Review: ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte

I was talking to a friend about this book recently, and so I thought I’d do a quick review for those who have not read this classic tale of morals, romance and passion.

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Jane Eyre, the protagonist and title character of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, starts the book as a young girl. She lives with rich relatives, and her cousin torments and bullies her constantly, making her childhood a nightmare.

And this is just the start of Jane’s unhappy life. While still young she attends a school in which an epidemic occurs, killing off a lot of the student population and giving Jane a first hand experience with death and grief from an early age.

This event, like a lot of the book, was mirrored in Charlotte Bronte’s personal life, with family bereavement from an early age.

Once a little older, Jane becomes a governess, working for the formidable Mr Rochester, for whom she develops an attachment.

The book takes various twists and turns, and follows as Jane becomes a young woman, battling against her inner demons, as well as trying to understand what her place is in Mr Rochester’s home, and how to deal with the mysterious Bertha.

This book is well-known because it was very unusual for nineteenth century women. While contemporary readers may not have known it was written by a woman, it closely follows the thoughts and feelings of a young woman, and all three Brontë sisters were known for portraying the trials and tribulations of growing up in a male-dominated society.

While I do like this book, I find the central character of Jane quite preachy, perhaps because of her intense moral code, sometimes a bit intense at times due to the period, or perhaps because I kept wanting to push her to do… something. Act on her passions and feelings every once in a while.

But having said that I really enjoyed this book when I read it, and writing this review has made me want to re-read it soon 🙂

Have you read *‘Jane Eyre’? Have you read any other works by the Brontes? Which ones would you like to try?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comments 🙂

Happy reading x

Picture credits here

43 thoughts

  1. I feel like that about Jane’s character and she ended up annoying me so much that it took away from the enjoyment of the book as a whole for me. So many times people talk about Jane Eyre being this strong female character and I really did not feel she was.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I simply felt that in the end Jane did what everyone else wanted her to do and maybe she did it admirably, but as a character I found her wholly uninspiring. I must have missed something! 😂🤣

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel like many people see him as this dark, brooding figure, hence the romance. I personally don’t have any strong feelings either way but I agree that he can be misguidedly held up by literature fans, much like someone like Mr Darcy, who is a more admirable literary romantic figure in my opinion

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was ten and asked my mom: “May I have that blue book there on the shelf?” She asked me if I was too small to read it. “But, mommy, pleaseee”, said I.
    It was my first time. My first love. I re-read it almost every year till now and I am 41 🙂

    My six-year-old asked me a few days ago: “Mom, why do you love that blue book so much?”
    “I named you after that book, Jayna…”
    “But, why, mamma, why? It’s old and torn ugly. And I am not!” 🙂

    Like

  3. I enjoyed reading your posts and the comments.Jane Eyre has been my favourite book since I was a teen and I’ve read it several times, over the past 20 years. It’s a book where you can get some new understanding or revelation about yourself,others and society, each time you read it. I guess that’s because we change so much as we grow up and move through adulthood, so each reading is like a new reading. Jane went through so many changes as well, so it’s kinda like the book grows with you as a person, if I’m making any sense! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very interesting review! I recently studied Jane Eyre at uni and chose to analyse its themes of disability (Bertha and Rochester), and while studying it I formed the opinion (and came across many other journals that state the same!) that Jane herself actually has autism. She has many traits and when you read it with that in mind, you can absolutely see that she is on the spectrum in some way. Or at least I can! Perhaps this is something to consider when you next read it, maybe it’ll lead you to have a different opinion and maybe even enjoy it a bit more with this fresh take? I am a big Brontë fan so I would be very interested in reading your thoughts of some of their other work; specifically Wuthering Heights if you’ve read it because it’s one of my all time favourites.

    This post has urged me to check out the rest of your posts now. A lovely read so thank you for sharing! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts, that’s certainly an interesting analysis of Jane’s character and I might have to have a re-read with that in mind! I like wuthering heights as well, although it’s a while since I read it 🙂 thanks so much for dropping by

      Like

  5. This is a lovely review, you’ve summed up everything I liked and wasn’t so sure about in Jane Eyre! I can highly recommend ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ by Jean Rhys, a modern novel written from the perspective of Bertha. Because it’s more contemporary I found myself more invested in the characters, plus Bertha is much less ‘preachy’! X

    Liked by 1 person

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