Topics: Romance, Love, Jane Eyre Pages: 3 (1030 words) Published: April 21, 2014
If nothing else, the Cannonball Read is teaching me that the more I care about a book, the harder it is for me to write about it. In the light of recent personal events, I was having a hard time delving into Jane Eyre's love story without my own romantic baggage weighing my interpretation down. At the very least, I can still say that I bristle whenever someone compares the Twilight series to Charlotte Bronte's best known novel. However, I didn't want to spend the review going on and on about how one version of ideal love is better than another, mainly because I don't think Meyers' series deserves so much of my time and energy. There is one difference I can mark without hesitation, and something I don't think is discussed enough when Jane Eyre is brought up. Unlike Twilight or most other romantic novels, Jane Eyre is much more than the author's romantic fantasy transcribed onto paper. In fact, the title's subheading reads, "An Autobiography," not "A Love Story." While it's tempting to think mainly of the novel's love story (admittedly, it is pretty swoon-worthy), to focus only on that is to give short shrift to a complex and broad-scoped tale. In many ways, Jane Eyre is Bronte's autobiography. I wouldn't call it strictly factual, but the heroine's story touches on the variety of struggles, concerns, pet peeves, and wishes of an educated, imaginative, single woman without money in 19th Century England. In the first few chapters, we focus on Jane's childhood as an orphan living first as a dependent with unsympathetic relatives, then at a religiously affiliated boarding school. Through Jane's relatives, the Reed family, Bronte makes her first attacks on an unfair social structure of her time, illustrating through her characters that money and a good family line do not necessarily make better individuals. This may seem pretty elementary to many 21st century readers, but linking money and status with personal worth was a surprisingly common mindset in Bronte's time...
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