Jane Eyre Book Review

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Madison Aboud

The more the merrier! This shelf displays just a few of my many copies of my all time favorite novel “Jane Eyre.” I read the novel a few years ago and have since fallen in love with it in every way.

When Charlotte Bronte first published “Jane Eyre” in 1847, to say it shocked readers is an understatement.

“Jane Eyre” is a coming of age story about a young girl as she travels from an abusive and lonely  childhood to a young woman working as governess for the ward of the brooding Mr.Rochester. Through the ups and downs of life, Jane finds a way to create light and happiness even in the darkest times.

I first read the novel in the summer of 2019. It was my first venture into reading classics. When I finished the book, I not only felt a sense of pride at having finished a classic novel, but I fell in love with it at the same time.

“Jane Eyre” shocked readers for multiple reasons. The main reason was because of its feminist nature. During the 1800’s, society believed women should be seen and not heard. Society felt that women were meant to stay at home and plan parties while taking care of the household and children. Jane was completely different. She believed that women should not follow the standards of society at the time. Jane constantly challenged social norms and formed her own opinions.

Spreading her wings! During a particularly heated discussion between Jane Eyre and Mr.Rochester, Jane reaches her breaking point and says this iconic line. Of course both Jane and Mr. Rochester’s plans change after that dialogue. (Designed by Madison Aboud)

Jane is one of my all time favorite book characters. Jane is a lovable, strong, independent and intelligent woman. Life has dealt Jane a bad hand. She lived with her abusive aunt and cousins until she was ten and then went to a very strict and harsh boarding school. She longs to break free of the life she is living. To do this, she advertises to become a governess. A Mrs. Fairfax of Thornfield Hall answers Jane’s advertisement and soon Jane leaves her old life behind and heads to Thornfield.

Jane isn’t the only character in the novel who has had a harsh life. Mr.Rochester, the owner of Thornfield, also has had many challenges in his life as well.

When Jane first arrives, Mr. Rochester is away from the house. During the first three months of her employment, she never meets the mysterious master of the hall. Then, one night, Jane runs into Mr. Rochester in a dark lane. When first introduced, Mr. Rochester comes off as a very sarcastic and rude person. He is very short with people and dislikes conversation. Quickly though, Mr. Rochester begins to change his ways after meeting Jane.

Jane and Rochester’s relationship is anything but simple. For starters there is almost a 20 year age difference between them. Not only that, but Jane has no money to her name, while Mr. Rochester is extremely wealthy. Not to mention, Mr. Rochester has a dark secret that he is hiding, and if found out, would lead to his “figurative” demise.

When I first read Jane Eyre, I was a little confused by what was going on and the language, but as I continued reading, I began to understand the writing style and the plot of the novel. After finishing the book, I began to watch every adaptation I could find. I have watched almost every version of “Jane Eyre” as of date.

Not only have I watched multiple adaptations of the novel, but I also own many copies of “Jane Eyre.” 25 copies to be exact. Within each copy I own, I have either tabbed, highlighted, underlined or written within each and every copy. Every time I reread the book, I use a different edition.

Another reason why I love “Jane Eyre” so much is because it gives the reader a glimpse into another world. I don’t mean a fantasy world. I mean the world of the late 1840’s where women wore fancy dresses and the men were decent and respectful. It was the world of lower and upper classes. Men had more rights than women, and the rich and poor weren’t supposed to associate together because of social classes. In a way, “Jane Eyre” gives the reader a glimpse of just how much the times have changed.

Love is a battlefield. During one of his particularly more vulnerable moments, Mr.Rochester tells Jane exactly how he feels about her in my favorite quote of his. (Designed by Madison Aboud)

The novel is a Gothic romance, but at its heart, it is much more than that. “Jane Eyre” is about a young woman who is paving her own way in the world and doesn’t have a care about what people think of her. It is about a man who wants so desperately to be good and to be happy, but he has his past to overcome. The two, a man and woman must learn to find happiness and love in the oddest of places. And it is about finding and loving yourself. That is what “Jane Eyre” is truly about.

Final Thoughts- To say I love “Jane Eyre” is a massive understatement. Although the novel was written over 150 years ago, Charlotte Bronte’s writing style is incredibly easy to follow. Not only is her writing style simple enough to comprehend, but Jane and Mr. Rochester’s love story is an incredible road to travel down. I’ve traveled it many times, and I’m still not sick of it.

Overall, I give the novel five out of five stars. The mystery is amazing, the humor is spot on, the quotes are magnificent and the love story is pure and original. I am confident that anyone who reads “Jane Eyre” will find something that they love about it and something they learn from it.

Madison Aboud