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Reviewsday Tuesday: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

What do asshole relatives, a typhus outbreak, a weird old rich guy who condescends everyone he talks to, a touch of the supernatural, starvation, and a clergy man who wants to marry his cousin have in common? They are all found in the story of Jane Eyre.

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The novel details Jane Eyre’s life as a poor plain looking girl who wants to be loved and respected and is willing to demand it. Jane Eyre is like the honey badger, she doesn’t give a shit. She doesn’t care that she is poor or ugly. She wants, needs, and believes she deserves love and respect and she will damn sure tell you that. She grows up an orphan under the care of her heartless rich-bitch aunt. She is eventually shipped off to a boarding school where she is starved, humiliated, and watches like half the kids die of typhus. After graduation she becomes a governess for a weird rich ugly dude named Rochester. He had taken in the child of his former French lover who he left penniless and destitute after she cheated on him, because that’s what gentlemen do. Jane falls in love with Rochester. In return he tricks her into believing that he is marrying someone else. When he is like “surprise I actually want to marry you not this rich lady” she’s just like, “oh cool. Let’s do this.” But then she finds out he is actually married to a crazy woman he keeps locked in a room in the big castle. Well that’s where she draws the line and she leaves his sorry sniveling ass behind. Now remember she is poor and ugly so she quickly finds herself homeless and starving. Eventually she convinces two sisters to take her in and feed her. They, along with their creepy clergyman brother, care for her and bring her into their family. Turns out, funny story, that they are actually her cousins. The next natural step in this relationship progression? Why, for the creepy clergyman brother to ask Jane to marry him and move to India to be missionaries….naturally. Rochester ain’t lookin’ so bad now is he? It’s a classic so I’m not really sure if I should care about spoilers, but she goes back to Rochester and things happen and, well … just read it.

I have seen several film adaptations of this book and I must say that Rochester is nicer (though never a nice guy) and much more handsome on film than he is in the book. Hell! Michael Fassbender played him! I cannot think of a man more physically inappropriate to play Rochester. Fassbender is the epitome of sexy and Rochester is…..well…..not. Like. At. All. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining. But I digress. The prose in the book are beautiful. I “read” most of it via audio book on Librivox.org. Every time my husband heard me listening to it he would comment on its beauty. I loved the complexity and diversity of the characters. It isn’t just about Rochester and Jane. She develops many interesting relationships during her life, each of them giving her something she needs. One character that is not very well developed is Bertha Mason, the crazy wife Rochester locked in a room. There is a work of fanfiction based on her character and her decent into madness (largely caused by Rochester himself….shockingly enough). I have it in a box on a shipping truck called Wide Sargasso Sea that I now cannot wait to read! I would wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone looking for a classic, who loves beautiful language, or likes kick-ass chicks.

Filed under jane eyre charlotte bronte reviewsdaytuesday