Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

At last, I am done. What a classic! Normally I don't read old classics because I expect them to be boring and full of people using outdated language and such. Like, perhaps the story would be exciting enough, but the manner in which the story is told wouldn't be. I remember trying to read David Copperfield after seeing the movie of it, which had been a good one, (Daniel Radcliffe played Copperfield as a young boy. He was sooo cute there! It also had Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Proffesor McGonagall, so that was extra awesome to have two Harry Potter characters.) but the book, as Charles Dickens had written it, was so dull and drawn out that I didn't bother to finish it.

But I think Jane Eyre was quite a worthwhile read. I didn't feel bored much when reading it, and though the language used would be considered old-fashioned, there is such a romantic and poetic ring to whatever verses or dialogue goes into the novel. It's kind of a not-quite Shakespearean talk that one sometimes wishes people still used, because it's so expressive.

I believe I really enjoyed the story because it had a sort of Twilight feel to it. Like, it's a brilliant love story. The title character, Jane, is a young lady with lots of great qualities in a woman. She's smart, quick-witted, thinks herself plain when other people might say she's pretty, very polite and honest. When she moves into a mansion as a new governess (a sort of nanny who teaches the children of the house... I suppose, in effect, home-schooling them!), she gets to know the slightly eccentric master of the house, Mr. Edward Rochester. Of course, with a name like Edward, who do you think I think of? ^,^ But honestly, as these two people start falling in love, the passion that Mr. Rochester develops for Jane is so strong that it reminds me of the connection between Edward and Bella. Even though Rochester isn't a vampire, he is still very fierce and passionate and wishes he could give everything in the world for Jane.

There's no battle of good versus evil, but it's still quite the epic story. Another thing that I liked about reading Jane Eyre was that I was constantly being reminded of the British, kind of sci-fi mystery series I'd enjoyed reading how many months ago, the Thursday Next series, by Jasper Fforde (yeah, that's not a typo. That's his name, with a double "f"), the first of which was The Eyre Affair. That was a cool book, where the main character, a kind of literary detective who goes into the books themselves to solve an awesome mystery, goes into the Jane Eyre story. Apparently it used to be a different story altogether, but then she makes things happen that actually show up in the real story. Like when Rochester's bed almost catches fire and Jane puts it out, I think there was some really some kind of accident. In The Eyre Affair, anyway. In Jane Eyre, they blame it on Rochester's crazy first wife. Also, when his whole mansion burns down while Jane is away with her cousins, and Rochester loses his eyesight and one of his arms, I think there was actually a battle with the main villain. He gets killed, don't worry. It was just really fascinating to remember those parts of the story while reading the real Jane Eyre novel.

It ends so happily, with Jane and Edward finally happily married, even though Edward has to rely on Jane for a lot because of his mutilation, but it's quite romantic. If anyone liked the Twilight Saga, I think Jane Eyre would be the best classic match for them. It was for me. Of course, you may not be as patient as I am with such a huge story or old fashioned dialogue, and there were a lot of footnotes and references that I had to keep flipping to the end for, but I honestly think the book was worth reading. You might not read it, but I just wanted to let you know how much I myself loved it.

BTW, I finished the book last night, and this morning I read Chapter 3 of Pendragon #10. It is so awesome! I want to read more, but I've got to restrain myself and wait until I've finished another book. ~_~ I'm putting this on myself and I'm going to stand firm, no matter how much I want to know what happens next.


M. D. Benoit said...

An interesting take on the story and the writing. Jane Eyre and sci-fi. Huh.

Graham Chops said...

Eyre was kind of like a romanticized/novelized biography. You're right, not really a good V. evil thing, just a story of her life.