A week ago I posted my review of Jane Eyre as far as I was in the book then. Now I am done.
I liked it way more than I expected I would. It is needless to say that the book surpasses the movie adaptation on so many levels. Jane’s character is much deeper, and explained further. St John seemed colder in the book, and did not produce such regard from me as the movie St John did. Mr Rochester was perfect in his blindness, as cruel as that sounds, and I never knew he partially recovers. I loved Jane Eyre.
This “review” will encompass the last half of the book. However, there are some excerpts from the first half, which I would like to present here. Before entering Thornfield Hall, Jane reflects
What good it would have done me at that time to have been taught by rough and uncertain struggling life, and to have been taught by rough and bitter experience to long for the calm amidst which I now repined!
After reading the whole novel, the reader can really appreciate the truth of that reflection. I will make a very broad assumption, and say that everybody wants adventure in his/her life. I know I do! I do not want a monotonous, routine, mundane life. I want adventure, and danger, and suspense, and I want to fight Voldemort! But, if you have read Harry Potter, you know how fervently Harry wishes to have an ordinary, calm, and safe life. Excuse the improper allegory, but this is what Jane means. In a nutshell. (I never understood that expression). It all makes sense, because when Jane leaves Thornfield, she experiences the horrors of a beggar’s life. The horrors of going from place to place, a friendless pauper with no home, and no hope. Her struggles are intensified by the fact that she had to leave such comfort, and her beloved master.
When Jane has already commenced running away from Thornfield, she has second thoughts. She starts thinking that it is not too late to return, “I could go back and be his comforter — his pride; his redeemer from misery, perhaps from ruin.” What if, then and there, Jane decided to go back and fly into Mr Rochester’s arms, how much would have changed?!?! Perhaps, in the end she would have been able to save him “from ruin”. Decisions are very important in our lives; Jane’s decisions are very characteristic of her, and prudent. What would I have done? Turned back, of course! Convinced Grace Poole to poison Bertha’s meal, and rid Mr Rochester of his ‘wife’, and the only obstacle obstructing my marriage to him. But of course, the good religious Jane would not even think about such atrocities.
Jane’s character continues to speak truth that makes so much sense in my head.
Young ladies have a remarkable way of letting you know that they think you a ‘quiz’ without actually saying the words.
A ‘quiz’ is defined as a ‘ridiculous, old-fashioned person’, but it can be any word that it not synonymous with ‘shallow’, ‘materialistic’, ‘vain’, and any adjective that the average young ladies of the time (and even now) were. If you happen to be not a shallow, materialistic, vain person; in other words — an individual with opinions and personality, you can probably relate to that statement. In one way or another. And if you happen to be a shallow, materialistic, vain person who jumps on any bandwagon that passes by — something you will never admit — you know perfectly well that quality remarked by Jane fits.
I loved that Jane addresses her reader, something that I partook to doing a while ago. It creates a confiding, intimate relationship between Jane and the reader, me. I loved her return to Mr Rochester, and this…
‘Choose then, sir — her who loves you best.’
‘I will at least choose — her I love best. Jane, will you marry me?’
‘A poor, blind man, whom you will have to lead about by the hand?’
‘A crippled man, twenty years older than you, whom you will have to wait on?’
‘Most truly, sir.’
Can I just sob without stopping?!? Such love, without perversity and physical desire, made me shed a tear. Or two.
In the end, Jane did not become a missionary to save lives. She only needed to save but one. And she did.
Judge for yourself: which is greater?