When it comes to Classics, we always keep on pushing them back. Thanks to the throbbing Publishing Industry, new books enter the market almost everyday. With so many new books out there to read, it becomes almost impossible to find time for reading classics. To talk about myself, I’ve read just 5 classics. And 2 among these- namely Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë & Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding, I read recently, as part of my syllabus for my Masters.
I absolutely loved Jane Eyre & that’s why I’m writing this appreciation post. For the uninitiated, Charlotte Brontë was the eldest of the 3 Brontë sisters, who are all well known for their works. I’ve planned to read at least one work of the other two sisters also.
Jane Eyre is the story of an orphan girl named Jane, who lives with her villainous Aunt & her children, who treat her badly. As the story moves, Jane goes to a Charity School, where she studies for 6 years & works as a teacher for 2 years. Then, she goes on to take up the job of a governess in the Thronfield Hall, where she falls in love with her employer, Edward Rochester.
But Thronfield Hall has some secrets hidden in the dark chambers, which stand in the way of Jane & Rochester’s union. Will Jane find love, happiness & the sense of belongingness for which she has craved since her childhood? Throughout years Jane has learnt many things about men & matter. But there is a lot more in the world, waiting to be discovered by Jane. ….
The novel is primarily a romance- a Gothic romance, to be specific. I’m sure one will love reading the love story of Jane & Rochester. But it is certainly more than a love story. If read with the lens of Feminist & Post-colonial, the novel has a lot more to offer. It is in this sense, I believe, that the novel is way ahead of the times in which it was written.
Reading this novel, for me, was a new experience. It is written in the form of a retrospection & Jane is narrating the story to the readers. What was new here, for me, is that Jane addresses us as reader & acknowledges our presence. Due to this, we end up forming a close connection with her, right after the first chapter.
I won’t write much about the book because the more I write, the less it would be. I would like to end, by saying that I loved everything about this book. If I would have to mention anyone thing, I would say, it was Charlotte Brontë’s writing that I loved the most. Here I’ll quote a few lines from the text that reflect Charlotte Brontë’s philosophy:
- “Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? … I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
- “I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
- “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
- “Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
So, this is a highly recommended book, though most of you might have already read this. I need not to write it, but still, here it is-
My Rating: ***** (5/5)
What do you think about this novel? Have you already read this? What should I pick up next by Brontë sisters? Do share your thoughts. Thanks.