Why We Love Jane Eyre


I love Jane Eyre, I’ve all but memorized the book, and watched the movie ( Timothy Dalton version} more times that I care to admit.

Even though Jane Eyre was originally published in 1847, it is still one of the most popular volumes in the  library system. The story has been translated into every living language and has been retold in every genre from silent films to Broadway plays.

So what is it about this humble orphan turned governess that intrigues people? I believe it’s this, simply – we admire Jane’s convictions, and want to be like her.  We hope that when things get difficult and there are tough decisions to be made,  we will do the right thing rather than the easy or convenient thing. That we will let our morals and values take precedence over personal gratification, and be able to walk away from adversity with head held high.

For those of you who are Janean novices, let me bring you up to speed.  Jane Eyre, who is abused and neglected most of her life, finally has a change of luck when she is hired as a governess at Thornfield Hall.  Here she meets Mr. Rochester, the master of the estate; they fall in love and plan to wed.  Alas, moments before they are to speak their vows, a complication arises which makes it impossible for them to marry.  And while Mr. Rochester implores Jane to come away with him anyway, arguing that no one will know they’re not married. Jane refuses.

“I will,” she says, “I will know.”

And here Mr. Rochester runs headlong into the “hitch in Jane’s character,” as he calls it, her unshakable sense of right and wrong.  Even though Jane knows she’ll break both  their hearts if she leaves, she cannot do otherwise and retain her self-respect. She flees temptation, and risks life and limb for her convictions.

Now while we admire Jane’s courage, we know that she is a fictional character and for her things will probably work out in the end. But in real life that doesn’t always happen. For us there is no guarantee of a happily ever after ending. Sometimes choosing the high road makes people mad at you. You may lose a job or find it takes much longer to achieve a goal.

It’s often hard to choose the right.  And frankly, to take a look at the newspaper headlines with their litany of rising crime rates, political scandal, corporate greed and terrorism, it’s easy to believe that no one bothers anymore.  Maybe integrity is just an outdated Victorian ideal; maybe it is every man for himself these days.

Maybe, but I tend to think not. Once you get past the headlines, you come to the real stories, the quieter tales that tell how real people lead their lives. One recent article told about a brilliant young woman who chose to postpone her college education in order to support her young siblings, and another told of a senior citizen who spent every waking hour collecting shoes and toys for a local shelter.

Everyday we read about soldiers who tear themselves from home and loved ones in order to serve their country. We hear of people who build homes for the homeless, bring hot meals to the elderly, and take medical relief to impoverished villages.  Volunteers help the handicapped, shelter abused women and children, and shovel mud out of strangers homes after  floods.

We admire people like this – people who do the right thing even when it isn’t easy or popular, even when it brings them little glory or recognition.  They have that hitch in their character, that unshakable sense of right and wrong, like Jane. And while many hope to someday be like Jane, we are grateful for those who already are.




Sunshine Award

sunshine-awardThanks  znjavid!

I love that you thought of me for this award. She and I have had fun chatting about her children’s book, my husband’s clothes, and the differences between grocery stores in Dubai and Salt Lake City. Check out her blog at:
A Mom’s Blog http://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/

Rules for the Sunshine Award:

1. Use the Sunshine Award logo in the post.
2. Link to whoever nominated you.
3. Write ten pieces of information about yourself.
4. Nominate ten fellow bloggers, “who positively and creatively inspire others in the       blogosphere”.
5. Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

Ten things about myself:

  1. I love children, books and dogs.
  2. If I had to choose between warm chocolate chip cookies, or fresh out the oven bread – to live without for the rest of my life, my brain would explode.
  3. If I had a million dollars to donate to the charity of my choice I would give it to the Best Friends Animal Shelter, and Alzheimer’s research.  (The latter may be a selfish bequest as I’m a little concerned about my own memory lately.)
  4. I like to walk, and appreciate my walking buddies who stand on my driveway at 6:15 A.M. and guilt me into coming out in the cold.
  5. My favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
  6. Favorite movie is the same, but only the Timothy Dalton version.
  7. I love Downton Abby but am so mad at them for the Matthew situation that I’m threatening to boycott season three.
  8. I’m working on a historical fiction/inspirational/romance novel entitled Days of Grace. It’s actually done but I have to work up the nerve to submit it.
  9. I love Masterpiece Theatre. Favorites are Duchess of Duke Street, Larkrise to Candleford, and Bramwell.
  10. I love to write and can get lost for hours when I’m at it.

My nominees for the Sunshine award:

The Kindness blog http://kindnessblog.com/
Spirit Lights the Way http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/
Father Says http://wisdomfromafather.com/
Jennifer Windram http://jenniferwindram.com/
Oldest Daughter Redheaded Sister http://oldestdaughterredheadedsister.com/
Crumbs Off the Table http://crumbsoffthetable.wordpress.com/
serendipity http://teepee12.com/
Wabisa Images http://wabisabiimages.wordpress.com/
Cancer Isn’t Pink http://cancerisnotpink.wordpress.com/
Mommy Verbs http://mommyverbs.wordpress.com

Happy blogging everybody!

Just in case anyone else is as computer challenged as I am.

Library Lady Book Review: Jane Eyre

51FDdgyx9WL._AA200_Jane Eyre, By Charlotte Bronte

 “Now for the hitch in Jane’s character,” he said at last.  “The reel of silk has run smoothly enough so far; but I always knew there would come a knot and a puzzle: here it is. Now for vexation, and exasperation, and endless trouble!”

So says Mr. Rochester when Jane Eyre refuses to do his despicable bidding.  Despite the fact that she loves him more than life itself, Jane must run from his side, and vow never to darken his door again.

 “Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt? May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine.”

Set in Victorian England, Jane begins her story as a penniless orphan, left to the dubious mercy of her Aunt, Sara Reid.  After a particularly trying day of abuse at the hands of her cousins, Jane tells them what she thinks of them.  The consequences are severe, and Jane falls into the clutches of the the sinister Mr. Brocklehurst, proprietor of Lowood School. Continue reading