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Classic revisited: Jane eyre

November 09, 2012

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a story that revolves around the struggles of the main character, Jane Eyre, from childhood to adulthood. It is a gripping story of how Jane Eyre survives through inhospitable conditions in her early childhood and goes on to become a woman of high moral character, always struggling to do what is right even though at times she feels inclined to give in to her own passion and listen to her heart.

Overall, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is one of the greatest classic novels of all times, set in the English countryside, and continues to attract readers to this day.

The novel starts off with Jane Eyre finding herself in the home of her unkind Aunt Reed, who is forced to provide shelter to Jane because of the will of her late husband who was also Jane’s maternal uncle.

Mrs Reed does not let go of any opportunity to show Jane how much she resents having her in her home by continuing to reprimand and reprobate her without reason at times. Her cousins Eliza, John and Georgiana also treat Jane coldly.

During her stay at Mrs Reed’s house, Jane continues to wonder if she has any relatives from her paternal side who may be more welcoming towards her than Mrs Reed and her family, but Mrs Reed continues to suppress any information of her paternal relatives and soon sends Jane off to a charity school known as Lowood, which is known for its strict and harsh living conditions.

She survives through Lowood during the most inhospitable of times and goes on to become a teacher over there. But curiosity gets the better of her and her desire to see more of the world leads her to take up the position of a governess to Mr Edward Rochester’s ward, Adele, at Thornfield.

Thornfield, from the start, remains shrouded in mystery and Jane soon learns that the servants and staff of Thornfield Hall pay particular attention to protect its secrets. Over time Mr Rochester proposes to her for marriage. But on her wedding day, Jane learns the secrets of Thornfield Hall and Mr Rochester’s past that pressurise her to take the high moral road and leave Thornfield Hall.

Even though Jane physically separates herself from Thornfield Hall, her heart and mind remain there and she often thinks about those she has left behind.

Jane Eyre is an interesting story that keeps the reader involved as he/she follows the twists and turns in Jane’s life. Even though the reader may feel that the attention to detail may become too elaborate at times, the seamless flow in the language of Charlotte Bronte keeps the reader involved till the end of the book. — Javeria Khalid