Jane Eyre Jane Eyre question

What's better Jane Austen...or Jane Eyre?
Ana Ana (last edited Jul 26, 2011 04:35PM ) Jul 26, 2011 04:32PM
So, I understand a lot of people compare Jane Austen's novels to Jane Eyre and what Charlotte Bronte did with her character and were they good enough to be "Austen Material". Just wanted to hear people's thoughts on it, so please, talk among yourselves. haha :)
I personally think you cant even compare the two very much, mostly because yes, Jane Eyre had thriving romance and heart filled passion, but Charlotte Bronte brought a paranormal aspect to it too. Also, jean Austen's novels seem to lead up to the big kiss, where Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre leads you to a beautiful proposal and the tragedy and betrayal.

Teresa (last edited Jul 04, 2013 02:33PM ) Jul 21, 2012 04:45PM   6 votes
Jane Austen died in 1817, Charlotte Bronte was born in 1816. Austen lived mainly during the Georgian period and Bronte during the Victorian, when gothic stories were all the rage. Austen was raised in a loving, supporting family, and the Bronte sisters were not. Bronte was able to read Austen. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. They are both fruit that grow on trees but texture and taste are entirely different. Austen is my favorite author but the Bronte sisters (all 3 of them) are in my top 10 of all time. (Jane Eyre being more my taste then Wuthering Heights) Austen is a gentle rain while the Bronte's are thunderstorms. I appreciate both and am very glad we are able to read them all. That said, I think Darcy would have kicked Heathcliff's arse even with Heathcliff fighting dirty while Rodchester and Knightly refereed.

Katie Wow, this is the best answer/description I think i've come across! thank you for this! I whole heartedly agree that they are both fruit but you cannot ...more
Aug 04, 2017 07:44AM · flag

When I was a teenager, I thought Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" was the best book by the Bronte sisters. I love "Jane Eyre" but did not really appreciate all of the subtle nuances or Jane's inner strength until I was older. Now, I would give the edge to Jane Eyre over Wuthering Heights.

I don't really think it is fair to compare the Brontes and Austen. Austen wrote about what she knew. Austen lived in the "civilized" southern part of England in Hampshire (and Bath). There was much more opportunity for social contact and she wrote with wit about those around her. The Brontes were much more isolated in the northern Yorkshire moors. They drew their characters from their imaginations and their writing reflected their more stark surroundings. Each of them were great in their own way and I think to try and rank them against each other does a disservice to their brilliance.

kellyjane (last edited Jul 07, 2013 10:19AM ) Aug 07, 2012 09:36PM   3 votes
Probably I am not well qualified to address the original question, as I read 'Jane Eyre' twenty-five years ago (and 'Villette' maybe three years ago), and am much more familiar with Jane Austen's novels. It seems very much a matter of taste in which some favor one or the other author, and some love both if for different reasons.

Implicit in Jane Austen's work is the notion that what one experiences depends significantly upon how he or she chooses to look at it. Had Jane Austen composed a story with the plot of 'Jane Eyre', she could not have written so much tragedy into it: she would have poked fun at both Rochester and St. John, would have implied that the heroine's ambiguity had something important to do with something she had yet to learn about herself, and may well have had the heroine marry some third character who had been humbly well-meaning and virtuous and decent somewhere along the periphery of the story all along. It would have been a comedy, would have affirmed the idea that a pivotal self-improvement of some kind would be rewarded by life with some happy outcome, and would have left us considering the whole cast of characters with a more philosophical bemusement. In short, she could not have written 'Jane Eyre'.

And had Charlotte Bronte composed a story with the plot of, say, 'Pride and Prejudice', much grist for passionate yearnings, passionate sufferings and struggles, passionate resentments, perhaps even a passionate triumph at the end, would have been hers to make dramatic use of. We would have been immersed in the character of Elizabeth Bennett; and everything and everyone else within the story would be known to us only in relation to their effects upon Elizabeth Bennett. She could not, in short, have created what we love and appreciate about 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Jane Austen's art was a more cerebral study of human nature via the interactions of various and diverse personalities each impacting the other, as seen through the lenses of wit and irony, and measured against an implied code of sensible and virtuous conduct. Charlotte Bronte's art was a more emotional study of profoundly human strivings and dilemmas focused through a single individual, as seen through the lenses of sympathy and pathos, and measured against an implied code of personal integrity and dignity.

The head and the heart, Jane the mistress of the former, Charlotte the doyenne of the latter, both exceptionally gifted in their respective domains. My personal inclination leans toward Jane Austen, despite Charlotte Bronte's superb skill for expression. But perhaps the happiest place is somewhere right in the middle, loving about both novelists what each brought forward to love about their works.

My favourite author is Austen but I adore Jane Eyre and read it every year.

I think the difference for me is that Austen's passion is cooler and restrained but it still lies there. Persuasion as a whole and Elinor's reaction when she realises Edward is not married in Sense and Sensibility. Marianne does demonstrate some 'errant' behaviour but all within boundaries.

Jane, however, shows an almost rebellious streak even as a child. She is more open in her reactions to Rochester and even when she considers the proposal from her cousin it is love and passion that she knows are the way she must go.

I love them all; the passion in Jane Eyre does catch my heart but the restrained passion does the same within Austen. I regard them all as things to be loved and cherished:)

Jane Austen. I like her work more. :)

This question is deeply personal; anyone who claims to have an actual answer is just speaking from ego. That said, speaking for my preference...

A lot of people prefer Austen for her wit and brighter tone.

However, I prefer the Brontes for their greater realism. Austen's romantic heroes are highly idealized, either perfectly upright and moral or on their way there thanks to the heroine's love. For me, there's no romance in that. It's sugary fantasy, the same fantasy romance novelists today spin.

But Charlotte Bronte gave us a hero with huge flaws, large enough to be unforgivable to many readers. Jane and Rochester fall in love despite each other's faults, which is what people do in real life. Despite the contrived parts of the plot, it's one of the most real looks at how humans love I've ever read.

-Elizabeth Reuter
Author, The Demon of Renaissance Drive

I always say they're like Bach and Beethoven. Jane Austen's the better prose stylist, but Bronte has the power and passion.

As a movie...Jane Austen.
As a book....Jane Eyre.

Jane Austen hands down and books down too. I liked Jane Eyre, but Charlotte's style is more superfluously wordy. Shirley had a terrible ending, which described everything that happened in everyone's life in a single chapter after having spent several hundred pages building up to it. Austen was ahead of her time; a pioneer in her field. She developed themes and we can see those themes lived out in her characters' lives. Her novels were deeper; her writing funnier and more entertaining. This is not to say that Charlotte was not a great writer and story-teller; just not of the same caliber of Austen; but, then again, few are!

I’m not sure why Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen are compared so much; perhaps it is because they wrote such very different books. I think Charlotte would dislike the comparison; she wasn’t exactly a fan of Austen’s work. I read an amazing collection of Ms. Bronte’s letters and was completely shocked at her opinion of Austen:

—letter to W.S. Williams, April 12, 1850

‘Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point. What induced you to say that you would have rather written "Pride and Prejudice" or "Tom Jones", than any of the Waverley Novels? I had not seen "Pride and Prejudice" till I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses. These observations will probably irritate you, but I shall run the risk.’

-Letter to G.H. Lewes, January 12, 1848

‘I have likewise read one of Miss Austen's works "Emma" - read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable - anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all demonstration the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant... she ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood...'

Jane Eyre moves me deeply. I haven't really been able to connect to any characters that way in Jane Austen's books.

I like Jane Austen very much, however...
If I could only have one or the other, I would choose Bronte. That's just the kind of gal I am. I like the passion and the lustiness of Bronte. I like Austen, but I love Bronte...

Without question, the Bronte sisters are superior writers, both in form and in the depth and substance of plot, than Jane Austen. Jane Austen writes books of manners with very little plot substance, in contrast to the Charlotte and Emily Bronte whose books are deep internal psychological examinations and address social and class prejudice. I love Jane Austen's stories, but they are frivolous compared to the brilliance that is Bronte.

I love love love Jane Eyre. I dont think anything compares to it. The love, the angst, the passion, the sacrifice... this book has made all these emotions into something tangible.
I like Jane Austen's books too but nothing compares to the greatest love story of all times, Jane Eyre.

Like the other said, it's kind of a matter of taste. But then, some people prefer Twilight over Harry Potter; popularity is not always an indicator an author's talent...

I personally think that all of the gothic era novels are overdone. Austen's characters are more realistic to me. Austen's writing also has more warmth and a lovely, razor sharp wit. The gothic novels (in my not-so-humble-opinion) are undending tales of exaggerated drama and romance. They particularly capitalize on will-they-won't-they couples and chuck in obstacles to make their love impossible. I particularly hated Wuthering Heights. I thought Heathcliffe was sick, controlling, and insane.

THAT having been said, whatever floats your boat. Without a doubt, I cast my vote with Austen.

That is like comparing apples and oranges. They are such different styles and periods.
I love Jane Eyre having first read it in my teens I have re-read it many times. As for Jane Austen I had to develope a taste for her. I tried P&P several times before I could finish it- I have read all of her books- and now I do like her- but she is no Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre. Austin is too fluffy. Like the movies of them since they are quicker to get through.

Jane Eyre

Well, one is a book and one is an author so I'm not sure what the comparison would be.

Samirah (last edited May 18, 2012 12:27PM ) May 18, 2012 12:26PM   0 votes
I like Jane Eyre,its one of my most favorite book

Jane Austen represents the unrealistic fairytale love stories to me while the Bronte sisters infuse tragedy with romance and use more raw emotion. I am understanding that by asking who is better it translates to what would I rather read, a Jane Austen novel or Jane Eyre again. I choose Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë because the story was actually deep and driven by the complexity of the characters, not the plot. Also, Mr. Rochester was so much hotter than Mr. Darcy, and I don't mean that in terms of physical appearance. I mean that in the sense that Mr. Rochester seemed to genuinely love Jane a lot more than Mr. Darcy loved Elizabeth. Also, the whole involvement in Pride and Prejudice between Elizabeth and Darcy arising because he didn't think that "she was handsome enough to dance with" always struck me as far too petty and shallow of a story for me to get emotionally invested in.

I find Jane Eyre to be darker, more about inner struggles and completely imperfect characters than any of Jane Austen's books. Charlotte Bronte (and her sisters) wrote about characters with major flaws and life riddled with tragedies, whereas Austen's books are cleaner, brighter. The characters have flaws, but they are social, external, superficial flaws - pride, prejudice, weakness of will or of learning. The characters in Jane Eyre are deeper and harder to understand. It's harder to understand if they have done the right thing or the wrong thing. The settings of the books, I think, are as close an explanation as you will find - Bronte is all moors and rain, dark setting and dark characters; Austen is fine houses and polite society.

If people are comparing all of Austen's novel to one of Charlotte [JE]then Jane Eyre is pretty bad ass!

To compare authors who wrote and published in different literary periods[which most likely influence the emotional tone of their novel] will give you a headache. Sometimes the younger author is either influenced or nauseated by the older author that they either write similar or vastly different.

"Jane Eyre" or Jane Austen? Isn't that a little bit like comparing a tropical fruit with an Antarctic bird? I like penguins and I like cocoanuts, but I don't see a lot of similarities there.

Why the comparison? They didn't even write in the same time period. Austen is mostly fun light reading. Still like to read both.

I choose Jayne Eyre. How can you not admire Jane and secretly love Mr. Rochester as well?

I think it's impossible to really compair the two. If Jane Austen had written "Jane Eyre" it would have been a totally different book; and, while I might have liked it as well as any other Austen book, it just wouldn't be the same (obviously!).
I love Jane Austen and I love Jane Eyre. She was a great author and it is a great book. But, let's face it, Jane Eyre wouldn't have been Jane Eyre without Charlotte Brontë. Right?

i liked jane eyre better. i read it many many times............... but i also like persuasion by austen.....

they both gave me different tastes. I have enjoyed Eyre more. She dealt with real life problems and a woman's illusions in a way that was able to reach the bottom of my mind. Austen on the other way gave a impression which cannot be applicable to everyday as it has a girls' world of day dreaming. But I really enjoyed both of them.

Stefano Good valutation. I know little English but I agree.Hello
Jul 24, 2017 03:36AM

Jane Austin is about polite society and romance.

Jane Eyre is about life itself.

Jane Austin books are just a bit of fun, like Harry Potter but at least they improve your vocabulary.

Jane Austen.

I found Jane Eyre to be very intense and much more suspenseful than Austen.

HR-ML (last edited Mar 28, 2018 08:08PM ) Mar 28, 2018 08:05PM   0 votes
Jane Austen's real life father was in the clergy. I find it supremely ironic that her books poked fun at clergy & their rigidity. And narrow-mindedness.

I prefer Bronte, Jane Eyre is arguably one of the most bad ass Victorian female characters. Even though Austen's use of free indirect discourse was a huge deal and influenced other writer's, such as Woolf's stream of consciousness technique, her novels are too bland for me.

Jane Eyre. I tried reading many of Jane Austen books but could not make it throuhg them.

Ana wrote: "So, I understand a lot of people compare Jane Austen's novels to Jane Eyre and what Charlotte Bronte did with her character and were they good enough to be "Austen Material". Just wanted to hear pe..."
The passion in the books of Austen and the life of a time in Bronte!

I love Jane Austen AND Jane Eyre! I find the books of Jane Austen easier to read, admittedly. To me, she was the original chick-lit author. Her heroines are sharp and feisty, her heroes handsome and strong, her plots full of will-they, won't-they moments, witty dialogue and sparkling scenes of simmering passion and wry humour. Jane Austen was an incredibly talented author and created some of the most memorable characters in literature. The Bronte sisters were much darker. Their novels had something almost raw about them. Despite the fact that Wuthering Heights is acclaimed as a fabulous love story, I always found it to be a story, not of love, but of hate, jealousy and obsession to the point of madness. It is a study in possessiveness and abuse. Heathcliffe is surely no romantic hero to any right-minded sane person? Having said that, it is an amazing novel, and providing it is not held up as an example of a love story I think it is one of the greatest. Jane Eyre is my absolute, all-time favourite novel. When I first read it it didn't really register with me how clever it is, how perceptive and well-observed. When I re-read it in my forties I fell in love with it. Jane Eyre is a wonderful character and the story is utterly compelling. I appreciate the question is simply to get us talking but my answer would have to be that I couldn't compare Jane Austen with Jane Eyre as they are so different. Like comparing Bridget Jones with JoJo Moyes...the styles are so different it doesn't add up. I think we should just be glad that we have two fabulous authors in Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, both British and both female. We can be very proud of them both and enjoy their works knowing that they would be astonished that they are both so loved after all this time.

I agree with Mary and Teresa - Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte were raised in different circumstances and times which has influenced their writing. Charlotte and her siblings had access to books that children in that day would not normally be allowed to read (their father did not censor their reading) which fired their imagination.

Personally I love both and appreciate their differences and Clare, I would disagree that Bronte's themes are 'deeper and more nuanced'. Austen simply has a lighter touch.

I wouldn't even bother to choose. They are both wonderful, each in their own way, and reflective of different times and mores.
I hadn't thought of Charlotte Bronte in terms of being a Gothic novelist at all though, that's interesting to consider. The Gothics I thought usually were all Castle of whatever (the sort of thing Alcott pokes fun at so well, though she wrote goth potboilers). Both Charlotte and Emily ground their stories (well, Anne too) in more mundane reality. Certainly heightened emotionality..but really (except for our Cathy and Heathcliff) rather restrained (well, granted, mad wife in attic...). I do love Austen's wit...but to choose is like "do you want to eat wildstrawberries, or would you like chocolate?". Both, please.

I don't think you can really compare the two. Jane Austen produced the books of her time, 200 years ago, the Georgian era, very formal and controlled. The Bronte sisters produced works of their time: much more romantic and passionate and much less controlled than the times in which Jane Austen lived.

I love Jane Austen because she wrote her books; and I love the Bronte books I've read, for their own reasons.

I prefer Jane Eyre as it's much more atmospheric and beautifully written than Austen's novels.

Gwen|| Bookish Blondie (last edited May 18, 2012 01:53PM ) May 18, 2012 01:53PM   0 votes
It seriously makes no sense to compare an author with a ton of works, and Jane Eyre a singular book, and the most notable from Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre isn't similar at all to any of the Austen books, and shouldn't be compared. I enjoy both Austen's novels and Jane Eyre is my favorite novel of all time, simply because of of the struggles and darkness that Jane Eyre went through and she still got a beautiful and happy end, despite the tragedy. Austen's books are pretty much the straight forward romantic novels that deals with one strong female protagonist filled with other women who are all simpering idiots, weak, or otherwise impaired, and men who don't like/understand the strong female, but despite it, the female gets her happy ending, and there is always some sort of "problem" that has to be resolved, which doesn't nearly delve into the same type of tragedy and depth that Bronte did in Jane Eyre, and that's not why I read Austen. I don't read Austen to get the same feeling that I do when I read Jane Eyre.
I appreciate both Jane Eyre, the character and novel and Jane Austen as an author, but Jane Eyre to me surpasses anything Austen ever wrote.

Um... JANE EYRE!!!!
I am weird and I compare books to food. Jane Eyre was like a rich soup: lots of meat, high-quality. P&P was like super-sweet candy: WAY too sweet for me to stomach. I liked it okay, but it's all about the romance. Jane Eyre was (spoiler alert)about coming out of an abusive situation, then surviving oppressive conditions, then a search for independence, then romance and mystery, then heartbreak, then more searching for independence, then a terrible decision, then, finally, the romance comes to a satisfying point.

Jane Eyre!!!!
I have only read one, well part of one Jane Austen book and I suppose I shouldn't judge an author by one book but it was Emma and it will be a while before I work up the courage to read another. Jane Eyre is a beautiful written heart taring love story that I will love the rest of my days.

"Also, jean Austen's novels seem to lead up to the big kiss, where Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre leads you to a beautiful proposal and the tragedy and betrayal."

This description of Austen's works is a bit simplistic. Austen was sneaky - sometimes, you need to read between the lines to realize that, despite the fact that her novels end with a marriage, she's not necessarily saying they will live happily ever after. In Emma, the protagonist ends up in a slightly incestuous marriage, and that arrangement is only agreed to under the condition that she & her husband will continue to live at her father's house - at least until her father dies. In Mansfield Park, is anyone not a bigger fan of Henry Crawford than Edmund? He may be a flirt, but he's also much more romantic and interesting.

I have to say, however, I'm more of a fan of Austen. The Bronte sisters were such a fan of abusive men, that while I like their writing, it kind of makes my brain hurt. I feel similarly with Twilight - why is this guy who is over 100 years old interested in a 16-year-old girl? Creepy.

Mr. Darcy may have been a dick, but he wasn't the type to abuse women. And he didn't need to be blinded in order to have an okay relationship with the woman he loved. He did need to change, which is, perhaps, not the best role model for real life. But he could change without physical maiming.

S Jul 27, 2012 11:57AM   0 votes
Let's just start by saying that I'm a HUGE fan of both. They are my two favorite authors of all time. That being said, Charlotte Bronte has the edge for me. Bronte novels always have a dark and haunting quality (much like her sister Emily's Wuthering Heights), but also make you feel like you are inside the story yourself. Jane Eyre (my favorite book) has such depth and felt so real to me... I related to Jane on such a deep level. I love Austen, but her books are a little "fluffier" than those of Bronte. As was mentioned above, they tend to lead up to the "big kiss" as compared to books like Jane Eyre, which tell a resonating and poetic story.

In my opinion, Jane Austen - judging from my limited experience of her work - makes for lighter reading, usually centring on the theme of marriage and courtship. To date I have found I cannot get into her novels. On the other hand I have found Charlotte Bronte to be a deep writer, writing of life's hardships, moral and spiritual strength, and unfailing love. Jane Eyre is my favourite novel of all time. I recently watched a BBC adaptation of Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, and felt the same depth of writing issuing from this story. Helen was so spiritually strong, morally driven, loving and lovable, evoking the sympathies, just like Jane Eyre. Can't wait to read the novel version :)

Austen. Hands down.

This isn't on the question, but I have a bit of a problem with our tendency to group 'the Brontes.' All three sisters did have similarities in their settings and mood, but they were also very distinct in many ways. Personally, I never liked Wuthering Heights. I found it unrealistic and, frankly, a bit ridiculous. Charlotte Bronte, however, is absolutely brilliant (in my opinion of course.) I think Anne Bronte's books are wonderful too. In fact, I actually stopped reading Agnes Grey because it upset me too much, I got so much into the character. Anyway... off topic.

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