5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte's Most Captivating Work
Quite arguably one of the greatest British novels ever penned, Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is so all-around-wonderful, it's no wonder that it's been adapted into 5+ movies.
We first meet Bronte's Jane as a child, young and abused, in the care of her aunt. We immediately take Jane under our wing, feeling more her personal protector with each turn of the...
Published on June 2 2004 by Kathie Phaevark
3.0 out of 5 stars Immature and uneven.
One friend who prefers Charlotte Bronte to Jane Austen told me she would feel claustrophobic in the latter's world. And it does seem to be the common view that Jane Eyre is more liberated and complex than Austen's leading female characters. However, that is not my view. First, though, I must give the author credit for creating a childhood so realistic, so painfully...
Published on July 23 2003 by samantha
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jane Eyre - just trying to find love,
First of all, I would just like to say that Jane Eyre is most likely a good book for all those bookworms out there. I am postive that you will not be disappointed with this book if you like classical and dramatic novels. Yes, the novel may seem to be a little long, but it keeps you interested and guessing to the very end. Don't get me wrong, it is not some book that is a mystery. Although, the end is very unpredictable and I had no idea which path Jane Eyre was going to take.
When I opened the first few pages of this book, I must admit that I was questioning whether or not this was going to be
a dull and drab story. It seemed as though this might be a challenging book to be able to finish. Although, after some questioning, the plot took a turn for the better. The story really started to pick up as I began to enter the life of the orphan, Jane Eyre. The uninteresting beginning was well worth reading because the story was really good.
This story begins with Jane Eyre living with her mean Aunt Reed and cruel cousins. She goes through awful torments like being locked up in a dark room all night. The beginning of the story kind of reminded me of the enchanting story of Cinderella. Jane is then sent off to school all alone in the world to become a well-educated lady. She thinks she begins to find happiness there, but some awful things happened. She then goes to Thornfield Hall to try to be a teacher. She actually ends up falling in love with her master, Mr. Rochester. Jane once again begins to feel that everything is going well and that she actually might have found true happiness. Jane and Mr. Rochester are then about to be married when an awful secret is revealed about Mr. Rochester. Jane then has to figure out whether to stay with her one and only true love or just move on to a different life and forget that all of this happened. Jane then does take a small journey away from Thornfield to find out where to go from there.
I found that this book contained mystery, drama, romance, and
everything else a person could ask for in a book. This book is the type of book that you would want to take and curl up in bed and just keeping reading it to the very end. There was great detail about the life that Jane Eyre and all the feeling she felt were revealed to the reader. I seemed to really be part of the story and sometimes forgot where I was. There were also some amazing twists in the story that kept me guessing about who did that or why is that women so suspicious. There was also many characters that kept the story alive and interesting. Although, once and awhile it did seem as though the story was confusing. Things were being said and I was not quite sure who was saying them and places I was not quite sure what was going on. Although, with some of this negativism, everything else made up for it. All and all, it was a really good book. For me, it seems to reflect back on today's life. All Jane was doing was trying to find acceptence, love, and happiness. It seems at this day an age, that all people are trying to do is find true love and someone to be there. For this reason, I think that many of you would really love this book and read it. The novel is well worth the reading. I am sure that once you began the story that you will just want to keep reading it to find out if Jane really does find what she is looking for and if she finds true happiness. Now it is you turn to go to your library and check out this great classical novel that you are just going to love.
The grade I would give this book would be about a low grade A because sometimes it was confusing. Highly recommended for people who like drama and romance.
4.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't HAVE to be a drag....,
I gather this is required reading at a lot of high schools these days, and I'm sure that a lot of today's high schoolers do indeed think of it as a drag. It sure doesn't have to be, though, if you read from a larger perspective.
To fully appreciate today's world, it helps to understand the attitudes and experiences of the past, and JANE EYRE is one of the novels that helps us understand.
The book takes an orphaned girl taken in by an unloving aunt, and follows her into an unhappy school experience and ultimately into as good a career as a woman of that time and station could hope for, that of governess.
Well, this is one of the earliest gothic novels and true to the genre, you know the girl's going to fall in love with her employer who, unfortunately, has a deep and dark secret.
There's tragedy of sorts here and there's triumph, all told against the mores of a bygone era. There's much to learn and to enjoy here if you open up to it. It is dated, and not 100% relevant to today's life, which is why I give it four rather than five stars.
It may be helpful to read and compare JENNA STARBORN to JANE EYRE. The former pales horribly by comparison, but by setting the story in the future, today's reader may gain a better understanding of the original story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance & Everyday Life,
When I first read Jane Eyre, I (and I think many others) was taken in by the odd combination of romance and ominous overtones that makes Jane Eyre such a unique book. Of course, the Victorian-era writing and social commentary also made an impression.
But upon reflection, underneath all of this is a story of people with difficult lives learning to find and accept each other and hopefully coming to peace and happiness despite long odds. Maybe my second reading just comes from a twenty-first century mind reading things into a nineteenth century book that just aren't there. But to me, the book does have the feel of a modern story of hardship as well as a Victorian story of people trying to overcome their backgrounds to find love.
Jane Eyre tells the life story of an orphaned girl sent away to a harsh boarding school by a cruel aunt. Despite the harsh nature of the school, Jane thrived at the school since she is finally out from her aunt's crushing dislike for her. She graduated and took a job as a governess for a girl in the care of a mysterious man who spent much of his time traveling abroad, Mr. Rochester.
At first, the two do not like each other. This is compounded by the fact that Jane thinks she is plain looking and not worthy of his company. But the two develop a peculiar friendship, and there are many signs that their feelings are deeper. But Mr. Rochester is busy courting other ladies at the time. Mr. Rochester also seems to have a secret that he will not divulge to Jane but may have serious consequences for her.
Jane's job as a governess and the friendship that develops make it seem that the book will quickly become a Jane Austen book (which of course, would not have been a bad thing) in which the man and woman from different classes find love with one another, but from the point of the friendship blooming, Jane Eyre takes a few remarkable twists and turns that I had not expected and that make for real page-turning.
But it is as much the quiet desperation of both Jane and Mr. Rochester and their struggle to find each other despite this that makes Jane Eyre a book truly worth reading and treasuring.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic!,
Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is one of the best literary works I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It has the ability to keep you riveted, unable to put it down. Jane bears an uncanny resemblance to modern day women in that she is independent and strong willed. I had never even heard of this book before attending college and I almost feel cheated. This book does an excellent job of pointing out the many peaks and valleys one will have in their life. The author was able to use her own first-hand knowledge of having suffered through loss in her work.
Early in the story we see that Jane has a thirst for knowledge as she finds solace in various books. As an adult she uses her own education to help her become a teacher. She also comes to know love not once but twice. First with Edward Rochester, whom she eventually leaves due to his deceitful ways only to return to later, and second with St. John Rivers who is a missionary on his way to India. Jane doesn't stay with St. John because she believes him to be looking towards her more as a possible missionary than as a wife.
I eagerly recommend this book to anyone. It is a masterpiece of literary artwork and lengthy as well. I believe that the young women of today could benefit greatly from reading this book for it will teach them how to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. In my opinion, "Jane Eyre" is a must read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a classic - read it more than once,
Reading Jane Eyre for the first time, I was engulfed in the novel itself: the characters, the plot, and the setting completely draw the reader's attention and make it difficult to put down. The second time, I read it slower, paying special attention to the characterization, something Charlotte Bronte is terrific at, and the various details that I may have overlooked originally, but which add to the general enjoyment of the novel. The third time, I read Jane Eyre for the language - Bronte's style is captivating: every word, every sentence has a beauty within it that a reader wouldn't want to miss. I read it, again and again, because her words made everything seem new and exciting no matter how often I read them. The explicit descriptions, the prolonged narration, the time she takes to develop the charaters - everything creates a novel that one can read over and over. This truly classic work of literature appeals to so many different emotions and strikes the fancy of probably anyone who can appreciate great writing.
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and verbose,
This novel is not as it appears to be. English teachers may praise it, your girlfriends may gush over Rochester, and others "critically acclaim" it but I have studied it as a piece of literature as well as an entertaining classic. It is not as fabulous as they say.
The protagonist is a quivering (and excuse the term but I am at a lost for another word at the moment) nitwit who yearns to be loved. Jane is an orphan who feels as if she would die if nobody loved her and yes, it sounds simplistic but this is exactly what she says. She comes under the employment of Rochester and becomes a governess to a little girl. Meanwhile, she dreams of flaming beds and hears strange noises from the floor above. The splitting of the oak tree during Jane's engagement to Rochester is just rubbish as a symbol of separation and tragedy. The real tragedy though, is the secret that Rochester keeps and for which, Jane accepts.
I am amused by how several people believe that Jane Eyre is a feminist novel. I found Jane to be very comfortable lodged in traditional ideals although she makes an attempt to strike out with her own will. It was a struggle to finish the novel (had to, or I would fail my English exam) and to pretend to my enthusiastic teacher that I loved it. If you want real feminism without archaic English, read Carol Shield's 'Unless'. If you want melodramatic romance with just a hint of literature, read 'Wuthering Heights'. If you think that Jane is a misguided feminist, you certainly have to read Jean Rhy's 'Wide Sargasso Sea' who portrays Rochester's secret as a terrible colonial crime.
I can understand that some people love this kind of stuff but there are types of people who hate 'Jane Eyre' - they're usually into contemporary novels, ask for their heroes or heroine to yearn for something more than love and for somebody to love them, and need metaphors that are more subtle that freakin' splittin' oak trees.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, loss, and redemption,
Word has it that "Jane Eyre" is one of the most imitated novels in literature, having almost singlehandedly spawned the genre of romantic fiction which supplies all those erotic-looking pulp paperbacks you see next to the magazine rack at the supermarket. What I found in Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece, however, was a smart, resolute, and independent heroine who stands out like a beacon in a sea of Victorian fictional women. As if obeying some sort of literary convention, the book does have a sad beginning and a happy ending, but in between there are some very rich surprises: moments of mystery, tension, and ghostly images, delivered in a tightly paced narrative.
Jane Eyre is an orphan who has spent the first ten years of her life with a mean aunt who mistreats her and the next eight years at a miserable school for indigent girls called Lowood. With this education, she qualifies herself as a teacher and secures a position as a governess at a house called Thornfield Hall. Her employer is a man twice her age named Edward Rochester, and her charge is his ward, a little girl of French parentage named Adele.
Given that Jane soon falls in love with him, it might be guessed that Rochester is a dashing, noble, gallant gentleman; but no: He is unattractive, eccentric, shifty, assumes disguises, and rarely gives a straight answer to a question. These might merely be manifestations of a quirky, enigmatic personality, or maybe he is so evasive because he is hiding something from his past -- as indeed he is, and that "something," incriminating and dangerous, is locked up in Thornfield Hall, unknown to Jane and most of the servants.
Rochester falls in love with Jane, too, despite his apparent attention to a conceited society woman named Blanche Ingram. After a short courtship and a marriage proposal, however, Jane breaks off with him when she discovers his secret. Abandoning Thornfield Hall for a new life, she meets a young parson named St. John Rivers who is planning to go to India to do missionary work and would like to marry her because he thinks she too would make a good missionary. Thus, she has had to reject two men in her life: the first because he was not honest with her and made her feel used and deceived; the second because he is not looking for a wife, but a co-worker.
Jane is not foolish, but she is human. That she returns to Rochester does not mean she has decided to accept his faults, but that she realizes they have developed that special kind of mutually dependent relationship that only two people who are truly in love may foster. By the end of the novel, Rochester loses a great deal because of his mistakes, and Jane's love is his only redemption; Jane, on the other hand, gains much because of the strength of her character, and Rochester's love is the fulfillment of her desire.
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless romance,
Young Jane has a tough childhood growing up with her cousins and aunt after her parents passed away. Treated like a servant, and not like a member of the family, Jane felt she was all alone in the world, and it doesn't make it better when she's sent away to school. First as a student, and then as a teacher/guverness, but neither is like a dance on roses. Then her skills bring her to a mysterious and quite arrogant Mr.Rochesters house where she becomes the guverness...
This book illustrates very well the passionate love from a woman's point of view. No longer is the female character a background character, but becomes independant with feelings, passion, integrety and a strong mind.
The book is very realistic, and you can easily identify yourself with the feelings that the main character has. Her devotion for what she loves, and her effort to make the best out of her life.
Charlotte Brontë, who first published this book under a pseudonym, is probably the most well-known of the Brontë sisters who all died very young. Jane Eyre is a brilliant book of a woman who can be a role model for young girls of today. Her determination to make life the best for herself as no one else seems to bother, and her passion for what she loves. One of the first romance novels written. A true classic that I very much enjoyed to read, and I'm certain I will read it many more times. Even my friend, who doesn't like reading very much, totally loved this book. I warmly recommend this to anyone who loves a good novel, and most certainly to young girls. I think the language might be a little advanced for anyone younger than 16.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
This book was an amazing piece of literature that's exquisitely written. The characters seem to come alive off the page, especially the heroine, Jane Eyre, who seems to have a very twenty first century frame of mind. While the plot line is fairly hard to believe, the thoughts of the heroine is what makes this piece of work a true literary masterpiece. She deals with the perils facing her with an open mind, and is willing to stand up for her beliefs and morals even in a time when this wasn't acceptable for a woman. She's a true role model for all young girls and women, and a real figure of the ages.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but you have to have an appreciation for good, in depth description and old-fashioned style of writing. You also must have patience, because this is a fairly long book with many twists and turns, and there were definite times in this book that I didn't think anything good could come of it!! You must also have faith in the writer, because I was afraid for a while when I was reading that it would end horribly.
I have heard many negative things about this story, but I truly don't agree with any of them. Jane Eyre, Edward Rochester, Mr. St. John, they are all fabulously written, almost as though this story was written about actual people instead of fictional. I loved this book and will read it many more times.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Conquers All,
Like all great literature JANE EYRE can be read again and again revealing new truths and raising fresh questions. For instance, besides the romance between Jane and Edward there is also the contrast provided by the relationship between Jane and St. John.
Imagine what may happen if Jane accepts the marriage proposal of St. John and goes with him to some foreign land as the wife of a missionary? In answering that question while taking a closer look at the unfeeling St. John, we see an anti-Christian message in the book. Add to this mix the despicable Mr. Brocklehurst, the school manager who is also minister of Brocklebridge Church, and you receive a very negative view of Christianity. JANE EYRE is a love story with an anti-Christian bias - but the theme proclaiming that love can conquer all is still the dominant message of the novel.
The above represents only one perspective. The book of course can be read and interpreted from many other vantage points. For me that is its greatest strength and enjoyment.
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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Hardcover - Oct. 27 2009)
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