Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
It’s such sophisticated and symbolic writing. Jane Eyre is Bronte’s psychological and emotional vessel - molded and contoured through vivid descriptions of nature, gothic landscapes, obscure shadows, and alter egos. It is masterfully-adorned in unconventional romanticism and wisdom. Straightforward, candid, and unreserved - Jane Eyre coalesces courage and impeccable writing to revise the narrative of the ‘invisible’ woman. The woman who is regarded for her words, her forthrightness, her conduct. The woman who is trained to expect less of society, of ambition, of unconditional love and affection, in relation to herself. You can feel the artificiality that society places upon the shoulders of such silence and inhibition. This book somehow scales the tides of such suffocation and discrimination. It epitomizes the complex and androgynous spirit of a woman who’s not deprived of her own identity. When a woman’s personal growth and self-discovery is not gauged by a misogynistic and patriarchal society. The woman in the attic, the merciless depictions of nature, the sequestered loneliness of Jane Eyre, and her devotion to her master. All these illustrate the undying foundations of womanhood misconstrued as servitude and meekness. Bronte reclaims, at an impressively confounding pace, the ‘coming-of-age’ of women. Feminism, equality, spirituality, freedom. Jane Eyre draws from many wells. It’s a product of Charlotte Bronte’s childhood, education, and society. The image she finally drew on 500 pages or so is a vivid and provocative one.
You can read her “story” through the lens of many - Jane Eyre herself, Mr. Rochester, and Bertha. You can view one as one or one as many. You may perceive Jane Eyre’s devotion as a constraint; Mr. Rochester’s virtuosity as manipulation, Bertha’s terror as a form of subjugation, and so on. But there is more to the story than what has been written down. You, as a reader, have to find the creases that make the story complete. Your final summit is to realize that fertilizing moment of self-discovery in the story. If you have to be told when it occurs, you can never know. If you know, you know it all too well and feel it even today.