If you have not recognised the fairytale-like quote, my favourite novel is Jane Eyre 🙂 I must have read it about eighty times oh my.
Read to me by my mother as a child, I have grown up to love Jane, the main character of the novel written by Charlotte Brontë for a number of reasons. To me Jane Eyre is a heroine. Not only is she honest and strong, but she is also passionate. Along with this, Charlotte Brontë created Jane’s image originally to not be beautiful. Eyre was created as a fairly ‘plain’ girl, with not much interesting about her, however she is beautiful by her actions, not her looks. This to me creates a whole new definition of beauty, as many believe beauty to be physical features.
The novel consists of five different stages of Jane’s life; beginning at Jane’s childhood, then progressing stagely to her adult life. The novel is divided into thirty-eight chapters; the original novel consiting of three volumes. I however have just one book containing all thirty-eight chapters.
The novel begins with an introduction of Jane, a ten-year-old orphaned girl who lives with her maternal Uncle’s family (due to the wish of her dying uncle), the Reed family. The readers are also told that the novel begins a number of years after her parents died of Typhus Disease.
The novel is based on Brontë’s experience of nursing the terminally ill; having to nurse her sister Maria until she passed away. This to me is very upsetting.
Jane’s relationships are a large part of the story, the most significant being her best friend Helen Burns, a girl slightly older than Jane with both a love and dedication for reading, made one of the saddest moments in the history of sad novel moments for me.
Helen Burns was a good friend of Jane, however suffering from the Flu, Typhus (alike Jane’s passed parents), Consumption, and finally a heart attack.
Helen’s last moments were with Jane, discussing God’s existance and the idea of afterlife:
“Where is God? What is God?”
“My Maker and yours, who will never destroy what he created. I rely implicitly on his power, and confide wholly in his goodness: I count the hours till that eventful one arrives which shall restore me to him, reveal him to me.”
“You are sure, then, Helen, that there is such a place as heaven; and that our souls can get to it when we die?”
“I am sure there is a future state; I believe God is good; I can resign my immortal part to him without any misgivings. God is my father; God is my friend: I love him; I believe he loves me.”
“And shall I see you again, Helen, when I die?”
“You will come to the same region of happiness; be received by the same mighty, universal Parent, no doubt, dear Jane.”
Again I questioned; but this time only in thought. “Where is that region? Does it exist?” And I clasped my arms closer around Helen; she seemed closer to me than ever; I felt as if I could not let her go; I lay with my face hidden on her neck. Presently she said in the sweetest tone,‹
“How comfortable I am! That last fit of coughing has tired me a little; I feel as if I could sleep: but don’t leave me, Jane; I like to have you near me.” “I’ll stay with you, dear Helen: no one shall take me away.”
“Are you warm, darling?”
She kissed me, and I her, and we both soon slumbered.
I was eleven when I read the end of chapter nine (above) on my own, my mother skipping this part when I was younger understandably. I ran downstairs “crying my eyes out” as I put it at the time in my diary and I still cry reading that part.
It is even sadder to have researched it two years ago for another English project; finding that Charlotte Brontë created Helen in memorial to her sister Maria, who passed away before her eyes as I have previously stated.
The end of the novel is on a happy note, after two years of Jane Eyre being married to Mr. Rochester (of which will be explained in another blog sometime soon as I seem to be rambling on) finally becomes a joyful one, and although the Hall was up in flames and Rochester appears to be uglier than ever, I could say Eyre and Rochester lived happily ever after! However you would have to read the story to come up with a judgement yourself.
I do most definitely insist that you read this novel, and I’d 110% insist in buying it, as you will read it again and again. Jane Eyre even to this day is not only timeless, but rare to be powerful by charm alone.