A review of Jane Eyre, Part 1
I am not quite finished with Jane Eyre, by the infamous Charlotte Brontë, but as I have quite a lot to say about the book, I thought I should start with the first half.
I started reading Jane Eyre simply because I would like to work through some of the classics that I have not yet read or was not forced to read in school. Jane Eyre was recommended by a friend and the recommendation left me with extremely high expectations.
When I first started the book I was concerned that I would not like it. The first couple chapters, specifically the ones where Jane spends time at Gateshead, are quite bland and did not intrigue me.
It was a typical story of an abandoned orphan being raised by ugly and cruel family members and not much more. I do now however see the importance of these chapters for the understanding of the character of Jane herself.
I stopped reading the book for a while after the first couple chapters simply out of boredom, but once I mustered the strength to push through I was pleasantly surprised.
I was very happy to see a change of scenery for Jane, as it was much more interesting then her time at Gateshead, but I initially despised Lowood. Lowood, the school Jane is sent to, was run by a horrible and disgusting man. The girls attending the school were looked down upon because of their class and I found it incredibly arrogant of Mr. Brockelhurst to assume this to be their own.
They are children who succumbed to terrible circumstances and did not ask to be born into poverty or unfortunate situations, and Mr. Brockelhursts treatment was despicable. I was heartbroken when the friend Jane made at Lowood passed, not for the girl, but for Jane as it was the first person who truly cared for her.
I was very pleased to see the school taken over and changes of improvement made. Jane becoming a teacher at the school seemed fitting at the time but her decision to leave is when I finally got excited.
I was not surprised to see love bloom between Jane and Mr. Rochester, I mean could they be any more obvious. A single man needs a governess, and you’re going to tell me they are not about to fall in love.
I do not at all understand what Jane sees in Mr. Rochester, other than the fact that he shows affection to her. His treatment of Adele, the girl Jane is hired to teach, would have been a huge red flag for me.
Even so, I found myself longing for their first romantic encounter. Before we dive into that however, can we talk about the fact he is old enough to be her father, not to mention she has never really had an encounter with a man before, talk about grooming.
As I am writing this I am beginning to hate Mr. Rochester more and more. He forced Jane to sit and watch him court another woman just to make her jealous. What is that?
Let’s recap the red flags so far. Mr. Rochester is a jerk to Adele, he is old enough to be Jane’s father, he is her employer, and he used another woman to make Jane jealous. This man is manipulative as hell.
Despite his red flags, when Jane and Mr. Rochester finally became engaged. I was so happy for Jane and Adele. Jane was finally being loved and spoiled and I started to imagine a future in which Adele would step into a daughter role and Jane a mother.
But of course, Mr. Rochester had to go and lie about his crazy wife and mess everything up. At first I was angry at Jane for not giving him a second chance as I finally felt like she was going to have a good life with him, but now reexamining the situation I think it was best she got out while she could. My only sadness now is that poor Adele is stuck with Mr. Rochester.
Also, I really thought this was about to turn into a vampire book for about the first half of Jane’s stay at Thornfield only to realize the monster was just Mr. Rochester’s wife, to say the least I was disappointed.
This is where I will end my review for now as I continue to work through the rest of the book. I am very interested to see what Jane becomes as she takes her first real step into the world without a plan.