Full review now posted!
I first read Jane Eyre about five or six years ago, and I really liked it. Since then, I gotten quite a few more classics under my belt. Classics are vastly different from modern fiction, and have to be read differently. Now that I understand this fact, reading classics has become much more fulfilling for me. So, when I picked up Jane Eyre for the second time, I didn’t just really like it; I loved it!
First of all, the writing is absolutely gorgeous. Charlotte Brontë penned one of the most beautiful novels I’ve ever read. Every word she wrote had purpose and power. In this book we have the story of an orphan girl’s journey from surviving to thriving. Life has dealt her a hard hand, but she handles herself with surprising aplomb and grace through even the hardest situations. Jane is different, and marches to the beat of her own drum. So much so, in fact, that many critics refused to believe a woman had written the book when it was first published. There are times when Jane bends over backwards to try to please those in her life because she is so desperate for the love and family that she never had, but she always has a breaking point. When pushed too far, Jane always firmly stands her ground and refuses to lose her identity to those who wish to mold her into their ideals.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.”
That’s one of the most powerful lines I’ve ever read. Jane always remembers her free will and her freedom when faced with those who wish to take those inalienable rights from her, and she always defends those rights. Even in the face of losing that which she yearns for most in the world, she will not be caged or forced to compromise her principles.
Another thing I really loved about this book with Brontë’s faith that shone brightly from the pages. There was much theology and scripture and soul searching in this book. But what I loved most was the fact that it never felt forced or trite. Faith was as much a part of Brontë’s time as breathing, and is portrayed just as naturally.
And, of course, there’s the romance that this book is most known for. It’s beautiful, but it’s not what stands out to me. While it might be the most famous aspect of the novel, it is not the central theme. In my opinion, Jane Eyre is the story of a girl overcoming hardships and finding herself, and always protecting that identity. Without a doubt, this is in my top five favorite classics. And without a doubt, it is a book made for revisiting.