Return to Appreciating Literature

'Jane Ayre' by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is such a household name and even if a couple had never actually read the book before, we have all seen at least one film version.

Returning to Jane Eyre after all these years, and finding so many new angles, shows just what an incredible book it is. Looking at the sheltered life Charlotte Bronte led, apart from a time in Brussels, we were in awe that this young, inexperienced women could have drawn her characters so well, and written in such depth about complex situations. Much of the book reflects the author's own life but her vivid imagination allowed her to weave a story that is timeless.

Jane Eyre is a story of love versus autonomy, religion and its effect on day to day living, social class and the implications of not been treated as an equal, and the struggle between genders. This were very provocative subjects for a woman writer to tackle.

One member had studied Jane Eyre in considerable depth and drew our attention to the idea that Charlotte Bronte may not have been responsible for the final chapters, or that these last chapters were inserted to appease popular opinion. The style is overdone and there are inconsistencies in the storyline. One member only enjoyed parts of Jane Eyre although she did find something new this time round to think about. She felt it was too melodramatic and gloomy, but could see how this book had inspired future authors.

The dialogue was commented on as being very different from a book written today. An interesting question was posed by another member, who wondered how Jane Eyre compared with the drama of the day.