"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is one of those old books that comes with a reputation - I knew it had one, but wasn't exactly sure what it was.  So it was without very much bias that I cracked open my 643-page paperback copy - basically, I had no idea what to expect.  I found myself very pleasantly surprised.

One might expect such a long book with such old-fashioned language to be dry or tedious - happily, it was neither.  I found myself helplessly and very willingly compelled to read until past midnight in order to find out what happens to Jane.  The old-fashioned language and British grammar, far from being cumbersome, added quite a charming touch to the story (I admit I often "tried out" the various accents in my head!)

Jane's story is mostly one of tragedy - there is a central love story, but it is not sappy or sentimental in the least (I've never seen the movie, but I'm pretty sure it's highly romantic).  The characters, Jane at the foremost, are highly realistic - none of them are perfect, all their flaws are evident, and the physical descriptions are nothing short of brilliant; she outlines in precise, encompassing detail every aspect of a character's appearance and attitude and what Jane learns about their personality through it.

In short, Jane Eyre kept me completetly enthralled all the way - I felt for her, was keenly aware of her emotions, and wished for her dreams to be fulfilled - sometimes a frustrating task for the reader!  Like Jane, the storytelling is level-headed, sensible, and realistic, with just enough imagination and fantasy.  I was thoroughly satisfied with this tale.


  1. Hey Madeline!

    I have that book on my book shelf waiting to be cracked open. I have seen an older version of the movie and I was not that much impressed. But I remember it being very sad and watching it when I was much younger. I want to try it after I finish Persuasion by Jane Austen and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman. I also want to start What is Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul and finish King Lear by Shakespeare sometime soon.

    Great review! I want to go and start it now! :) see you thursday!

  2. Oh, you MUST watch the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre film version! I just saw it for the first time 3 weeks ago and have been obsessed ever since. I even started a Bronte-Along over on my blog to get everyone else to read it and watch it with me!


    Join us! Wuthering Heights is up next in a few weeks, followed by The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. An Austen-Along will come along in June!

    I've never read any of these classics but now I am on a mission!


  3. You should definitely read it, Rebecca! It's not a book for everyone, but I think you'd love it.

    Melissa - I've been wanting to see a movie version since I've read it...I'll have to get it from the library. I would love to read more with you, but I am so swamped with books for school at the moment that I don't think I could commit to that! But thanks for inviting me. =D


'ello, chaps!