Mar 142010

An Emotional and Passionate Masterpiece

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

When rereading one of your favorite novels it is a little like returning home. You feel a sense of security, contentment, familiarity, and perhaps, nostalgia. You recall past memories that are pleasant and sweet. In addition, you observe that in the lapse of time you have matured, grown in understanding and wisdom, and often see things differently than you did before. Rereading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, for me, has been like returning home. It felt comfortable and familiar, and I reminisced about the first time I read it (which was when I was 16). Even though I knew what was going to occur and how it would all end, I felt I made new discoveries and gained new appreciation for this magnificent masterpiece.

Jane Eyre, a passionate and poor orphan at the age of ten is unloved and misunderstood. Because she is irksome and hated by her Aunt Reed, she is sent to Lowood Institution where she matures into a young woman who is plain in looks yet independent in thinking. She accepts a position as a governess to a young ward named Adele Varens in a gothic mansion called Thornfield Hall, whose master is frequently absent.

Even though Jane enjoys teaching her lively yet spoiled pupil and takes pleasure in the company of the motherly and kind housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax, she yearns for a more exciting life. In Thornfield, Jane lives a calm, tranquil, and solitary life that begins to depress her spirits. However, this all changes when Thornfield’s master, Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester, finally returns home. No longer living a life of solitude, Jane finds a companionable friendship with Mr. Rochester where she is treated as an equal and engages in vigorous discussions. Jane believes that she has finally found true happiness.

Unfortunately there are some events that begin to mar Jane’s happiness such as rumors of Mr. Rochester’s marriage to the beautiful and elegant Blanche Ingram, the death of Mrs. Reed, and the unexplained and strange occurrences that have taken place inside Thornfield…

Jane Eyre is an admirable heroine, she is intelligent, independent, honest, generous, and has good moral conviction. I love that the story is from her point-of-view because it allows the reader to know and understand her character better, we become well in-tune with her thoughts and feelings. I, of course, love the passionate, poetic, and tormented Mr. Rochester, but I feel a very special bond and relationship with Jane.

Since this was not my first time reading this novel, I was able to discover and appreciate Charlotte Bronte’s excellent use of foreshadowing. I delighted in how subtly she employed this technique with an off-hand comment here or a slight hint there. It was diverting to see how much Ms. Bronte alludes to the latter events of the book early on.

Jane Eyre is the type of novel where each time you read it you discover something new. It is novel that truly deserves the appellation “classic.” In addition, the themes of feminism and equality, which are strongly and prominently implemented in this novel, resonate very aptly with our world today. Jane Eyre, will always hold a special and cherished place in my heart; I know that each time I open the pages of this book I will immediately be drawn in and experience a myriad of emotions from happiness to anxiety, from suspense to sorrow.

This is my second completed item for the “All About the Brontes Challenge” hosted by Laura’s Reviews.

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  9 Responses to “Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte”


    Great Post-I recently read this wonderful novel for the first time-I am now reading Villette and will read her other two works soon-


    Thank you! I hope you are liking Villette, I have yet to try that one.


    Did you see the Jane Eyre with Timothy Dalton?


    What a lovely review of one of English lit’s greatest novels.

    >Charlotte Bronte’s excellent use of foreshadowing. I delighted in how subtly she employed this technique with an off-hand comment here or a slight hint there.

    One of the many benefit of rereading is being able to notice the craft while still enjoying the story. I wonder how much she revised her work to achieve this foreshadowing.


    This review made me reflect on my first reading of Jane Eyre, for 8th grade English class, how, I was most affected by the scenes in Lowood school while I was still a child in school, how much of the “feminist” side of it I missed then, which only became apparent to me later when I read some books on Jane Eyre’s importance to the history of women’s literature. As the review says, this great novel can be enjoyed and appreciated in so many ways, and I liked how she described her increased awareness of Bronte’s narrative skill and technique. I’m reading Bronte’s Shirley now–for the first time.


    You make me ashamed of myself, Meredith. I have been feeling very unenthusiastic about the Brontes lately, my first real literary love. This review reminded me why. Thank you.


    Brooke- No I haven’t. I have only seen the 2006 version with Toby Stephens. Do you recommend it?

    Jane- Thank you! I, too, wonder if she did it while writing the story or like you said at the end?

    Lucy- Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences reading Jane Eyre! I haven’t read Shirley yet, I hope to do so soon.


    I’ve always love Jane Eyre since I first read it as a teen. I’ve loved re-reading – better say studying it- at university and I love teaching it now, when it happens. It is one of my best loved ever. And you are right, Meredith, each time I leaf through it in search for a passage to use in my lessons it is just like being back home. Thanks for this heart-felt review of a wonderful classic!


    I love this novel and the movies so much. I have 4 versions of the movie. Timothy Dalton almost has too much emotion in it, but tells the story okay. Ciaran Hinds is good his personaltiy and characteristics fit the novel well. Mr. Hurt well it’s okay. Toby Stephens is incredible in that version. The intimacy shown is amazing. Tho’ some of the Bronte’s works are downright depressing. This novel is one of my favorites. I really don’t care for Wuthering Heights all that much. The poor women in the past went thru so much. And children…I do like Gaskell’s works tho’ as well as Austen and Bronte.

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