Book Review: Jane Eyre

There are a limited amount of occasions in a person’s life when they can read something and feel transported to another period, so much so you feel almost as though you are living in that time. Jane Eyre succeeds in this page after page. Charlotte Bronte took a liberating step forward for women everywhere when she wrote Jane Eyre, the novel that we now consider a triumphant literary classic.

The book revolves around the innocent, somewhat downtrodden character that is Jane Eyre. The tale starts with the young orphan Jane as she faces the multiple adversities of being a strong willed young woman, living with a family that fail to appreciate her intelligence and strength. Seeming to be nothing more than a badly behaved burden, Eyre is soon passed over to a rather backward educational institute. Thornfield is a dreary, cruel place which after some time becomes less of an affliction and more of an opportunity to engage her young mind. After many years within the schools miserable walls, Eyre decides to take up the far away position of Governess for a young French girl, the ward of Mr Edward Fairfax Rochester, a man of intelligence with a rather obstinate disposition.

As time passes Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre become intellectual companions and it isn’t long before a romance flourishes between them. They decide to wed when the unfortunate circumstance of Rochester’s wife, a women taken over by insanity, come’s between them. Betrayed by Rochester’s secrecy, Eyre flees Thornfield Hall. As the headstrong Jane tries to recover, she hears of misfortune at Thornfield Hall, a fire that ravaged the grounds leaving nothing but ruins. She returns to find little left but a blinded Mr Rochester. Together they re-build their lives and live quite happily.

It tells the story of the hardships faced in 1800 English society, both as a woman and as a lower class individual. Bronte expresses the degrading patriarchal society and Jane’s fight to be who she wants to be, to live the life she wishes to live. Through intriguing, entertaining characters and wonderful descriptions, Bronte gives the reader a peak into another time, perhaps not as different from ours as we might think.

By Lauren Noding


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