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Jane Eyre
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Past Group Reads - 2015-2016 > 2015 Group Read for May - Jane Eyre

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message 1: by Martha (last edited May 16, 2015 08:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
This thread is for discussion of our group read for May, 2015. The book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Discussion will begin on May 20.

This thread is now open for discussion. I hope to read JE again as this one is in my top 5 favorite books.

Who is planning to read JE with us? Is this your first time to read JE? Have you read any other books by Charlotte Bronte or her sisters?


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
Here is some background info I found online ...

JANE EYRE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

CHARLOTTE BRONTE
•Born April 21, 1816, daughter of clergyman, Patrick Bronte
• Her mother died when she was only five yrs old
• Charlotte grew up with her father, brother, four sisters, and aunt in Haworth, Yorkshire
• In 1824, the sisters were sent to Cowan Bridge – a school for clergymen’s daughters; sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died of tuberculosis as a result of the ill treatment they received at the school
• Charlotte and sister, Emily, returned home shortly; Charlotte assumed a motherly role for her younger siblings
• Children were educated at home; began writing • When she was older, Charlotte spent two years at Roe Head and later taught there
• She worked as a governess before returning home to teach her younger sisters, Emily and Anne
• Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels to attend school; Charlotte fell in love with the husband of the woman who operated the school (evident in her novel, Villette)
• She returned home in 1844
• Published a collection of poems with siblings in 1846; pseudonym “Currer Bell” (not successful)
• Published Jane Eyre in 1847
• Brother, Barnwell, died from alcohol and drugs in 1847
• Sister, Emily died the same year from tuberculosis
• Married Nicholls (a curate) in 1854 and became pregnant
• Died of tuberculosis while pregnant in early 1855

INFLUENCES
1. The Gothic Novel influenced Jane Eyre.
The typical Gothic Novel:
• Very popular in the nineteenth century
• Featured elements of horror, suspense, isolated mansions, ghostly apparitions, and endangered heroines
• Mixed with strong elements of romance, and such is the case with Jane Eyre
• The plot of Jane Eyre centers on a plain, socially insignificant heroine who falls in love with a mysterious, wealthy gentleman; since Bronte’s day, this storyline has served as a model for numerous Gothic romances
2. The Byronic Hero also influenced Jane Eyre.
• Bronte was greatly influenced by romantic poets, such as Lord Byron
Features of the typical Byronic Hero:
• Emphasis on the individual, liberty, and nature
• The typical hero is a rebel and an outcast; one who is proud, melancholy, and defies conventional morality
• Although the typical hero may have committed many sins in his past, he seeks a purer life; Bronte’s “Rochester” is a variation of the Byronic Hero
FORM & STRUCTURE
• First-person narrative
• Structurally, the novel uses setting to divide the novel into five sections
• Gateshead Hall, Lowood Hall, Thornfield Hall, Moor House, and Ferndean Manor play significant roles in Jane’s adventures; each time she moves to a new location, she enters a new stage in her life

RECURRING MOTIFS
• Emphasis on the supernatural, especially psychic experiences and prophetic dreams that occur at crucial times to guide Jane’s decisions
• Jane is often referred to as an elf or spirit
• Nature, especially the weather – which frequently reflects Jane’s situation – is an important symbol
• Religious symbolism is also very important in the novel


Giovanna Bias | 14 comments Thank you for posting. I can't wait to start reading.


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
Suggested reading schedule for those who like them - (depending on how yours are numbered)
Week 1 (5/20-5/26) Chapters 1-10 or I-X
Week 2 (5/27-6/2) Chapters 11-19 or XI-XIX
Week 3 (6/3-6/9) Chapters 20-28 or XX-XXVIII
Week 4 (6/10-6/16) Chapters 29-38 or XXIX-XXXVIII
The last 3 days can be catch-up which may only apply to me. LOL

My book is slightly over 500 pages. It's a Penguin Classic with good notes in the back.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 419 comments I've read this - twice ... looking forward to the discussion.


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
So have I. Once many years ago and then again just a few years ago.


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
I'll answer my own questions. :-) This will be the 3rd time of reading JE for me. It's in my top 3 favorite books (others are Bleak House by Dickens & To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee). TKaM is #1 and BH is probably #3.

My goal is to read all works by the Bronte sisters. So far, I've read Villette by Charlotte, Agnes Grey by Anne & Wuthering Heights by Emily. Loved them all. The writing is superb.

Next up, I'd like to read some poetry by Emily and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne. Maybe this year, but I never know. I'm such a moody reader.


Giovanna Bias | 14 comments It's the first time for me and I read Wuthering Heights and I loved it


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
Giovanna, I hated the characters in WH, but the writing was so outstanding that I was blown away. Those were some talented women. Such a sad story for them.


message 10: by Teri-lynn, bOoKaHoLiC (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teri-lynn (bookworm31) | 184 comments Mod
one of my favorite novels!!! Jane Eyre is one of my all Tim favorite female characters


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
Mine, too, Teri-Lynn. I never tire of reading the book or watching my favorite adaptations of it.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 419 comments Okay .. I've read Jane Eyre twice - once in high school, and again about 10 years ago for my F2F book club. I hated it both times.

I think Rochester is an insufferable jerk (I thought so in high school, too) ... and St John is even worse. And every time Jane calls him "my master" it makes my teeth hurt.


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
HAHAHA ... love that you shared your feelings on JE. I love differing views on books ... makes the discussions more interesting.

Just curious ... how do you feel about Rebecca? I loved that book as a teenager, but reread it a few years ago and just wanted to scream at the narrator. Drove me crazy that she wouldn't stand up for herself. I still think the book is very well-written (I love du Maurier's writing), but extremely annoying.


Marissa (bookishmarissa) | 11 comments I've read and loved both Jane Eyre and Rebecca. I read Jane Eyre on my own in seventh grade and then again this year and it was just as good as the first time. I'd love to reread Rebecca. I read it last year for my English class and fell in love. However, the narrator was very annoying at times.


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
I think I really identified with her as a teenager because I was so shy. I probably would have acted the exact same way and that's why I find her so annoying now.


message 16: by Teri-lynn, bOoKaHoLiC (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teri-lynn (bookworm31) | 184 comments Mod
I love Rochester...I believe he makes Jane a much more Powerful heroine...have you read wide Sargasso sea??? it explains why Rochester is the at he is


message 17: by Teri-lynn, bOoKaHoLiC (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teri-lynn (bookworm31) | 184 comments Mod
Rebecca is one of my all time favorites


Martha (marthas48) | 896 comments Mod
Wide Sargasso Sea is on my TBR list. I had forgotten about it. So many great books out there.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 419 comments Martha wrote: "HAHAHA ... love that you shared your feelings on JE. I love differing views on books ... makes the discussions more interesting.

Just curious ... how do you feel about Rebecca? I ..."


I loved Rebecca - the novel. Not a sympathetic character in the bunch, including our never-named narrator, who was such a doormat.


Teri-lynn wrote: "I love Rochester...I believe he makes Jane a much more Powerful heroine...have you read wide Sargasso sea??? it explains why Rochester is the at he is"

My F2F book group is going to discuss Wide Sargasso Sea in July ... so I'll be reading it in the next month or so.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 419 comments Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – 2**
Rhys tries to explain the reasons behind the madness which afflicts Bertha/Antoinette, Rochester’s wife in Jane Eyre. I wanted to like this. I had heard much about the novel over the years and more than one friend whose opinion I trust raved about it. But it just didn’t do much for me.
Link to my full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


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