Part 1. Storyanalysis.
Complete title description. The complete title of the book is Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë. The book is edited by Q.D. Leavis. Published by the Penguin Group, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ England. The book was first published in 1847. Reprinted by Penguin Classics in 1985. Made and printed in Great Britain by Richard Clay Ltd., Bangay, Suffolk. Set in monotype Bembo. The cover shows a detail from a chalk drawing of Charlotte Brontë by George Richmond, by courtesy of the National Gallery, London. Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre by the name Currer Bell.
Some information about the author. Charlotte Brontë, Currer Bell, was born at Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816. In 1820 they moved to a small town on the Yorkshire moors, where she spend most of her life. Her mother died in 1821 and Charlotte and her sisters and brother Maria, Elizabeth, Emily, Anne and Branwell, were left in the care of their aunt. They were left much to themselves, and they started to create their own imaginary world. In 1824 Charlotte went to school. Maria and Elizabeth died in that year. Charlotte’s experiences there are fictionalised in the Lowood section of Jane Eyre. In 1842 Charlotte went with Emily to Brussels to study languages. She wrote three other novels; Shirley, 1849, Villette, 1853, and The Professor, 1857. In 1854 Charlotte finally overcame her father’s objections and married, but unfortunately she was to die in the following year.
Title- explanation. The title Jane Eyre points to the main character Jane Eyre. The book describes her life and her feelings. Charlotte Brontë based Jane Eyre on her own experiences.
Summary. Jane Eyre is an orphan. She grows up with her aunt and her cousins Eliza, John and Georgina Reed. They threat her very bad and she’s always punished. Than one day she strikes John back and she is put in the ‘red- room’, the room where Mr. Reed died, and she sees his ghost. She faints and her aunt called the doctor to come. Jane tells the doctor she wants to go to school. A few weeks later a man came to invite her t school. Her aunt said awful things about her to the man, and when he left, Jane said awful things back. After only a few days she’s send to the school Lowood. She doesn’t like it there, but after her school’s finished, she becomes a teacher there. Then one day she reads an add which asks for a teacher to teach a child at home. She applies and got hired at Thornfield Hall. She and She and Adèle, the child, like each other very much. And though Mr. Rochester, Adèle’s father, isn’t very nice in the beginning, they fall in love. Then they decide to get married, but Mr. Rochester’s brother- in- law says that Ms. Rochester is still alive. Jane runs away, but later she hears that Mr. Rochester lost his sight, while trying to rescue his mad wife, who set Thornfield Hall afire. She goes back to him and they live happily ever after.
Motto. There is no motto in the book.
Genre. The book is a romantic and melodramatic novel.
Motives. The motives in the book are love, hate, the unknowing and fait.
Idea. The idea of the author was to portray a character, which symbolises all women, who is a spirited and intelligent woman, but refused to accept her appointed place in society with unusual frankness and a passionate sense of the dignity and needs of her sex.
Structure. The book counts 489 pages, and when you read 40 pages an hour, you can read the book in a good 12 hours. The book is in chronological order. The book counts 38 chapters, which are numbered. It also has an introduction by Q.D. Leavis, a preface, a note to the third edition by Charlotte Brontë and at the end some notes.
Characteristics. The main character in the book is Jane Eyre. She’s a skinny, tiny woman, but she knows what she wants and how to get it. People always underestimate her, which they find out too late. The other characters in the book are Ms. Reed, John, Eliza and Georgina Reed, Mr. Rochester, Adèle and Ms. Fairfax. Ms. Reed is Jane’s aunt, who raised her, but threaded her awfully. John, Eliza and Georgina Reed are Jane’s cousins, who always gave her a hard time growing up. Bessie is the nanny of Jane, John, Eliza and Georgina. At first she bullies Jane, but later on she starts to show her love. Mr. Rochester is the owner of Thornfield Hall. He always bullies everybody and is very mysterious, but he loves Jane very much. Adèle is the child Jane has to tech to. She is very spoiled, but Jane loves her very much. Ms. Fairfax is Mr. Rochester’s housekeeper. She and Jane get along very well.
Time. The telling- time is shorter than the told- time. The book plays around the 1840’s. The book is in chronological order.
Room. The book plays at the house of Ms. Reed, at the school of Lowood and at Thornfield Hall.
Where did I get my information from. The book Jane Eyre. The dictionary. Part 2. Personal perception. I have read the book Jane Eyre with great pleasure. It’s easy to read, because the used language is not so difficult. The language suits the time it was written in; an easy way of thinking and living. People were convinced that if they were born as a clergyman’s son, you would be a clergyman later on too. They didn’t except and couldn’t understand that people could marry somebody from another rang. That’s why Charlotte Brontë’s ideas are so extraordinary. It also was common for writers to write passionate and also somewhat melodramatic. Though Charlotte Brontë writes easily, some of the passages are very melodramatic. Especially the parts where Jane’s feelings are described, are very exaggerated. This makes that you feel like you are reading a book from the Harlequin- serie. That’s a pity, because the story is very good. The main character in the book is Jane Eyre. I think it’s very extraordinary that a woman in those days, dared to stand up for her rights and wouldn’t accept her place in society. Nowadays every woman would do all the things possible to take her rightful place in society, so the story could also have played in this time. Woman like Jane Eyre gave that example. I also have the most sympathy for her. She hasn’t had an easy childhood and still manages to keep up her ideas and ideals. That must be very hard, considering all the mentally abusing she had to go through. I also feel with Mr. Rochester, because his life is tortured by his mad wife, and she stands in the way of his happiness. I absolutely do not have any sympathy for Ms. Reed, because she abuses her power and money to destroy Jane. She doesn’t care about anyone, but herself. As long as she is happy, she doesn’t care about anything or anybody else. Jane Eyre reminds me of my mother. She always had to prove herself and didn’t get anything for granted. Just by working hard she was able to get to the point where she is now. I admire her very much for that. She never had the support from her parents and she went to hell and back to keep her ideas and ideals high. That must be very hard. I’m just glad I have very supporting parents and that I can always count on them. I think with writing this book, Charlotte Brontë got a lot of commend from the men in those days, but I think the book was popular under the women. They were forced, with reading that book, to think about their own place in society and I also think that several women acted on that. A possible consequence could have been that the numbers of divorce got higher. The ending of the book is very predictable, because all books of that genre end happily. Though I don’t mind that fact, because Jane deserves a bit of happiness in her life. I can recommend this book to everybody who loves to read thick books and likes a common happy end.