I started Jane Eyre two or three months ago, and I’ve finally finished it!
It was given to me as a gift from C (aka Christina), with sticky notes throughout to laugh with me or point awesome quotes out — so I was set up to love it from the beginning.
But I’ll be honest with my thoughts here…
Fine. Let me break it down for you!
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1. Jane’s character is so much fun, and just beautiful — in every way.
I’ll admit: I wasn’t sure I thought she was amazing as Christina thought, but with patience, I was convinced. The story begins with young Jane Eyre, and she is such a bright and sassy girl for her time, at this point, that I just knew it could only get better as her character grew up. (It did.) It’s so awesome to follow her through her experiences, I found myself cheering for her the whole time! And beyond that, she’s really relatable for any young woman trying to find their way through the world.
Why? I won’t spoil it, but it’s pretty impressive how much she thinks and speaks for herself, especially considering it was published in the mid-nineteenth century. She’s so critical of everything around her. Even if you aren’t impressed by it early on, she gets even better towards the end of the story — so be patient!
2. The story has EVERYTHING — romance, mystery, and even murder!
I mean, it’s no holding-on-to-your-seat thriller — well, not all of it — but I was surprised at the author Charlotte Brontë’s creativity. I expected a pretty good book, but through half of it, I just wanted to bloody well know what the hell was going on! It’s really neat to see how so many things could work within one plot.
3. Though it gets a little slow, sticking it through is WAY worth it.
When we see Jane at eighteen years old, she is seeking more from life than what she has experienced so far. She finds a new place to work, where she meets Mr. Rochester. Lots of interesting stuff happens here, but it takes a while. It might seem like too much focus is being placed on Mr. Rochester, but stick it through and you’ll see it’s much more about Jane — and trust me, it gets really good!
4. It’s written in nice, challenging classics language.
As an English nerd, it tickled my fancy well. (I learned some vocabulary! Yay!)
It might take a while to get used to if you’re usually into lighter books, but it’s no Shakespearian play, so even if you think you won’t like it, just give it a try! It reminded me a little of The Secret Garden, though honestly I found the language in Jane Eyre less challenging. It’s a really nice way to engage your mind while it’s already engaged in an interesting story.
5. It is so inspiring to read a feminist work that was written way before women had equal rights.
I was completely blown away by it. I’ll admit I was only a little impressed for a while, but towards the end, things go a bit crazy. (Spoiler alert: Everything explodes.)
So I 100% jumped onto the bandwagon.
It really amazes me just how awesome Charlotte Brontë was for writing the way she did, and just how amazing the character Jane Eyre really is. I wish I could go back to the nineteenth century and give every young woman this book to show them that their voice matters, that they can take their life into their own hands, that they can find love the way they want it, not the way others want it.
I think part of the reason I might not have seen how beautiful this book is right away is because I read it at a time in my life when I’d already read a lot of older feminist works. Christina read it much earlier in life than I did, and I can imagine being so in love with it if I had done that. But even so, this book has a special place in my heart. There is so much to say that this post feels like I didn’t do it justice.
If you have any young women in your life, give them this book.
If you were ever a young woman in your life, read this book.
It’s beautiful, and will help any woman who reads it remember that they are too.
Have you read Jane Eyre? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
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