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Jane Eyre [unidentified video recording] by…
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Jane Eyre [unidentified video recording]

by Charlotte Brontë

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I stayed in bed all day Wednesday, and read Jane Eyre from cover to cover. For the first time. THAT was fun. I shall now offer up my impressions - me being a sexagenarian house-husband.
Of course, I went through a box of Kleenex . And my sniffling was only partly due to Sudafed and a high pollen count. Guys that have passed up this novel, need to get in touch with their feminine selves. I would have done so sooner, but for many years my feminine self had a restraining order on my masculine self. She and he, well,.... it was an ugly time
Briefly, my observations:
I wish we had an attic.
Ladies, I too am sorta endearingly unhandsome.
I really, really, really want a governess! Please call 1-907-555-....
Slap. Yank. Slap. Stop it! ....Owww!
(My wife, home from the office early, has again crept up on me without a sound. She is boxing my ears, and threatening to take away my computer privileges - for a month this time!...that's excessive!)
OK. I'll stop the schtick. Wednesday's reading binge made me giddy.
Lately, I've become a Jean Rhys fan. Thus, I felt I should read Jane Eyre before reading Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. I now see why Bronte is considered to be one of the first modern writers. You feel you have a choice when reading her. You can read slowly and savor the 19th century colloquialisms, the Turner-esque landscapes, the Gothic touches, and the scenes of romantic melodrama where you want a replay button for the dialogue and a stop-action button to reach for the tissues. OR, you can accelerate to your speed reading limit - need to in fact - because Bronte's first person narrative is modern, clear, and the plot that enticing.
Having recently read Jean Rhys's first four novels, I can see her logic in attempting a prelude to Bronte's Jane Eyre. Both authors speak using a first person style. And a tone that can be dispassionately analytical and suggests they have sister intelligences. And the themes are the same for both authors. The economic and romantic challenges a young woman faces making her way in the world. In Rhys's novels, always young women with an underlying pessimism; in Bronte's Jane Eyre, a young woman with an underlying optimism. Rhys's heroines hope, at first, that they will be rescued, come what may. They remain though, fundamentally passive, and ultimately are defeated. Jane Eyre believes, come what may, she will be able rescue herself or else acquit herself nobly in defeat. Eyre, too, though is content to be passive when circumstances permit because she is comfortable in herself in a way that none of Rhys's protagonists are.
This novel is a true classic for all, and I humbly add my appreciations from
(my female self): Charlotte Bronte, Thank You (I wept a delightful ocean of tears)!
(my male self): Rochester, you crazy one-eyed cat, you had me weeping in a seafood store. ( )
34 vote Ganeshaka | Jun 5, 2008 |
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