and motives of the characters. I could not put this book down. It energized me.


Vanessa my mother gave me this bood as a gift when I was ten, and I have read and re-read it many, many times since. I love how she sees things as they are and is very practical in her view of the world.


Amanda While the poor madwoman in the attic (bwuahaha) is a little over the top, she serves several important points in the story. Bertha and Bianca provide contrasts with Jane. Bertha is all passion and impulse, "coarse and trite, perverse and imbecile," while Bianca is cold, arrogant and calculating. They help us understand how rare and strong Jane is. She feels deeply, believes in herself, has self-respect and believes in doing the right thing because it IS right.

Bertha also provides a reason that Mr. R can't marry Jane, as well as giving the Gothic bump-in-the-night feel mentioned in previous comments.

In 30 years I've probably read Jane Eyre over 20 times. It is almost perfect.


Seklyan I remember the first time I read this book. I was about 11 years old, and only picked it up because it was listed under the highest difficulty level of our reading list, and I was a very competitive child at the time. I'm SO glad I did. It has become one of my most favorite, and often read books. I had to go out and buy a hard copy because my paperback was falling apart, the cover long gone, leaving the end pages to curl and crumble away.
The language it is written in is beautiful, and makes me wish that society still spoke in that way. The characters are dear to me, and I am always sad to close the book at the end and leave them behind until enough time has passed that the words are almost strange and new to me again. I adore the characters. Especially Mr. Rochester, he is by far one of the most interesting characters I've ever read. The internal struggle between what is morally right in the "eyes of god" and what his heart wants.. I felt it with him. The near-slips when he is speaking to Jane, the Gypsy get-up! Charlotte Bronte was a genius when writing Jane Eyre, because she made you fall in love with Mr. Rochester the same as Jane, first seeing him coarse and ugly, and abrupt, and at the end, finding these things no less true, but suddenly endearing. I can't say anymore about it, just, wonderful!


Ajmira Patricia wrote: "I agree; I think that Jane Eyre is the ultimate feminist heroine. She was a strong woman, but was not strong because she acted in a masculine way. It's one of my favorite books.

Have you read..."


hey Patricia if i would have read your comment before I would have done my dissertation the similarity mentioned by you. Wow i would have never thought of this if you didn't point it out.


message 23: by Lily (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily And why is Bertha "crazy"?


Zulfiya Patricia wrote: "I didn't say Jane Eyre mirrored Harry Potter exactly. I said that the rare name of "Brockelhurst" came up, which indicates, to me, that Rowling was making a connection. Harry was an orphan raised..."

Connections may or may not exist. It is all personal. What is good, though, is the fact that the more you read, the more connections you are able to make. It enriches the reading experience, and you can actually hear the multitude of other books talking to you while reading only one. Intertexuality is the one of the greatest things in literature.


message 25: by Zulfiya (last edited Apr 12, 2011 11:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zulfiya Emily wrote: "How cool would it be if Jane WAS a wizard? Eh?! Eh?! Yeah, I am soooooo down with that.
"

Jane Slayre: The Literary Classic with a Blood-Sucking Twist? Though I personally think it is a simplistic variation on a modern tendency to mash-up books:-)


Reenie I just re-read Jane Eyre after many years and enjoyed it very much - and it was strange but I did get the connection to Harry Potter - abusive aunt, sleeping in a closet or cupboard, evil/nasty cousin. I did not make the connection until I re-read it, and thought I was the only one.


Richard I can't understand why so many people swoon over the Jane & Mr. Rochester love story bit. I thought Mr. Rochester was a jerk.


Zulfiya Richard wrote: "I can't understand why so many people swoon over the Jane & Mr. Rochester love story bit. I thought Mr. Rochester was a jerk."

So many plain girls, so few Mr. Rochesters:-)


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Very true!


message 30: by Bookgirl89 (new) - added it

Bookgirl89 I just saw the new film starting Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender last Monday and it was amazing, never get tired of this lovely story. And Michael made a hot Mr. Rochesters :)


Jacqueline I know everyone has their own opinion, and I respect such (barring those who like the pathetic Twilight saga), but dear God I nearly barfed and died twice reading Jane Eyre. Epic hatred.


message 32: by Bookgirl89 (last edited May 01, 2011 07:11PM) (new) - added it

Bookgirl89 Jacqueline wrote: "I know everyone has their own opinion, and I respect such (barring those who like the pathetic Twilight saga), but dear God I nearly barfed and died twice reading Jane Eyre. Epic hatred."

Hole fuck! thats intense, can i get an example of what you didn't like?

ps. i agree with you on the Twilight shit :P


message 33: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Jacqueline wrote: "I know everyone has their own opinion, and I respect such (barring those who like the pathetic Twilight saga), but dear God I nearly barfed and died twice reading Jane Eyre. Epic hatred."

Wow, what is there not to like? Jane is such an inspirationally, strong women. And the love between her and Rochester goes down in love stroy history. Please, tell us what you didn't like about this stroy!!


Kendra Lott I loved this book!
We were suppose to read it in high school.
I went to a really small school with only about 8 other kids in class.
Almost everyone was whining about how they hated "old" books and didn't understand the "fancy" writing.
There was a few girls in class that said the only book they wanted to read is Twilight.
I was the odd ball out, I was the first to finish reading it and then read it again
I wrote a paper on it that got me a 150 dollar prize in a writing contest ^_^
I loved Jane Eyre.

It was the first classical book I ever read.


Jacqueline The true irony, of course, is the fact that I am a very dedicated romance novel fan. Such books were the original inspiration for my devotion to reading, and not just the modern equivalent. Jane Austen should be nominated for godhood in my opinion, and Charlotte’s sister Emily wasn’t too terrible of a romantic, either.

However, despite my adoration for the romance genre of now and centuries past, I couldn’t abide Jane Eyre. There are several reasons, the first of which being Bronte’s particular writing style. While one might be tempted to argue that her longwinded dialogue monologues of her characters (primarily Rochester but occasionally Jane) might stem from the fact that such writings were nineteenth century and, of course, typical, I argue otherwise. Aside from the fact that other authors of the century, most notably Austen, did not use this literary irritant, other evidence remains that Bronte was a sad master of “too much.”

Take, for instance, the initial ten chapters of mindless exposition written for Jane’s childhood! While character background building is vital for book-people, there is a point of extreme and Charlotte embodied such. Then there is the reality that the book is, essentially, a romance, and yet Charlotte spends more time separating the hero and heroine in her story, thereby removing the elemental plot point of romance. And, if such issues weren’t bad enough, next comes the most nauseatingly problem – the discovery of Rochester’s loony wife and Jane’s reaction thereof!

This is my single most problematic point with the book. Jane fleeing the estate in emotional dismay and upset over said discovery made the entire book from then on seem like Bronte was attempting to encapsulate female purity. Yes, I know that analyzing such nineteenth century plot point with a twenty-first century attitude is biased to the extreme. Still, however, I maintain that the amount of stress Bronte placed on Jane’s emotional turmoil about her romantic interest’s marriage, even though such marriage was to a woman who made the Joker seem sane, and parried with Rochester’s attitude on the matter all came off as some literature gender-statement that women are purer and more steadfast in “morality” than men.


Charity U BunWat wrote: "In the words of another fictional character, I could not disagree more if I tried with both hands for a fortnight. I think you have completely misread Jane Eyre. In fact I would say that the book ..."

Hey, just wondering, where in the book does she say that she considered being his mistress? Or where does it say that? I've read the book several times and I'm not remembering it, so. Thanks!


message 37: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim BunWat wrote: "Feeling... clamoured wildly. "Oh, comply!" it said. "... soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do..."

BunWat, I completely agree with your reading of Jane's motivation in leaving Thornfield. I also agree that to characterise the novel as a "romance" misses something absolutely fundamental. The novel really is all about Jane. Her relationships with other people, as important as they are - and as central as they are in Rochester's case - are secondary to her relationship with herself and to the developent of her "personhood" (for want of a better word!). It is Jane's struggle to develop the person within and to be true to that person which makes the novel continue to speak to readers a century and a half after it was written.


message 38: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Gilbert I first read Jane Eyre in an illustrated version. I thought that it would be some sort of romance since I'd heard everybody talking about the Bronte sisters as if they were romance writers.But it wasn't. It was an interesting story about a woman called Jane Eyre. And now that I realise it, much like David Copperfield or Oliver Twist. The best part of the book was not the relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester but Jane's ruminations on the situations of her life e.g when she was at home being bullied by her cousins and her aunt did nothing to stop it or when she was at school- I really liked her point of view on the girl, Helen. I read that book a few more times after that, I even bought it. Jane Eyre encouraged me to read the Austen books unabridged, in fact. But I must say that I prefer Jane Eyre above all the Austen books.


Charity U BunWat wrote: "Feeling... clamoured wildly. "Oh, comply!" it said. "... soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do..."

I think she may have been considering marrying him. Since few other people knew about Bertha. I will think more about it.


message 40: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Charity wrote: "BunWat wrote: "Feeling... clamoured wildly. "Oh, comply!" it said. "... soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured..."

Rochester was married and Jane knew it. At that point, if she decided to remain with him and have a relationship with him, as the quote suggests she was contemplating, it could only have been as his mistress. Even if she had gone through a marriage ceremony, the marriage would have been bigamous and therefore not valid. In any event, Bertha's brother had prevented them from marrying once and it is reasonable to assume that he would have done so again or would have revealed the nature of the "marriage" had it occurred. All in all, I think it is safe to conclude that Jane contemplated (albeit briefly) becoming Rochester's mistress.


Charity U Good point. Thanks. :)


Charity U Good point, excellent evidence. :) I concede. :)


Connie You might enjoy reading "Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys which is a prequel to Jane Eyre. Rochester comes across as a man who married his first wife for money. It was his rejection of her that sent an emotionally unstable woman into insanity.
We read both books in a book group, and it was interesting to hear everyone's view about Rochester. Part of what makes "Jane Eyre" such a great book is that it doesn't tell you everything, and we all create a different idea of the characters in our mind.


message 44: by Marcelo (last edited May 11, 2011 11:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marcelo I just finished reading "Eyre" about a week ago (spurred by reading "The Eyre Affair", a wacky fantasia of a world where literary characters live alongside real people...) and I have to agree, it is most definitely not a romance novel. Yes, romantic love and its superiority against arrangements of convenience (quite a departure for the times, when matches were meticulously arranged) is one of the driving topics of the narrative, but only insofar as it supports the main theme of the book, which is one of a woman's right to be herself for herself, of female independence. Romantic love is a choice Jane makes, especially contrasted with the marriage of duty to St John, strongly and independently, and on her own terms (which is mostly why she rejects Rochester's offer to flee to France - not because she doesn't love him but because it conflicts with the moral standard she has set for herself and because it lowers her own value). Throughout the novel you get this path to independence, based on intellect and education, well illustrated: it's in her riposte to Mrs Reed as a child, it's in how she conducts herself at Lowood and in seeking her own employment when she departs it, it's in how she conducts herself at Thornfield as a governess, in how she conducts herself during courtship and in how she chooses to leave Rochester, and in her becoming a teacher afterwards. In fact, she only comes back to look for Rochester once she has become fully independent and settled, and you understand it's because she does not want to be below him that she has not sought him out actively before, because she would not want to be tempted again by the convenience of his wealth while she is unsettled.

Think of it in context of the times and this is fairly revolutionary stuff. And, by looking at it this way, you clearly notice the place that the formative portion at Lowood plays, because this is where she develops her intellectual gifts, and it helps moving the narrative from what could be an empty screed into a fleshed out example of a life to be followed - Bronte uses Jane as the shining example of a woman that gets ahead in life not because of social standing (she's an outcast), nor looks (she is plain), nor family connections (she's an orphan). She does it by will, determination, values, learning and hard work. Even when Bronte does cow-tow every now and then to convention, she does it on off-kilter arguments for the time - for example, Jane's awe and submission to St John is not based on the fact that he is male but on the basis of his drive and intellectual powers; and in the end even this loses out against the fact that Jane believes he will not fully appreciate her for herself, but rather for what she can do for him. She again chooses independence over the prevalent roles for women at the time.

All in all, it's powerful stuff, and the polar opposite of what you would consider the standard fare of the romantic novel...


message 45: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Marcelo wrote: "I just finished reading "Eyre" about a week ago (spurred by reading "The Eyre Affair", a wacky fantasia of a world where literary characters live alongside real people...) and I have to agree, it i..."

That's so well put, Marcelo.


Marcelo Kim wrote: "Marcelo wrote: "I just finished reading "Eyre" about a week ago (spurred by reading "The Eyre Affair", a wacky fantasia of a world where literary characters live alongside real people...) and I hav..."

Thanks, Kim! :)


message 47: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Well said, Marcelo!


message 48: by Angie (last edited May 13, 2011 01:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie I read this book years ago, and until now I still think it is a fine book.

Of course, there is the love theme, but in my point of view, the most important theme was about how Jane did deal with the harsh world around her, what she was doing in order to gain her independence and showing that she was working for survivability instead of waiting or looking for a charming prince. A woman with character and good moral values is what the world needs to be a better one.

The love theme is ironed and templated with reason and doing the right thing.


message 49: by Gwen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gwen Jane Eyre is one of my all time favourite books. I had to do a book review as an assignment when I was in grade five at school. Up to that point, I had been reading series books written for young girls. But my mother looked at me and said, I think there's a book that you might like to read for the review. She got Jane Eyre out of her closet, and that's when I discovered that books ain't books - some of them are literature.

Bless you, Mom.


Farrah Such a great book


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Jane Eyre (other topics)
Jane Slayre: The Literary Classic with a Blood-Sucking Twist (other topics)
Jane Eyre (other topics)