Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit She falls in love Hard But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again? The kind of novel that makes one believe in love (again) or at least desire to hold on to the illusion Likely my favourite read for 2020.For the time being, just basking and swooning inebriated.Speechless I know it's out of fashionAnd a trifle uncoolBut I can't help itI'm a romantic fool Yes, I suppose you can view this book mostly as a love story That's what I did at age 13 but that's why I was left disappointed back then¹.Or you can view this as an story of formation of a strong and independent female protagonist, a nineteenthcentury feminist, lightyears ahead of its time And that's what left my nowclosertothirtythantwenty self very satisfied and, quite frankly, rather impressed.²¹(view spoiler)[The guy kept his wife in the attic Seriously no Just no You don't get all the way to your SECOND wedding forgetting to mention that your FIRST wife is hidden in the attic Seriosly, Rochester, what the hell is wrong with you? How can you even attempt to build a marriage on such a lie??? (hide spoiler)] Reader, I gave it five stars Please let me tell you why Jane Eyre is the quintessential Victorian novel It literally has everything that was typical of the period, but, unlike other novels, it has all the elements in one story At the centre is the romance between Jane and Rochester, which is enhanced by gothic elements such as the uncanniness of the doppleganger and the spectre like qualities of Bertha In addition, it is also a governess novel; these were an incredibly popular type of storytelling in the age and for it to be combined with gothic elements, which are interposed with a dualistic relationship between realism and romance, is really quite unique The correct term for this is a hybrid, in which no genre voice is dominant; they exist alongside each other creating one rather special book And this is so, so, special; it’s an excellent piece of literature Jane’s journey is gut wrenching and emotional Through her life she experiences real sorrow, the kind that would make a lesser person give up She also experiences real friendship, the type that comes across perhaps once in a lifetime But, most significantly, she experiences true love and the development of independence to form he own ending I really do love this book Bronte utilises the first person narrative, which creates a high degree of intimacy with her character; it makes me feel like I know Jane as well as she comes to know her own self “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” Jane’s a strong willed individual From a very young age she had the clarity of intelligence to recognise the injustice that was her life; yes, she is narrating her story retrospectively, though she still had the perceptiveness to realise how mistreated she was I love the pathetic fallacy Bronte uses at the beginning The child Jane looks out the window, shielded by the curtain, and witnesses the horrible weather It is cold and bleak; it is windy and morose; thus, we can immediately see the internal workings of Jane’s mind The weather reflects her feelings throughout the novel, and at the very beginning the situation was at its worse This can also be seen with the fire imagery that represents her rage when she is shoved in the red room; it later mirrors that of Bertha’s fury Everybody needs love, children especially so These early experiences help to define her later character, and, ultimately influence how she sees the world; she still hides behind a curtain in Rochester’s house when he flirts with Miss Ingrum These experiences set her on an almost perpetual quest for love, for belonging and for the independence to make her own decisions She finds friendship in the form of Helen Burns; she gives her some sound advice, but Jane cannot fully accept such religious fatalism However, it does inspire her, a little, to continue with life; she realises, no matter what happens, she will always have the love of her greatest friend Jane clings to this idea, but, ultimately, has to seek apermanent solution to her loneliness She needs a vocation, one that will fulfil her and give her life meaning; thus, she becomes a governess and crosses paths with the downtrodden, miserable wretch that is Mr Rochester Sometimes I feel like Rochester didn’t know quite what he wanted When he sees Jane he sees a woman with strength, blunt honesty and integrity: he sees an emotional equal This attracts her to him, which develops into love However, when he tries to express his love he does it through trying to claim her as his own Through doing so, not only does he show the nature of Victorian marriage, he shows his own deep vulnerability He loves her mind, her intelligence, and he too wants to be loved He longs for it with a frightening passion So, instead of doing things the way Jane would have wanted him to do, he overwhelms her with expensive affection By doing so he almost loses her All Jane wanted was his heart, nothingnothing less By showering her with such flattery and expensive items, he insults her independence He risks destroying the thing that attracted him to her in the first place, their equality; their mutual respect and love He takes away her dignity I really don’t think the original marriage would have worked Ignore the existence of the mad woman in the attic; I just think Rochester would have spoilt it It would have become too awkward They needed to be on the same societal level as well as one of intellect and character The ending is touching and a little sad, but it is the only one that could ever have worked for these two characters Without the tragedy there could never have be rejuvenation and the chance for them to be together on equal terms, no matter what it cost to get there If that wasn’t enough reason for me to love this book, there are also elements of fantasy and desire This is a realism novel, it pertains to credible events, but the suggestions of fantasy only add to the strong romantic notions Rochester is enamoured by Jane; he cannot believe that a woman like her actually exists All his misguided notions are brushed away in an instant Whilst he views Jane as special, it is clear that he realises that other women may also have a similar rebellious voice, only hidden He considers her an elf, a witch, an improbable woman that has captured his desire, his heart, his soul, his life He knows he will never be the same again From Jane’s point of view, her first encounter with him is otherworldly She had grown bored with her governess role, and when she sees the approach of Rochester and his dog Pilot, she sees the gytrash myth; she wants to see something fantastical instead she finds her heart, which is something much rarer Then there are also the feminist elements Jane transgresses the boundary associated with her gender in the Victorian age For a woman to be recognised as having equal intellect to that of a man was sadly a rare thing Women could actually attend university, but the downside was they could never get the full degree They could spend months studying, though never be recognised as actually having gained the qualification It was just another attempt to keep women under the thumb, so for Bronte to portray the truth of Jane’s equal intellect is a great step for the recognition of women, and women writers This book received a whole host of negative reviews at the time of its publication for this element alone Stupid really, but that’s misogyny for you Reader, I love this book I really could go on, but this is getting kind of long I hope I’ve made it clear why I love this story so much I shall be reading this again later this year to correspond with my exams, which I’m already looking forward to the reading that is, not the exams I don’t think will ever have read this story enough though.You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree. Old books get a bad rapbut do they deserve it? Check out my latest BooktTube Video all about the fabulous (and not so fabulous) Olde Bois The Written Review Though you have a man's vigorous brain, you have a woman's heart andit would not do It would do, I affirmed with some disdain, perfectly well Oh Jane, you wondrously bold and beautiful gal After she was orphaned, Jane Eyre was sent to live with her maternal uncle and his wife (Mrs Reed) When her uncle dies, he forces his wife to swear to love, nurture and care for Jane as if she was their own child Unsurprisingly, Mrs Reed is not pleased in the least with this arrangement and does the absolute bare minimum towards Jane She spoils her three biological children but sees Jane as a wicked, conniving and devilish child (despite ample evidence against) I know that had I been a sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping child—though equally dependent and friendless—Mrs Reed would have endured my presencecomplacently; her children would have entertained for meof the cordiality of fellowfeeling Jane is sent off to boarding school where life is harsher than before (threadbare clothes, small rations) but she prefers it for she has finally found what she's been missing There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort At the end of her time there, she sets off to be a governess She takes a job for a Mr Rochester and tutors his young ward, Adel Only, when she arrives at the house, she starts to notice certain things The servants know something is up and won't tell her Mr Rochester is hiding a huge mystery and despite the danger, and the difference in social standing, Jane Eyre is falling ever faster in love.An absolutely stunning book This is my third time through, and each time I am blown away by Jane's strength of character With every twist life hurled at her, Jane merely straightened her shoulders, adjusted her pack and trudged on Each time I read this novel, I notice something different This time, it was how much Charlotte Bronte slipped her own beliefs into the novel: Precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrowminded in theirprivileged fellowcreatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockingsIt is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to door learnthan custom has pronounced necessary for their sex It made for a truly eyeopening rereadThe ABC Reading Challenge J Audiobook CommentsRead by Nadia May I may be the only one with this but whenever I read a really old novel, I find it much easier to listen to (opposed to reading a copy) I spend less time puzzling out the language and unfamiliar terms andtime enjoying the story I highly recommend listening to this book if you've tried reading it and just couldn't get into it.YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads Happy Reading!