Septemb-Eyre (Chapters 1-11)

“Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time.”  
from The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde*

Photo by Stephen Cummings, CC BY 2.0

Good news, everyone. I’m safe. I’ve been including Jane Eyre on my list of all-time favorite books since I read it in 2008. Having only read it once, I was afraid that I would reread it and end up hating it. But, we’re only a fourth of the way in, and I already remember why I love the book so much. It have very little to do with the plot and almost everything to do with Jane.

“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into it’s expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst it’s perils.” 

Jane is one of my favorite characters of all time. She’s smart, independent, introvert (I love a well-written introvert), passionate, a reader, a good friend, and a decent human being. She deals with hardship, but doesn’t accept it. She stands up for herself and works toward better position for herself. Jane. Is. Awesome.
Take one of my favorite scenes, where a ten-year-old Jane is confronted by her nasty aunt, Mrs. Reed, and Mr. Brocklehurst, from her future school. The two are trying to scare her into “good behavior” by asking her about hell. Mr. Brocklehurst asks her what she should do to avoid it, and she answers:

“I deliberated a moment; my answer, when it did come, was objectionable: ‘I must keep in good health, and not die.'”

And then, after Mr. Brocklehurst leaves, she confronts her aunt about the lies her aunt told about her.

“How dare I, Mrs. Reed? How dare I? Because it is the truth. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity…How dare I, Mrs. Reed? How dare I? Because it is the truth.”

Oh, Jane!
(Also, I wish that the photo above captured my Jane Eyre rereading experience, but sadly there was no hot coffee/chai tea because it’s still 90 degrees out.)

*The Eyre Affair is the first book of the delightful Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. Thursday is a literary detective in an alternate world where it is possible to enter books. Thursday is a literary detective who is pulled into the BookWorld when Acheron Hades kidnaps Jane Eyre from her book. Fforde’s humor takes a bit of getting used to (think Monty Python or Douglas Adams), but the series is hilarious and chock full of literature/reading jokes.

This post is part of the Septemb-Eyre Read-Along hosted on Entomology of a Bookworm. There’s still time to join us, if you like!

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9 thoughts on “Septemb-Eyre (Chapters 1-11)

  1. Charlene C

    Totally agree with your comments about Jane! She's just such a great heroine, with a strong character yet lots of room to grow! And the way she stands up to Mrs. Reed is awesome. Even if she feels bad about it later, I'm glad she did it, Mrs. Reed needed someone to tell her off! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Pam

    this is my first time reading jane eyre and i have no blog but i'm following along via twitter, i couldn't agree more with you! jane is awesome, i'm almost sad to have gotten to the part where she is becoming an adult bc i was so whole heartedly in love with 10 year old jane, i'm sure i'll loved 18+ jane as well though, i just got caught up to then end of chapter 11 tonight and i've already cried over poor helen burns, i have a feeling i might have more crying in front of me, it's hard not to sympathize with every emotion jane goes through

    Reply
  3. JoanneMarie Faust

    Great review! I, too am a huge Jane lover!!! You quote Jasper Fforde's first Thursday Next book and I really enjoyed that one, too. I love that Fforde through Thursday share my feelings about the characters in Jane Eyre…. and now, through this read along I've discovered so many more.

    Reply
  4. magsteronni

    I, too, love a well-written introvert 🙂 And I chuckled at Jane's declaration to avoid hell by simply not dying. I love her witty character! – Maggie @ An American in France

    Reply
  5. Kerry M

    Phew. So glad this one lived up to your re-reading expectations. I picked up a favorite of mine from a few years ago and found that I couldn't even finish it – it wasn't bad, but I was so bored! It was somewhat heartbreaking.

    Reply
  6. jorielovesastory.com

    Hallo Madeleine!!

    I liked reading your spin on Jane Eyre! 🙂 You pulled together the heart of the story, and you brought to light the same passages of the story, that led me to become endeared to Jane myself! 🙂 Bronte has a special gift for giving us a window into Eyre's heart, as much as the world by which she lives! I am thankful to see that you are appreciating this a second time around as I always find that hopeful for books that stitch themselves to our beings and are the close companions we wish to visit again down the road!

    Reply
  7. jorielovesastory.com

    Hallo Pam!

    I was glad to see that we are inspiring others to read Eyre!! Ironically, your on twitter, & I have a blog, but neither us has what the other uses! 🙂 Oh, my dear goodness — I was positively gutted when young Helen died!! It simply wrecked me! I think you may be clairvoyant here in your statement “more crying in front of me” because although I have seen the film adaptation, I have never read the book!! And, already one of the dramatic moments from the screen has been doubly more emotional in the book!!

    Reply
  8. Andi

    I'm always afraid I don't really like my faves. Like, if I read them 10 years later I would feel completely different. I need to start a personal reading campaign to revisit some old favorites. I'm loving Jane so far, too!

    Reply

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