Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jane Eyre

5 Minutes for Books is hosting a Classics Bookclub, this months selection is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I first read Jane Eyre in high school, and back then I thought it was too dark, and boring. I liked Jane, but thought she was too nice and that Mr. Rochester was a despicable man who manipulated situations to suit him.

But now, I have a somewhat different view. I still find Jane too nice, but I also find her to be such a strong individual, physically, emotionally and morally. Mr. Rochester has grown on me, I can understand better the reasons behind what he did, and why he hid Bertha from Jane and his staff. I can see his love and almost obsession with Jane. But I can also see his kindness towards Adele, even when he kept her at arms length.

What I enjoyed the most was Jane’s growth. The way she became the woman that lived her life the way she wanted, and not the way Mr. Rochester or Mr. Rivers wanted her to. She made her choices and lived with them. She wouldn’t corrupt her morals for the sake of her hearts desire. I found that very commendable.

And although the ending is bittersweet. Jane and Mr. Rochester lived happily ever after. And I’m a sucker for a HEA ending.

Since I read this book, I've already ordered the BBC's production of Jane Eyre starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. I think J sees a new obsession starting...these BBC dramas are wonderful.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (4.5/5) Classic Literature; Originally published 1847; 100 + Reading Challenge (70); Classics Book club (2); Fall Into Reading 2008 (3); Keeper shelf;

7 comments:

Carrie said...

I read this book for the first time for the Classics Bookclub and I'm so glad I didn't read it any earlier. I was forced to read Wuthering Heights in high school which gave me a dislike for the Bronte sisters. I'm glad I waited to read Jane Eyre because I truly enjoyed it in the end.

Maybe we shouldn't hand classics over to high schoolers. ;) Sometimes I think so anyway. We might learn to love them faster if they weren't "forced" reads.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I agree with Carrie--no classics for teenagers -- ha!

I thought that the last 1/3 or 1/2 was quite good.

Colleen said...

I think you are right that Jane becomes a stronger woman who lives life the way she wants to. I like that too.

I'm a high school teacher. I wouldn't teach this book to most classes, but I think some classics are great for teenagers. Some classic themes are important for them to be exposed to. I'm thinking To Kill a Mockingbird is one example of a book they can read.

Nise' said...

My kids loved To Kill A Mockingbird when they read it in HS, but hated Pride and Prejudice. Envious that you have the newest BBC version on the way. Let us know if you liked it or not!

Leya said...

Carrie, Jennifer, Colleen and Nise, thank you so much for stopping by Wandeca Reads! :D

I find that if teens are forced to read something they don't want to read, is asking for trouble. Just from my experience! (I was one of those teens). They should have a wider or longer list to choose from...

That being said, some of those forced novels, are some of my favorites now: P&P, Othello, Mid Summer Night's Dream, To Kill A Mockingbird (just to name a few). I think it all depends on the openess that the teen has for change...Or even if they like to read. Oh, there are so many variables.

I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait for Jane Eyre, but I'm very excited about it. I really should be tracking the package.

Happy reading!

Leya said...

Carrie, Jennifer, Colleen and Nise, thank you so much for stopping by Wandeca Reads! :D

I find that if teens are forced to read something they don't want to read, is asking for trouble. Just from my experience! (I was one of those teens). They should have a wider or longer list to choose from...

That being said, some of those forced novels, are some of my favorites now: P&P, Othello, Mid Summer Night's Dream, To Kill A Mockingbird (just to name a few). I think it all depends on the openess that the teen has for change...Or even if they like to read. Oh, there are so many variables.

I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait for Jane Eyre, but I'm very excited about it. I really should be tracking the package.

Happy reading!

Barbara H. said...

I'm here from Katrina's. I read Jane for the first time a few years ago and loved it for many of the same reasons. My review is here. Loved that BBC version -- it was what motivated me to finally read the book.