I suppose this is technically a re-read. When I was a kid I read Jane Eyre but I wasn’t that invested into it. So really, reading it was like reading something new. And I have to say I loved it.
Jane’s experience throughout the novel was relatable to me. I loved her narration. Although, like many classic books from this era, there are some long descriptions I didn’t really mind them too much.
One thing I don’t understand though is why so many ladies are head-over-heels in love with Mr. Rochester. I mean, he’s an interesting character and all but I didn’t find him to be some amazing literary heartthrob. But I suppose it’s a matter of taste.
Funny enough, I actually thought Jane would be a better match with St. John, a cold, religious man she meets near the end. I know I’m a minority on that but I just thought they would make a more compelling couple.
However, relationships aside Jane Eyre is a beautiful novel overall. It is one of the best classics I have read. The way the text presents Jane’s life is masterful. I’m glad I gave the book another chance.
Now for a few quotes I really like:
“They are not fit to associate with me.”
“People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard-hearted. You are deceitful.”
“I am very happy, Jane; and when you hear that I am dead, you must be sure and not grieve: there is nothing to grieve about. We all must die one day, and the illness which is removing me is not painful; it is gentle and gradual: my mind is at rest. I leave no one to regret me much: I have only a father; he is lately married, and will not miss me. By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings. I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at fault.”
“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroiding bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
“She was not good; she was not original; she used to repeat sounding phrases from books: she never offered, nor had, an opinion of her own.”