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Monday, March 12, 2012

Jane Eyre

A few weeks ago, I read an entire book on one of our computers for the first time. The book is Jane Eyre, which is public domain. I had never read it. The Wikipedia article on the book, which is rather thorough, and lists the characters, and gives the plot, says that there have been about a dozen movies based on the book, in English and other languages, including one in 2011, which I saw, and which gave me a reason to read the book.

Before reading the book, based on its reputation, and the movie, I thought that it was a romance novel, and gothic, too. It is those things, but it is more. The Wikipedia article indicates that the portrayal of Jane as a strong character makes the book a pre-femininist novel. It is also a Christian novel, in that it has a Christian world-view, and that some of the characters, including Jane, are believers, and attempt, sometimes at considerable cost, to live lives compatible with Biblical morality. That was my impression, and the Wikipedia article agrees. Here is an excerpt that illustrates these ideas:

St. John is unmarried: he never will marry now.  Himself has hitherto sufficed to the toil, and the toil draws near its close: his glorious sun hastens to its setting.  The last letter I received from him drew from my eyes human tears, and yet filled my heart with divine joy: he anticipated his sure reward, his incorruptible crown.  I know that a stranger’s hand will write to me next, to say that the good and faithful servant has been called at length into the joy of his Lord.  And why weep for this?  No fear of death will darken St. John’s last hour: his mind will be unclouded, his heart will be undaunted, his hope will be sure, his faith steadfast.  His own words are a pledge of this—
“My Master,” he says, “has forewarned me.  Daily He announces more distinctly,—‘Surely I come quickly!’ and hourly I more eagerly respond,—‘Amen; even so come, Lord Jesus!’” (Chapter XXXVIII. These are the last words in Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, public domain, by Charlotte Brontë. My source is the Project Gutenberg edition. The Wikipedia article on the book is here.)

Thanks for reading. Read Jane Eyre, if you wish to.


FancyHorse said...

I've read it, but it was a long time ago. You've made me want to read it again!

Martin LaBar said...

I hope you enjoy it, if you read it!