The free spirit writing of Bronte and the depiction of “wild” spirited Jane (protagonist) in the novel “Jane Eyre”, has been the attraction for many readers towards this feminist and widely read novel.
The Gothic elements, a critique of 19th century Victorian society, representation of repressed sexual desires of women, the Christian dogma and the bildungsroman of a rebellious protagonist, are some of the words which sum up this exquisite piece of writing by Charlotte Bronte.
Not like Austen’s “fairy-tale” romance, which although gives its readers a hope of feminism but eventually culminates into the hands of patriarchy, Bronte shows far more audacity and writes something which can be called feminist in a true sense.
The novel starts with “Jane Eyre’s” autobiography presenting to us a protagonist ten years old and orphaned. She lives with her “cold-eye, stern-looking” aunt Mrs. Reed at Gateshead Hall, with her three cousins. The constraining and indifferent behavior of her aunt towards Jane does not stops her in-built rebellious nature against the injustice and she raises her voice against such cruel treatments. Although, the rebellion lands Jane into Lowood institution, where she is sent and abandoned by Mrs. Reed.
After completing her ten years of restrictive and Christian education, Jane finally finds a way to her freedom and applies for the post of a governess at Thornfield, where, our protagonist finds the love of her life, Mr. Rochester, a wealthy man of handsome property but older than Jane.
Jane’s character does not possesses any class-consciousness, instead her egalitarian and open responses towards Rochester, is what that attracts him towards Jane. But their marriage becomes a fail because of the exposed bigamy of Rochester and Jane runs away from Thornfield to Moor house, where she discovers her another cousins and gains wealth from the demise of her wealthy uncle.
The temporal shiftings, not only suggests the external hardships of Jane, which has led to her unsettling character from place to place, but also becomes the manifestations of her inner on-going conflicts as well as struggles. The novel ends with the matrimony of Jane and Rochester (one-eye blind and crippled due to the mishap after Jane left Thornfield), which shows the winning of internal beauty over external and also the strong bond of love, which can overcome anything!
A benchmark novel with an undoubtedly the most intriguing love-story within it! ❤