Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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The book Jane Eyre is set in 19th century England and attempts to give a fictional account of the early life of a girl named Jane Eyre. This novel focuses on the conflicts between love and independence, conscience, and passion as it revolves around the struggles of a young woman to improve and maintain her self-esteem, something that is not easy to accomplish in the patriarchal society that was Victorian-era England during the 1800s.  

            The story is told from a first-person perspective as Jane starts it off by giving a background of her life. As an orphan since birth, she was raised in the household of her aunt, Mrs. Reed, where she suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her aunt and cousins. Following this, she is sent off to Lowood, a boarding school for orphans which is run by a clergyman named Mr. Brocklehurst. Having escaped the clutches of her family, Jane is optimistic at first, but these hopes are dashed as she is immediately humiliated in front of the entire school by Mr. Brocklehurst who claims that she is dishonest. Jane’s first taste of positive interaction comes in the form of the teacher, Miss Temple, with whose help she proves that she is not dishonest and improves her self-esteem as well as her reputation amongst her peers. From this point on Jane becomes a model student and, after graduating, remains at the school as a teacher. After Miss Temple leaves, however, Jane no longer feels bound to the school and begins working as a governess at Thornfield Hall where she meets Mr. Rochester. It is love at first time for them as Jane helps the older man after a fall from his horse. Soon after, however, trouble arises which forces Jane to leave the place and attempt to find her place in the world once again.  

            The main themes that are prevalent in the book are based on the internal conflicts that Jane goes through which are conveyed through her relationship with her master, Mr. Rochester. While Jane is aware that she is morally wrong to be pursuing such a relationship, she has trouble controlling her passion. The book also explores Jane’s issues with self-esteem and understanding of her own worth through the lens of her relationship with the other characters such as Mrs. Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst.

Rating: 8/10

Read Time: 7-10 days

Author: Charlotte Bronte

Similar Recommendations: Villette by Charlotte Bronte, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

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