Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Jane Eyre

Ok so, last night I finished the fantastic piece of literature that is Jane Eyre, written by the lovely Charlotte Bronte. The day before when I picked it up ready to open up the first page and get started I must admit I wasn't really sure whether I wanted to or not. It seemed so intimidating that I had 458 pages of writing that I probably wouldn't understand half of. I had looked at it on my book shelf many times before this and had settled for something else, something a little less daunting. So, as I opened the book to the first page I readied myself for what I believed would be one of the hardest reads of my life.
This was perhaps what was one of the most striking things about this book, how easily I understood it. Granted, there were many occasions on which I had to stop and ask my dad the meaning of certain words; but to my great shock I found it so much easier to get through than I expected. I think that this was probably because of the amazing way in which the character of Jane Eyre was created, the way I could completely relate to her. This may sound strange to you, as I am granted not a small orphan girl of 10 being abused by an aunt that hates me, I was not sent of to a grimy old boarding school, and surprise surprise I didn't get a job as a governess in a massive house and fall in love with my boss. However, all the feelings of solitude and loneliness Jane felt I too had experienced at some point in my life; in all honesty, who hasn't on occasion felt like they were completely alone in the world?
I thought perhaps the most beautiful aspect of this book (this was a very difficult decision as there were so many) was the absolute honesty and sincerity of the love felt and displayed by Jane. I think it was the most believable account of falling in love I have ever read, and at many points I felt so close to Jane, as I had felt so many of the exact same feelings. It was so pure and raw that I could tell Miss Bronte herself was completely and deeply in love, a feeling I have never before had to the same extent when reading. Never before had I read a book with such an amazing protagonist, a character that I felt so close to that I seriously did think she was talking directly to me, as if I was her best friend. This meant a lot to me, for reasons I won't go into, as not only was there this amazing girl who I could relate to so completely, but she wanted to talk to me, to confide her secrets in me.
Another fantastic thing about this book was the image created of these fantastic characters. Jane Eyre is described so many times as plain, and not at all pretty, with strange facial features and no spectacular talents that make her stand out. She is flawed and opinionated and so utterly human that I love her more dearly than any other fantastic and beautiful heroine I have come across. I think it was so brilliant of Charlotte Bronte to create such a bog standard looking woman, with no particular beauty and make the reader focus so completely on her personality. As it is mentioned in the book, her personality easily outshone any of the beauty and grace of the other women such as Blanche Ingram that we see, and for the first time in any novel I have read I found that the author was telling me true beauty lay in the soul, something I have believed all my life. This, my friends, is the kind of message that should be written into every story, should be shouted and paraded across the world to every single person. For in this book, even Mr Rochester (who was by no means described as handsome and was continually shown as possessing all the flaws most of us do: greed, moodiness, a temper, on some occasions insensitivity) was later revealed to me through his sincere and pure love for Jane as the most beautiful hero in any novel I have ever read.
This book has taught me that through whatever hardships and solitude, I am never truly alone, and that though I may be plain and by no means pretty true beauty lies within me: false appearances of others will fade with age, their artificial beauty will crumble, but the love and strength inside of me will always be there.
I would undoubtedly recommend this book to everyone, whether you are familiar with reading classics or not, I can guarantee it will mean something to you in a completely different way that it has to me. This book has become part of me now, and all I want to do is go back and read it again and again and again!


Just thought I would post a little introduction post so to speak, just to tell you a little bit about me. As you have probably guessed, I am a complete and utter bookworm. Reading is the only way I can make sense of the world; I find that if I am confused or hurting or alone, the only way I can feel better is by joining the heroes and heroines of my favorite books. As a result of this, I live in my own little world, a world full of epic adventures, daring romances, mysteries, fairies, get my drift.
I believe that reading is one of the most important things in lives. In books you can find all the lessons you need to learn in life, you learn what is probably the most important life skill of empathy. You allow yourself the pleasure of letting your imagination run wild, and you learn most importantly that at one point or another there was someone who was going through exactly what you were. In this way, I find that my agony aunts have become authors such as the Bronte Sisters, Jane Austen, Cecelia Ahern and so many others, who wrote in their books of all the problems and emotions I seem to come across.
There are also so many lessons to be learnt about the future, and the possibilities it holds, with books such as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell - books that make you think about what is right and ethical, what could possibly go wrong - undoubtedly skills we will always need.
I have never been happier than when I am reading; I am the kind of person who will sob her heart out when a character dies, who will throw her book across the room and refuse to read it when something horrible happens, who gets so sucked in that I feel every emotion the character feels. That is why reading is so amazing, I find myself one minute in the shoes of a poor orphan being mistreated and abused, and the next in the shoes of a savage man struggling to fit in anywhere, and feeling so completely alone.
So, in this blog I intend to write about what I have learnt from the different books I have read. I don't particularly mind if no-one reads it or cares about it, because this is something for me, to go over what I have learnt, and if you wish to share in that, please do!