‘Jane Eyre’ – Book of the week

Reader, I married him.

Plot:

Jane starts off in this book as a young orphan child, a is lives with her cruel aunt and cousins. Jane defends herself against her cousin who bullies and attacks her, and for punishment she is locked in the Red-Room where her uncle died. She sees her uncle’s ghost, screams and faints. She is sent away to boarding school.

Jane’s time at her school starts off bad. Her only friend dies, and her headteacher is cruel and steals funds from the school. However, after the school comes under new ownership, Jane’s time is a lot better. After graduating from school, Jane trains and becomes a teacher for two years.

Jane accepts the job as a governess at Thornfield for a girl called Adele. Her employer is a dark, brooding man called Mr Rochester. They are opposite characters, and cannot see eye to eye on anything (so naturally, they fall in love). Jane saves Mr Rochester from a fire, and from that their love grows stronger. Rochester proposes to Jane, who accepts.

On the day of the wedding, it is discovered that Rochester already has a wife. Her name is Bertha, and she is kept locked up in Rochester’s attic as she is crazy. The wedding party witness Bertha scurrying around on all fours like an animal. Bertha was the cause of the fire as she wanted to kill Rochester for locking her up. Upon hearing this, Jane flees Thornfield.

Jane comes across three siblings who invite her to live with them called Mary, Diana and St.John. It turns out that these siblings are her cousins, and she has been left a large fortune from their late father (her uncle John Eyre).

One night, Rochester comes to Jane in a dream and calls out for her. She knows that she must go to him as he is in danger. Jane gets back to Thornfield to find that Thornfield had been burnt down by Bertha, who had died in the fire. Jane saves Rochester however he loses his eyesight and a hand. He proposes to her and they get married.

After two years of blindness, Rochester regains his sight and is able to see their first-born son.

 

Quotes:

“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”

“Your will shall decide your destiny.”

“All my heart is yours, sir. It belongs to you: and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”

Review:

‘Jane Eyre’ is a buildungsroman semi-autobiograhy of Charlotte Bronte herself. The Bronte sisters have always been a favourite of mine, and ‘Jane Eyre’ was the first that I had ever read. The doubling between Jane and Bertha is intriguing and a strong theme throughout the novel. While Jane has to act prim and proper, repress her emotions and be a lady. Whereas Bertha represents a total rejection of the societal expectations enforced onto women. While Jane is spoken down to and not believed, Bertha is feared. When Bertha takes Jane’s veil and “rent it in two parts”, it alludes to how Bertha and Jane both would be married to Rochester. This mirror theme can be seen throughout the novel, and helps give it a dark enough tint to keep it interesting. ‘Jane Eyre’ has a bad stick for being a chickflick, however it is so much more than that. There are comedy elements, supernatural, female empowerment, drama and mystery and so there is something there for everyone.

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