2013 Goal #14. Read 4 Classic Pieces of Literature I've Never Read. - Part One

#1 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

            First off, let me say that I’m a little embarrassed about how long it took me to read this novel. The only reason for this? Poor scheduling.

            I’ve been waiting until I get in my bed at night to read. So there I am, in my PJs, all nicely tucked beneath my covers, when I finally grab the book from my nightstand. About ten minutes later, I’m yawning and bobbing my head.


            So, I only read about one chapter (or sometimes less…) at a time, even though I often wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. I was just too darn sleepy. (I’ve not been able to adjust to my new work hours very well. Having to wake up before 5 every morning, then not get back in town until 4, then going straight to the gym to kill it for an hour, then cooking, then cleaning, then showering…then it’s time for bed again. Oh, the woes of adult life.)

            Even though I majored in English, I’d never read Jane Eyre or seen any of the film adaptations of it, so I didn’t know the storyline. And let me say that I really enjoyed it.

            I found this novel pleasantly easy to read. A lot of 19th century British literature is dull and boring and filled with paragraph-long sentences that you have to re-read three times to comprehend. But Brontë s style of writing was surprisingly modern. The characters were still relatable. There were even a few bits of dialogue that actually made me laugh out loud!

            Despite many contemporary elements, the story also, of course, is your typical 19th century classic. It’s got a lonely orphan as the lead, a dark Gothic mansion filled with secrets, a mysterious unconventional male love interest with a few secrets of his own, lots of brooding, and a looming supernatural aura from beginning to end.

            So, of course it was right up my alley.

            And I really liked Jane. I felt I could identify with her in a lot of ways. She struggled with a sense of alienation, a search for “kindred spirits”, a community, a place to belong. But she also dealt with a feeling of imprisonment. She wanted independence. The battle between love and freedom.

            I really cared about what happened to Jane, and I did so all the way until the last page. So many times, I’ll love a story until that ¾ of the way point where it becomes mediocre and I lose interest. And even though it took me, er, two and a half months to finish it, I never lost interest.

            I’m gonna have to get busy watching the movie versions now. Which one’s the best? There's a BBC version on Netflix instant queue, I noticed. Is it good?

           Oh, and I also need to find my next unread classic to dive into. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share!


Jessica said...

Proud of you...I know how long it took you! haha. Hmmm...lots of options out there! We should hit up the thrift store and see what we can find. :)

Jennifer said...

Totes what I was thinking! :)

Niken said...

with my work schedule it's hard to find time to read. so as long as we still read, that's fair ;)

i read Jane Eyre and to be honest i'm not really hooked. I think Jane is an interesting character as well as Mr. Rochester. both are actually lonely and bitter in some ways. but the story just don't hook me. i prefer Pride and Prejudice. or LIttle Women by Louisa May Alcott. I haven't read lots of classic yet. Wuthering Heights doesn't get me too. But you definitely should read To Kill A Mockingbird if you haven't. classic or not, you just have to read it!

Jennifer said...

I have never read To Kill A Mockingbird, so I will definitely put that on my reading list! It's about as classic as a book can be! Thanks for the suggestion.