Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre - Michael Mason, Charlotte Brontë After all this time?


jane and i had a troubled beginning. there was this beautiful hard back copy that sat in our living room. i saw the orson welles film sometime when i was around eight or nine, and was captivated. immediately, i wanted to try to read the book. but i couldn’t get along with the beautiful hard back. something about it just didn’t agree with me. it wasn’t until my mum gave me her old copy from school that, suddenly, everything clicked. the copy was old. the copy was falling apart (since then, some of the pages have fallen out, and the spine cover has actually fallen off too). it was orange. it was hideous.

it was perfect.

who doesn’t know the story of jane eyre? it has everything. orphans, religion, romance, betrayal, crazy attic wives, the works! it’s all so over the top and it’s fantastic. bronte creates this real feeling of repressed feelings, if that makes any sense. jane has moral boundaries for herself and by god will she stick to them. i like that in a person. maybe it’s why omar is my favourite character from the wire. though i am not directly comparing the two in any way. that would be weird.


i much prefer charlotte’s writing to emily’s, at least in terms of emily’s one novel, wuthering heights. charlotte’s is expansive and over-the-top without being so bleak and morose and (in places) utterly batshit as emily’s. jane eyre is first and foremost a look into jane’s head, and secondly - but not any less importantly - a really good, compelling story. it is also very much of its time. the religious aspects, i feel, have to be read in the context not only of charlotte’s life as the daughter of a minister, but in the context of that period in english history. i feel in this novel, moreso than any of her other, charlotte allows the plot to overcome the religious aspect in the novel. it’s certainly far more palatable in that respect than any of her subsequent novels, if one can call “the professor” subsequent.

it’s my comfort book. it’s the book i can open at any page and start reading and feel like i’m at home. it’s the book i take everywhere. it’s nowhere near the BEST book i’ve ever read. but it does exactly what i want it to. i will read it over and over and over and never tired of the world the charlotte created (i might have to get myself a new copy though).