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Book of the Week #68 "Jane Eyre"

by Charlotte Brontë

In this classic tale by one of the most beloved authors of the past 200 years, Jane Eyre is an orphan whom lives with her aunt and cousins at Gateshed Hall. There, she is mistreated by her late mother’s in-law’s, who have only taken her in according to her late uncle’s will. She goes to school at Lowood, where she remains to finish her education, and becomes a teacher. As she turns eighteen, she feels the need for a change in her life, and so she looks for a new situation. Upon advertising, she finds an opening as governess at Thornfield Hall, which, she comes to find, is owned by a mysterious master by the name of Mr. Rochester. Jane soon finds herself in love with her master, and for the first time feels almost happy, or at least content. Yet there is something off about Thornfield Hall and one hears odd things at night.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said of Jane Eyre?  It is a wonderful book that has been read by several generations now. There’s romance, suspense, but there’s more to it than that. Jane Eyre has been mistreated for most of her life, but she isn’t bitter about it, and she doesn’t let it bring her down. She doesn’t think herself to be something terribly special, yet she respects herself and refuses to settle. That makes her even more special.

My views on Mr. Rochester are a little more complicated. When Jane first went to Thornfield Hall, he seemed awfully haughty and rather full of himself; he was almost like a playboy the way he flirted with other women. Yet towards the middle, we see that he really loves Jane, but he lies to her. After their wedding is called off, and Jane leaves, Mr. Rochester nearly dies in when Bertha sets Thornfield on fire, yet he survives, losing an eye as well as a hand. When Jane comes back, he seems more humble. Mr. Rochester isn’t one of my favorite heroes, but I don’t hate him; I just don’t like some of the things he did.

All in all, Jane Eyre is a wonderful classic that every bibliophile should at least try to read.

I give this book a 5 out of 5.

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