April 7, 2012

Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Brontë

This classic is, by far, the best piece of chicklit - rather, women's literature - that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It is one of those novels that truly, sincerely affected me: it elicited sympathy for Jane Eyre's troubles; anger, indignation and sorrow all at the same time for her oppression; pride for her triumphs big and small, and; smiles and sighs for loving words and deeds. In a nutshell: I love Jane Eyre, and henceforth declare it to be one of the classics that ought to be read by everyone.

Jane Eyre is the epitome of women empowerment, I'd venture to declare. Since her childhood days under the care of her aunt, Mrs. Reed, she had been a fierce and relentless character, refusing to be trampled upon for no valid reason. Her subsequent role as governess of little Adele at Thornfield Hall, where she meets the un-handsome Mr. Rochester, her sir, likewise proves that she has a good head on her shoulders notwithstanding the sweet nothings and heartfelt entreaties from the love of her life. It is no wonder that, despite the tribulations and trials that came her way, and buoyed by an indefatigable spirit, she (of course) succeeded in the end.

The prose was so, so beautiful, it was one of the things about the novel that I fell in love with. The exchanges between Jane and Rochester were so profound, deep and penetrating, I became so immersed in their love story. I even felt as giddy as a schoolgirl would be at the endearments between them, even those that sounded funny ("little elf", for instance). And, there was a part near the end - I will not mention specifics so as to avoid any spoilers - when I found myself simply teary-eyed. Yes, I will admit that. The words were too beautiful for my own sanity. :P

Our book club is using this
cover for the discussion poster ,
c/o Tina, the moderator. :)

Two things about the book that I truly regret: one, the French conversations, of which I never found out the meaning, and two, the spoiled bit brought about by having read Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair first. After having read the novel and appreciating it in its entirety, however, I found that these two setbacks are too minor to be bothered with - I can't let them stand in the way of me seeing a good work for all that it's worth. And, believe me, it is so worth it.

My book club will be discussing Jane Eyre in a couple of weeks, to be moderated by my dear friend Tina. Because I love it so much, I'm looking forward to the discussion already!

By way of an ending, I would like to share one of my favorite quotes from the novel (which are many). Little Jane herself uttered this when she was confronted by an important event, over which she was forced to make a choice:

"Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they, inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?"

Why did it take so long for me to read this book??

Rating: ★★★★★


Lynai said...

Ahh, I am challenged to venture again into reading classics and I think Jane Eyre would be perfect to start with.

Congratulations for finishing this book! :)

Anonymous said...

OMG! Nakakakilig ang five stars! Looks like I'm going there too! I'm on Volume II. :)

Anonymous said...

And oh, speaking of spoilers, I've seen the movie last year (I was forced) and I've read Wide Sargasso Sea also last year (I didn't know they were related). Too many spoilers, but we don't mind. I don't know how many bits Fforde's The Eyre Affair gave away, but the film? Gawd, I wouldn't have bothered reading this, and I'm super glad I am into it!

Monique said...

LYNAI! Hi! Yes, I'd highly recommend Jane Eyre to you, if you want to read classics. :)

BUDDY! I think you'll give this no less than 4 stars. Haha.

As for the spoilers, well. That bit about the identity of Bertha - that was completely spoiled by The Eyre Affair. So bummed. :(