Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Classics Challenge (#2)

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

First published in 1847

(info grabbed from GoodReads

Okay… so this is super late.  I meant to post my little ditty about Jane Eyre at the end of February/beginning of March.  But here we are in the middle of April.  Good job, Momo.  But I wanted to say something meaningful and do the book justice -- not just blab about whatever (like I did with that Jules Verne book I read in January.  What was that book again?  Encyclopedia of Fictional Marine Biology?  Eh… something like that -- it’ll come to me).  Moving on:

Victorian literature has a special something that has been lost over the ages.  The poetry of its prose, the way a scene is painted rather than simply written, the witty banter characteristic of its dialogue: all things rarely found nowadays.  Jane Eyre is the first published story of the Brontë sisters and a pinnacle of Victorian literature.  It encompasses all that was fiction at the time.  The poignant tale of Miss Jane has inspired readers for generations, and it's not hard to see why.  Jane Eyre triumphs in her story, eventually finding light in the world after emerging from very dark beginnings.  All the while through her struggles, she never gives up who she is or her beliefs for anyone.

The beauty of Jane Eyre is that it is not in anything involving the fantastical.  It is about the life of one young woman, and that is fantastic enough in and of itself.  The way Charlotte Brontë writes, it is as if she took a block of literature and carefully carved every line and curve into the book.  Everything is written with precise beauty and clear intention.  There isn’t a word in the entire novel that could have been without; not a single sentence that could be changed.  These words and sentences paint a scene more complex than those written today.  It could be compared literally to art: modern literature exemplifies the more simplistic style of Andy Warhol; still beautiful and still art.  But Jane Eyre is not simple -- Jane Eyre is Van Gogh.  Each word and sentence and phrase is each a brush stroke dragged and layered and pulled across the canvas that is Starry Night.  Each small stroke combines into a much bigger and beautiful picture that screams with emotion.  It is heartbreaking and uplifting.  It is sublime.

Final Thought: “YOU-CANNOT-RATE-ART-IN-NUMBERS” out of 5 toadstools


  1. Ah Jane Eyre, it's been a while since I read this, but I remember really enjoying it. In a lot of the classics I've read (which really isn't all that many) it's hard to really connect with a character, but I liked that Jane is such an enduring relatable character.

    1. I have to agree: Jane is very relatable, especially compared to other lit from the time.