A Conversation for 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte

A defence of 'Jane Eyre'

Post 1


Having read the comments posted about this novel, I feel duty bound to defend it. For some people, the characters seem artificial and irrelevant to the modern world - but surely you can't judge a book written in 1847 by the standards of 1999? The book is full of symbolism and imagery which is amazingly complex and well constructed. I know some people who consider the Brontes, along with others such as Jane Austen, to be lightweight, 'girlie' novelists. I would certainly like them to show me in what way the works of, for example, Thackeray are superior to 'Jane Eyre'.

A defence of 'Jane Eyre'

Post 2


Right on! I certainly approve of people's right to dislike something and say they dislike it, but I loved Jane Eyre and will defend it too. It is an old book, with different style (part of why I like it) and different society and different set morals. Also, I don't understand how it can be said that Blanche Ingram is the only "real" character in the book -- she is a flat, as you say, bitch, put in the book only for the purpose of being a bitch. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and one of my favorite characters.

A defence of 'Jane Eyre'

Post 3

Hope Loveday

Reading your comments about Jane Eyre, reminds me how I felt when I tried to read the whole of Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy. I like Hardy's descriptions, and some of his characters, but unfortunately I did not much get on with Tess. I suppose one of the things I felt Tess lacked was a lot of "common sense", which made the book feel rather unreal. I will leave the book, and maybe I will view it differently in a few years time.
I also have tried to read Jane Eyre, but did not have much sympathy, or empathy, for her. This made it hard to enjoy the book.

A defence of 'Jane Eyre'

Post 4


A lot of Jane Eyre is about morals and honour - not easy subjects for your average 18 year old to relate to. Is it morally right to obey figures of authority, however unfair (Helen Burns)? Was Rochester wrong to try and marry the woman he loved? Should Jane commit to a virtuous and 'honourable' marriage without love?

And though it may seem straitlaced today, the fact that Jane was even willing to conisder living as Rochester's unmarried partner (not mistress) was enough to have it considered a 'naughty book'!

A defence of 'Jane Eyre'

Post 5

Swiv (decrepit postgrad)

I think most 18 year olds can get their heads around the debates between love and honour nowadays. At least we did - and Jane, who is only 19-ish in the book remember - did. It's just that we didn't have much empathy with her to sympathise with her decisions, partly becuase life is so different now. As one of my class put it "she should bloody well just go to France with Rochester rather than wailing about the lack of him in her life" smiley - smiley

A defence of 'Jane Eyre'

Post 6


Love I am sure they get - or at least think they do. Morals and honour is a different matter: perhaps you could say that when young we understand our own, but we're not so good at understanding those of others. I know that at 18 I too got frustrated with the book, and just wanted JE to get on with it. 13 years on (and happily married!) I find I'm rather more sympathetic.
I never did find her convincing as a 19 year old with a sheltered upbringing, though...

Speaking of Thomas Hardy . .. .

Post 7

Night Siren

I am a fan of Thomas Hardy's - "The Well Beloved". I think it is a wonderful and complex love story that spans three generations. If anyone has read this book - I would love to discuss it!

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