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Jane Eyre Kindle Edition
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|Length: 296 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Anyway, fast forward to now. I finally read it, and my God, what a beautiful piece of literature! The first part outlining young Jane's struggles had me flipping the pages till one in the morning. Then when she got to Thornfield Hall and Mr. Rochester, the page turning didn't stop till at least 3 A.M. I savored every paragraph, every word. It was like crack to me. lol
I was so enthralled with this story that I wrote a post on it when I hadn't even finished reading the book! I'd reached a section that moved me so much I had to write about it because of its beauty. It showed the core of just who Jane was as a heroine. Here's a snippet:
WARNING .... SPOILERS....
.....Last night, I read something that really moved me, so much that I must've re-read it three times. It was an introspective passage that poignantly demonstrated the beauty and complexity of Jane's mind. Oh, how I wish my heroines were this self-aware and confident!
In discussing her opinion of Blanche Ingram (the gold-digging skank who Mr. Rochester is using to make Jane jealous), our heroine goes into great detail about why she cannot bring herself to be jealous of Miss Ingram. Jane isn't a character in denial. She's a strong, logical, thoughtful and methodical woman, one who knows her own mind. After reading this passage, I realized that although I was over halfway through the novel, I never really knew Jane until that moment.
Anyway, while this may be a long excerpt, it's well-worth the read:
"I have told you, reader, that I had learnt to love Mr. Rochester: I could not unlove him now, merely because I found that he had ceased to notice me-because I might pass hours in his presence, and he would never once turn his eyes in my direction-because I saw all his attentions appropriated by a great lady, who scorned to touch me with the hem of her robes as she passed; who, if ever her dark and imperious eye fell on me by chance, would withdraw it instantly as from an object too mean to merit observation. I could not unlove him, because I felt sure he would soon marry this very lady-because I read daily in her a proud security in his intentions respecting her-because I witnessed hourly in him a style of courtship which, if careless and choosing rather to be sought than to seek, was yet, in its very carelessness, captivating, and in its very pride, irresistible.
"There was nothing to cool or banish love in these circumstances, though much to create despair. Much too, you will think, reader, to engender jealousy: if a woman, in my position, could presume to be jealous of a woman in Miss Ingram's. But I was not jealous: or very rarely;-the nature of the pain I suffered could not be explained by that word. Miss Ingram was a mark beneath jealousy: she was too inferior to excite the feeling. Pardon the seeming paradox; I mean what I say. She was very showy, but she was not genuine: she had a fine person, many brilliant attainments; but her mind was poor, her heart barren by nature: nothing bloomed spontaneously on that soil; no unforced natural fruit delighted by its freshness. She was not good; she was not original: she used to repeat sounding phrases from books: she never offered, nor had, an opinion of her own. She advocated a high tone of sentiment; but she did not know the sensations of sympathy and pity; tenderness and truth were not in her.
"Too often she betrayed this, by the undue vent she gave to a spiteful antipathy she had conceived against little Adele: pushing her away with some contumelious epithet if she happened to approach her; sometimes ordering her from the room, and always treating her with coldness and acrimony. Other eyes besides mine watched these manifestations of character-watched them closely, keenly, shrewdly. Yes; the future bridegroom, Mr. Rochester himself, exercised over his intended a ceaseless surveillance; and it was from this sagacity-this guardedness of his-this perfect, clear consciousness of his fair one's defects-this obvious absence of passion in his sentiments towards her, that my ever- torturing pain arose."
.....Jane's pain came not from any imagined self-deficiency ... because as far as she was concerned, the pretty Miss Ingram was an empty satin dress---not worthy of jealousy or anything else. Least of all Mr. Rochester. Hence Jane's pain. The mere fact that he would go for a vapid boob like Miss Ingram was the root of Jane's torment.
Hard to be jealous of someone you feel is intellectually and spiritually beneath both you and the man you love. This is why I love Jane as a heroine! While not a raving beauty, she has a quiet and unshakable confidence that's very appealing. No wonder Mr. Rochester fell for her.
Writers, if you want to see how to create a compelling heroine, look no further. The lesson is in this book!
Suffice it to say, Jane Eyre is my all time favorite heroine.
The reason I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5 probably has more to do with Kindle books in general rather than this book in particular. It reads as easily as any other book I've read on Kindle. But it's the kind of novel where you want to flip back to a certain section and re-read a portion just because of what is currently being said by the characters, and there is no way to do that. As for the French passages I had mentioned earlier, they are really very few in number and even if you don't know any French, don't let it stop you from reading this novel. They're all things said by one character or another, often repeated in English. (Thank you, Charlotte Brontë)! None of it is important to the plot or to the characters themselves.
Charlotte Brontë shows herself to be an incredibly masterful writer in "Jane Eyre." There were times when I just stopped to admire the style with which she conveyed something and the techniques she used. She is also incredibly insightful into human nature. The main character is an introverted person and all of her thoughts, beautifully laid out, make her into one of the most compelling characters in literature. Although it may be difficult to see this, I do think that the author was showing her feminist colors, such as they were in those days, when she conjured up Jane Eyre.
Thanks for making these classic books available for free on Kindle!