Jane Eyre lost her parents at a young age and was entrusted to her uncle's care, who also passed away before his time. Under the care of her aunt, who doesn't care for her, and her cousins who abuse her, Jane has a sad childhood. She is eventually moved to a school for orphans where she starts to bloom, being educated for quite a few years before coming a teacher herself. She wants to spread her wings more so she applies to become a governess for a young French child at Thornfield Hall, under the supervision of her new master Mr. Rochester. Of course, Jane falls in love with Mr. Rochester and things grow progressively more complicated.
Thinking back about some of the horrible books I read for high school English (1984 anyone? I hated that book), I wonder why we didn't read good English literature written by females such as this book or Pride and Prejudice. Comparing Jane Eyre to Pride and Prejudice I think I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice more but this was still quite good.
I have two complaints about the story line. First, poor Jane was pretty much called ugly so many times during the book. I felt bad for her. Why would you call someone "plain" to their face many times? Is that what people did during this time period? What bad manners. My other complaint is how annoying the male characters in this book are! Mr. Rochester is some times off his rocker and Mr. St John seemed to have to have the same conversations over and over again. Perhaps that's just the problem you get when the story has such a strong female character.
I felt that Jane could have been written in to a modern day novel very easily. She thoroughly analyzed every situation she was in, in such a way you wouldn't expect from characters of that time. She was quite calculating in her reactions which was refreshing.
This is a great classical novel, though I would recommend to read Pride and Prejudice first!
First Line: "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."