by Charlotte Brontë
-“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”-
Genre: Gothic fiction, social criticism, bildungsroman
This week review is all about a fantabulous novel I read for the first time almost four years ago.
It charmed me soooo much that I chose it as a topic in my analysis for my second year English Literature exam at Uni, and I obtained a full mark.
Things can’t go wrong if they’re made with love.
So, this review is obviously a praise to a book I deeply appreciated for many different reasons.
As usual, I want to make a brief presentation of the author’s life, and fortunately I chose a female writer.
It was a pure coincidence, I swear.
I promise I’ll review a book by a male author next time.
The author I’m writing about is Charlotte Bronte, Emily and Anne’s older sister.
In 1805 she worked as a governess at Roe Head School.
She left Roe Head School in 1838 and worked, still as a governess, in the Sidgewick family, but left after three months.
She then worked for the White family, but left, once again, after nine months.
She and her sisters wanted to open a school on their own, but the project failed because they did not receive a single response from the public.
Bronte sisters started publishing books under the following pseudonyms: Curren, Ellis and Acton Bell.
Charlotte married the Rev. Nicholls, after her father violent prohibition.
Did she marry him just to spite her father?
While expecting a child she caught pneumonia and (she) died.
Her death can be considered, from a particular point of view, as a suicide.
Pneumonia could have been cured, but because of she was unhappy, not in love with her husband, it seems as if she consciously decided to end her life.
Jane Eyre was published in 1847, under the Bell pseudonym.
This novel tells the sad story of the poor ten-year-old orphan Jane Eyre, who spent her childhood at Lowood School after having lived the first part of her life with the Reed family.
At Lowood School Jane meets Helen Burns, the only friend she ever had in her life.
Unfortunately Helen dies very early on because of typhus.
Jane grows up and then accepts a position as a governess at Thornfield Manor.
Once in Thornfield, Jane meets her pupil, a vivacious French girl named Adèle, and Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper.
After a long wait, especially for the reader, Jane finally meets Mr .Rochester, her employer.
The brooding and detached Mr.Rochester and mysterious happenings around Thornifield Manor will carry on the adventures of our heroine until the end of the story.
Yes, I know it is not the most hilarious story that has ever been told.
But the way in which Charlotte Bronte wrote it makes you think that you are a part of the story, at Thornifiel, with Jane.
Why should anyone read it?
It is not a love story.
Distrust people who told you it is just a love story.
No, it isn’t.
Mr .Rochester is a Victorian version of Blue Beard, the villain of the homonymous fairy-tale, but only according to his relationship with his wife, Bertha Mason.
Ops, didn’t I mentioned a wife earlier?
Well, it helps me to show you that this novel is not a (tender) love story at all.
Jane Eyre is not a princess, she is poor and she (bloody) fights for her economical independence, as Charlotte Bronte did.
She refuses people’s will, save for when her aunt forced her to go to Lowood School.
Well, she was only ten, but a rebellious ten-year-old girl.
As you can imagine, gender inequality is one of the main topics of this novel.
Jane can be considered as the alter ego of Charlotte Bronte.
Another important aspect of this novel is the evergreen theme about external beauty vs internal beauty.
And trust me, if you read it, and please do it, you might notice how similar this story is with The Beauty and the Beast.
The first Beast we meet while reading his the rude personality of Mr. Rochester.
I think that he can be considered as a beast because of if his rudeness, but in the end he becomes a charming and lovely man, despite fire destroying his external beauty.
Is it a necessary punishment?
I think that fire has a special cathartic effect on him.
Firstly, Bertha tries to burn him in his bed and suddenly that same night, after Jane rescued him, he seems less rude than what he was before.
The final appearance of fire, which I truly consider as the cathartic element of the novel, dramatically and completely changes his behaviour.
He is now a new man.
Thank you fire, Jane should say.
Jane Eyre is also widely appreciated because of the Gothic elements used by the authors.
Thornifield Manor is a perfect gloomy mansion with secret chambers and a mysterious demonic laugh from the upstairs rooms.
It is not a comfy place to sleep in.
I really would like to write many more things, but I can’t do it without spoiling hidden characters or further details.
But let me tell you one last thing.
You’ll have a great pleasure reading it and be sure you will devour it as I did, you have also the opportunity to watch the movies based on it.
The 1996 film is pretty good, but Cary Fukunaga’s one (2011) is extraordinary.
Have a gander.
Michael Fassbender (drooling emoji) acts as Mr. Rochester.
Is it enough to convince you?
Don’t procrastinate your reading.