Actually, I have two books that I have read very recently and need to talk about, but seeing as I’m a little short on time due to an unfortunate influx of homework (medieval torture, that’s what it is!), I find myself only able to talk about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
While I do realize that is is kind of one of those books that people are supposed to read in High School, I never did, and I am quite grateful for it. I think that if I had read it in High School I would have been completely disinterested and would not have enjoyed it at all. As it was, I completely fell in love with this book. Which is almost unfortunate in a way, because that means that I, the complete overly feministic literature hater, might actually enjoy some very thoroughly feminine literature. For instance: Jane Austin. I confess, I have never read a Jane Austin book and did not even watch Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightley version, which I hear is not the best one) until a few weeks ago. However, I completely fell for the delightful character of Jane, who has seen some of the worst of life and yet has the spunk to face the rest of it.
There are lots of things that can be said about this book. For instance, I could talk about how it brings up the social aspects of Christianity in whatever time period Charlotte Bronte lived. For instance, the idea that those who are rich are good Christians no matter what while those who are poor and neglected must be sinners, and the idea that those who are in power must always be right, simply because they are. I actually did learn something about the first idea in my Literature class, and the aforementioned idea is generally called “visible election” and basically covers the idea that if God loves you then he will shower you with temporal gifts and that you probably have a guarantee of being saved in the end. Personally, I find such an idea to be quite grim, because in a way that takes away all agency for people to reach God’s favor, but then again I am nothing but an opinionated college student, so who am I to argue? As for the second idea of the rich and powerful being right simply because they are, I say BALDERDASH!!!!!!!!!!! What a horrific thought! Hopefully the human race has advanced beyond such thoughts, but then again I find some overwhelming evidence that we have not. Take the squabbles between High School girls, for instance. I mean no offense to High School girls, seeing as I was one once, but one has to question what the heck is going on in the human brain for such a condition as High School teen drama to appear.
However, I really didn’t want to talk about the social aspects of Jane Eyre. Actually, I wanted to talk more about the beauty that can be found in those pages. As I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love the character of Jane Eyre, who I feel is one of the few female characters that I have ever run into that actually possesses some fire. Yes, she can be demure and sweet, but then again, she also has an interesting knack for saying what she wants to say and not caring what anyone else thinks or who she offends. I also happen to like the fact that she can say rude things to people and make them sound well learned and not at all offensive, in spite of the fact that they are incredibly rude. I think I may have fallen in love with the general character of Mr. Rochester, who possesses that same inability to be particularly tactful. Some days, I crave that politely harsh honesty in the people around me, especially the men! I feel like much of the time I run into people who possess more of the character of St. John Rivers; who may be a fine human being, but who is cold and indifferent to the people around him. I can’t help being distasteful of such a creature, who seems good but has his/her own brand of villainy, however benign it may seem at first.
I think the thing that truly entranced me about this book was the language of it. That polite speech that you could say terrible things to someone else and make it sound like poetry. Reading the words made me feel like I was tasting them. If it is possible to eat words and live off of them, I’m quite sure it could be done with Jane Eyre.
Perhaps next time I will be able to write my review of Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison. Until then–