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Impressions and Expressions of Ijon - Jane Eyre / Charlotte Bronte
February 11th, 2010
05:40 am

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Jane Eyre / Charlotte Bronte
I finally got around to rereading Jane Eyre. I had read it more than 20 years ago, in a Hebrew translation, and had been far too young to appreciate it then.

I found Bronte's writing excellent, and her style pleasing. I particularly enjoyed her keen descriptions of Jane's experiences in the first half of the novel -- at Gateshead, at Lowood, and at Thornfield before the mutual confession of love.

Those descriptions show Bronte to have been an astute observer of children and adults alike, and the character - I mean the personality and fiber -- of Jane herself is refreshing, vivid, and always a little surprising.

The second half was less enjoyable, and in particular I felt the whole section with the Rivers family at Moor House was too long by half, and rather less spirited than the first half of the novel.

I shall probably try one of the other novels by Bronte at some later point.

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From:ladypine
Date:February 11th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)

Confession

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I sometimes read it until the part where she flees Thornfield, and then skip to the end where she hears him and comes back.

I fail to identify with Jane in the Rivers part, as much as I fail to identify with Dorothea Brooke for most of Middlemarch (George Eliot). Seems like these authors automatically connected wise, knowledgable, and well learnt with old and unattractive, all in one breath. Where are the clever guys, the inventors?
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From:gaal
Date:February 11th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC)

Re: Confession

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I think they were all on duty in Robert Heinlein books.
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From:reneighssance
Date:February 11th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)

Way ahead of her time

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The second half of Jane Eyre is a blander read -- but not at all a bland deed:

Considering it's the 1840s when, for fear of being shunned, a female author resorts to publishing her book under a pen name* that will not disclose her sex, Bronte commits the most daring act in the second half of the novel.

For it is there that her protagonist transgresses the little woman's role of melting into her wooer's arms; she shuns his cloying terms; shuns the limited scope of the stereotypical little woman's life that he offers her along with the tarnished status of kept mistress:
She leaves, becomes bravely independent, (rejects yet another man's advances along with his and religion's tyrannical terms), and finally returns, financially independent, to her beloved – this time not one bit his inferior, and with not a flaw to mar her status.

* "Currer Bell"
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