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Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

Jane Eyre: A Tale of Romance and Suspense

I'm a huge history nerd and one of my all-time favourite thing to do is watch history documentaries, and one of my favourite historians is Lucy Worsley ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 
She's the best!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
It was while watching one of her documentaries over british romances throughout history, when she mentioned different famous titles, many of which I'm sorry to say I'd never even heard of. One of these was Jane Eyre, a book by Charlotte Brontรซ, and the premise of it interested me so much that I went out and bought a copy, read it and instantly fell in love. It was one of those books that is so exciting that you can't seem to put it down and your mind constantly wanders back to it as you wonder what's going to happen next. While some might say the beginning is boring, for me it was extremely exciting and I could more than connect with Jane's feelings and the experiences she was going through. Since I first read it, I've listened to the audiobook twice, although sad to say a friend borrowed my copy and a few pages had fallen out of it :( I'm currently looking for a copy that includes the F.H. Townsend illustrations, though it's proving far more difficult than it should be. 

So what is Jane Eyre about? Keep reading to find out, but beware: there be spoilers below!

Jane Eyre gives me life ngl
I originally tried to summarise the book, but found it impossible with my intense love for it and so I decided it might be better to talk about different aspects of the book and things that I enjoyed or found very interesting :)

Jane Eyre, is in my opinion, one of the best novels ever written! It's a romance novel as well as a suspense and mystery novel, with the strange and bizarre happenings that go on at Thornfield Hall: a woman is heard screaming and laughing almost maniacally, people are set on fire and bitten and stabbed, and later in the novel, a mystery woman burst into Jane's room the night before her wedding and rips her veil in half. This is a big part of the mystery and suspense part of the book since Jane is led to believe that another worker at the home, Grace Poole, is the person behind all this. She becomes fearful and suspicious of this, while there are hints from overheard conversations between other workers, that this is not actually the case. However, whenever she is within earshot, the other workers immediately stop speaking and keep quiet, which only makes things more intriguing! 
Jane telling Mrs. Reed she's had enough of her bullying

It starts off rather sadly with Jane living as an poor and abused orphan who lives with her aunt, the nasty and cold-hearted Mrs. Reed, and her three cousins (Georgiana, Eliza and John). Here, she is treated very nastily and awfully and is regularly hit, neglected and abused. The book opens with her cousin John hitting her very hard and throwing a book at her so hard that it cuts her head and causes her to fall over and bleed. Mrs. Reed treats her very coldly and cruely, boxing her ears, violently shaking her, and even locks her in the room her late-husband passed away in and refuses to let her out even when she screams and hysterically begs to be let out. When Jane is to be sent to school, Mrs. Reed takes the opportunity to lie about her character in an attempt to make things hard for her in her new environment. This proves too much for Jane and she finally speaks up for herself and tells Mrs. Reed that she will tell everyone how poorly she was mistreated and that she will make it known that the Reed family is nasty and awful and this causes Mrs. Reed to break down and beg for mercy, which Jane denies. 

Jane goes off to a "charity school" called Lowood Institute, which is run by the judgemental and extremely hypocritical Mr. Brocklehurst. He is a man that claims that one should be denied the most basic of comforts and should be given very little food, not even enough to sustain someone. He's also against current fashion and even goes on a rant when he sees a girl with naturally-curly hair at the school, but this is proved to be even more hypocritical when her daughters and wife visit the school and they are dressed in the most elegant and expensive clothes for the time! His treatment of the girls comes under fire and causes a huge scandal after the poor conditions cause a typhoid epidemic to shoot through the school like wildfire and 70% of the school passes away. He's removed from his position and a committee is made to help ease and improve the conditions for the school, although he is allowed to be treasurer (though it is only because he is too much of an aristocrat to be thrown out). 

There is the grumpy and brooding Mr. Rochester, the owner of Thornfield Hall, who speaks rather rudely to Jane, and even dangles his possible engagement to Blance Ingram, a nasty woman who looks down on anyone she views as "inferior" or "below" her, in front of Jane simply to torment her. It later comes out that he is in love with her and was hoping she would tell him she shared the same feelings, and that he never had any intention of marrying Ingram, but this is awful and cruel. Once their feelings are made known, he softens to her and treats her very sweetly and speaks wonderfully kind to her, which makes you soften towards him a little. Unfortunately, his big secret is made known when they are to be married: a man stands up in the middle of the service and says the marriage cannot go forward, because Mr. Rochester is already married! Needless to say, everyone is shocked, none more so than Jane herself, his almost-bride! 

Mr. Rochester takes everyone up to the attic and reveals that Grace Poole, the maid that Jane thought was behind all of the bizarre happenings at the home, is actually the woman in charge of Mrs. Rochester. She is a woman from Jamaica who he marries with the huge support from both families, however, she quickly sunk into madness and being unable to cope and not knowing what to do, he took her back to England and had her locked in the third floor attic. The strange things she did around the home happened whenever Grace Poole got drunk and she was able to get out and run amok. His wife is described as walking on all fours, with a purple face, she snarls and acts in a way that scares everyone that sees her. Later on, she escapes again and sets fire to the whole house and when Mr. Rochester tries to save her, she throws herself from the roof and succumbs to her injuries. There is a belief that Bertha Rochester is meant as a opposite to everything Jane Eyre represents and that in order for Jane to be able to marry Mr. Rochester and fit into Victorian society, she has to get rid of those parts of her personality that are shown in Berta, albeit in very exaggerated means. 

The part that I found extremely interested in was the part where Jane finds her long-lost cousins, The Rivers. Her cousins are so sweet and kind to her after she settles in to their small town and becomes the local school teacher, until they find out who is. While the two women, Diana and Mary, remain sweet to her, their brother Saint John, becomes increasingly standoffish and confuses poor Jane. He begins to put an awful amount of pressure on her and forces her to work herself to the bone and to abandon her study of german, for "hindustani" (the name for urdu and hindi back in those days) only to reveal his real plans to her: he wants her to go with him to India as a missionary, and once she agrees to this, he then reveals that he expects her to marry him. She is shocked and insulted when he tells her he wants to marry her not because he loves her, but because he believes her "suitable" as a missionary's wife! Obviously, she refuses, but he insists and tries to bully her into agreeing, even arguing with her when she tells him she will never marry him, and sliding a piece of paper under her door before he's to leave to India, saying he still expects her to marry him and leave to India!

While, I agree that I found it very disgusting the way he treated her answer, I couldn't deny that I found her courage and strength very admirable. I've also had experience with a man trying to pressure me to agree to a forced marriage, sad as that is, and it struck a chord with me to see how she refused to give in no matter how nasty he treated her. The thing I thought that was funny was when he tells her how her God will speak to her through her heart and to listen to what her hearts says and then demands to know if her hearts is saying it wants to marry him and be a missionary and Jane says "nope"! Of course, he then twists this and tells her that he's decided God is speaking through him and he's decided she should totally marry him and go with him to India!!! XD I mean!! Come on!!!

As is to be expected, the ending is a very happy one :3 Right before Jane is about to give in to Saint John's pressure and say 'yes', she hears Mr. Rochester calling for her and she runs to find him. She finds Thornfield Hall burnt down from the fire that Mrs. Rochester caused, and when she finds where Mr. Rochester is she's heartbroken to find that he's lost a hand, and is blind. He tries to push her away since he says he is far too disabled for her, but she refuses and proves her feelings for him are real when she begins to care for him (much to his objection). Later on, he regains his sight (to an extent) and they live happily ever after, though it doesn't sound too forced and impossible to believe. 

Have you read Jane Eyre? Tell me what your favourite character or part of the book was~

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