“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
I have finally found THE classic book. Jane Eyre has stolen my heart. How could I not fall in love with a story of a strong and independent female protagonist? I could delve into the whole plot from start to finish, but I really want to focus on the main aspects that sparked my interest, and kept me reading the 400 page novel.
Jane Eyre has a good idea of her self-worth. And she has a good idea about her own morals. And, unlike many in her situation, she sticks to her morals and her idea of what is wrong or right regardless of what outcome is in it for her. Here is the prime example:
“Gentlemen in his station are not accustomed to marry their governesses.“
Despite self-proclaimed meekness, Jane Eyre is far from weak or scared. She has been forced to make her own way in life without the luxury of relying on a rich male relative. And she did this in the world where being attached to a man was the best choice for a woman. Jane is a rebel – setting out to have her own career in a male-dominated world, refusing to let a man rule her life (that applies to both Rochester and St. John here), and making statements that may have not had the most sympathetic audience back in her day:
“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.“
The gothic atmosphere is written so well, with intense moods palpable in every paragraph. So colorful, so vivid, so immersing – every room, every moor, every tree. Every description of landscape or interior actually serves a purpose to establish the mood of the scene, and it is very well-done. I can understand why this story is categorized as a Halloween-time tale.
“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”
Oh Jane, you wondrously bold and fierce woman. A real hero in my eyes.
“‘Jane, be still; don’t struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.’
‘I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.’”