Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read this novel for the 2011 Classics challenge at Stiletto Storytime.

I have wanted to read this classic novel for years now, and this classics challenge was the perfect excuse to do so.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, from start to finish. It was not exactly what I had always thought it to be, but still, I was not let down.

Lets start with Miss Eyre herself. What can be said about her? In very un-Victorian language: She is a badass! Standing up to Mrs. Reed as a scared little girl, surviving destitution on will alone, turning down St. John Rivers every single time he proposed to her, even though she was almost convinced by way of her faith. She made the right decision in the end which I feel is probably the more honest, Christian thing she could have done. She is a strong, opinionated, honest, intelligent heroine. She was honestly the only character I liked consistently.

Now for Mr. Rochester. I expected to swoon, but didn’t really. I think he is one of those literary heroes whose reputation proceeds him, so I had high expectations (unknowingly). Perhaps it is because of this that he did not entirely live up to what I thought him to be. I didn’t dislike him, don’t misunderstand me; I loved it when he said to Jane “my very soul demands yours,” Now that is romantic! And despite his attempt at bigamy (which actually was kind of understandable; he just should have been much more honest about it), and in comparison with St. John (who if I have to be truly honest, was rather annoying to me), was the romantic hero – or perhaps he is more of an anti-hero.

Bronte’s prose is just simply beautiful. Landscape descriptions seem to be her forte, actually, and I could see very clearly in my mind the picture she was painting; just breathtaking views! I equally enjoyed her more Gothic descriptions (the orchard in mist, the lunatic Mrs. Rochester’s antics/suicide, the laughter Jane would hear upon her arrival at Thornfield etc), though I still think her sister Emily edges her out just a bit in this respect (though it’s been years since I’ve read Wuthering Heights). On that note, I could see similarities between the two sisters; very passionate writing and story telling.

I plan to read this novel again in the future, and I very much look forward to seeing the new film next month!

Also: I found these illustrations on GoodReads.com and thought they would be a great visual aid/addition to my review, so please enjoy. 🙂