Zeek's Reviews > Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
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May 11, 2010

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bookshelves: classics, fiction, literary, romance

Jane Eyre along with Charlotte Brontë’s sister’s Wuthering Heights is a much beloved romantic literary classic.

Personally I don’t get it.

In Wuthering Heights I couldn’t stand Heathcliff for his moodiness and downright meaness and I found little more to like in Jane Eyre’s Rochester- although I will give he’s a tad more likeable since he obviously cares for Jane rather than simply being obsessed by her as Heathcliff was for Catherine.

In the story of Jane Eyre, very much unlike what I find with Austen’s characters, I couldn’t relate to Jane as a character because I little understood her motivations. Sure she endured being cast aside and raised in an institution but much of that is glossed over. She started off with enough steel to stand up to her wretched step brother and step mother but somewhere in the years she lost it, till when she came to Thornfield Hall she almost fades into the background. She falls for Rochester and he her though there’s little indication why. Then disaster strikes and rather than corrupting herself morally, she leaves. While away she suddenly becomes an heiress, refuses yet another marriage proposal and then is supernaturally drawn back to Thornfield Hall, hearing Rochester call for her in her imagination. Things have not gone well for Rochester during their separation, but he is now free to marry, and Jane- at last- finds happiness.

A happily ever after, I suppose, but Rochester has little that a modern woman would like and desire despite the fact you get that he genuinely loves Jane. In the end, it was the silliness of the gothic-ness of this novel and it’s eye rollingly absurd action that drags the story down for me.

For me the author who does it best, the one who wrote novels with characters that a modern woman can empathize with- despite all the years in between- is Jane Austen.

Oh, the Brontë sisters will remain on my keeper shelf, they are classics after all, but I am quite content knowing I will probably never read them again.
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Reading Progress

May 11, 2010 – Shelved
Started Reading
May 12, 2010 – Finished Reading
May 24, 2011 – Shelved as: classics
May 24, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction
May 24, 2011 – Shelved as: literary
May 24, 2011 – Shelved as: romance

Comments (showing 1-9)

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AgentScully Jane Eyre will always be a sentimental favorite for me. It was the first "romance novel" I read when I was 11 :-)

Zeek :) I remembered it fondly up until my recent reread although for some reason I remembered little of it other than her being a governess. It's the adult eyes- and the fact I've read and reread and rereread, Pride & Prejudice since my earlier reading- that made me see it differently!

AgentScully I wonder if I would see it different now. Been almost 20 years since I re-read it last. Think I'm too scaredy-cat to find out!

Zeek mm, might be best to leave it to fond nmemories, haha!

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I have fallen more in love with Jane Eyre after every read. I have read it over 5 times and I love it still:)

Zeek Gattaca, I feel the same about Pride and Prejudice! Some just strike a chord in us, I guess. :)

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Zeek wrote: "Gattaca, I feel the same about Pride and Prejudice! Some just strike a chord in us, I guess. :)"

*scratch that* I fall in love with both Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice after each read. Both are my favorite books:)

But yes, I agree that books strike a chord in us :)

Stella An Austen book is like fine champagne bubbles, she's the master of creating complex, genteel little worlds of fun plot twists and humorous misunderstandings, but I think it was Bronte herself who once said that Austen characters don't FEEL very much. Bronte heroines are experienced to the bone. I think the two are apples and oranges, the only smilarities are time, place and profession.

Kathleen Love this book. Totally "got" Jane. But I have read it at least six times. I suppose the first time, I was probably not as clear on the character development, etc.

See the audio link at the bottom of my review, for a first-rate narration, at only $2.95

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