Charlotte Brontë’s most beloved novel describes the passionate love between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Rochester. The loneliness and cruelty of Jane’s childhood strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice.
It took me nearly a month & a half to complete this book. At the start the book is really slow. It picks up speed, slows down once again till it comes to its fantastic end.
What I liked:
- Jane Eyre: What a fantastic woman! Jane is the one fictional character I can like completely. There is nothing wrong with her. She is perfect in spite of all her imperfections. To put it in her own words, she doesn’t lack for tolerance but when you push it too far she is going to rebel. An extremely strong girl who doesn’t break in the face of multiple crises. She takes a stand against the injustice meted out to her by Mrs. Reed. With great effort & perseverance she carves out a place for herself in the world. In spite of a difficult childhood she isn’t bitter or envious of other’s good fortunes. She is open to love. As Jane reveals all her thoughts to the readers we understand how deeply & completely she falls in love with Mr. Rochester. But even then she wont allow her own love & feelings to stop her from doing what is right. Once again she takes a stand for her self respect in leaving Mr. Rochester. The love is too deep to be forgotten but neither does she forget to love herself. She is dignified even in heartbreak & grief. In spite of having always been poor, or maybe because of it, she is willing to share her good fortune with her cousins. And nothing is more touching than her return to Rochester. She returns, principles & love still intact, and accepts a blinded & crippled man. She forgives him his deception & builds a beautiful life with him.
- Mr. Rochester: I was always confused about what to exactly feel about this man. It is difficult to like a man who lied to a woman to marry her. It is difficult to like a man who wants a new wife when his old wife is still alive. But I couldn’t hate him. He was duped by his family & the Mason’s into marrying a mad woman. It takes a man with a big heart to provide for such a woman after he came to know the truth. He might not have loved her, but he was kind to her & that is a rare thing indeed. And then after he was maimed for life by the fire started by this very same woman, I forgave him readily. His love for Jane is deep & all abiding & it is a relief when he gets her back. I loved his banter with Jane & their romance was very unconventional.
What I did not like:
- St. John: This man was the main reason I could not enjoy the second half of this novel as well I should have. Like most priests he has this annoying, all – knowing air about him. All paths to God lead only through him. My admiration for Jane grew when she stood up to his bullshit & refused to marry him. Her refusal wasn’t just because her heart belonged to another. It was also because she thought him giving her less than what she deserved.
- The novel has too detailed descriptions of landscapes & situations. The descriptions are all beautiful naturally, but I do not need to know how every ray of sun affected every blade of grass it touched upon. Without St. John & these lengthy descriptions I might have finished this novel a lot sooner.
Everyone should read this novel at least once, just for Jane alone. An outstanding woman who lived the simple life but in the end made it all into something very beautiful & complete.