SLit
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This isn't so much a question as an invitation to discuss Jane Eyre. I'm studying it for my A level and one things that is key is other interpretations, so I'd really like to set up a chat all about views on Jane Eyre (positive and negative) or questions people have.
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Miss_EFC
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I loved Jane Eyre when I studied it for GCSE English - it's my favourite Bronte by a long way. I loved the presentation of Jane at school, and Mr Rochester was a dark and brooding antihero that many of my class really liked! The scene setting has stayed with me a long time, The Red Room especially. We studied it from a gothic literature perspective as I recall.

It is one of those novels that I appreciate more and interpret differently now at age 24, rather like the Great Gatsby - it has good re-readability because of that!
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SLit
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(Original post by Miss_EFC)
I loved Jane Eyre when I studied it for GCSE English - it's my favourite Bronte by a long way. I loved the presentation of Jane at school, and Mr Rochester was a dark and brooding antihero that many of my class really liked! The scene setting has stayed with me a long time, The Red Room especially. We studied it from a gothic literature perspective as I recall.

It is one of those novels that I appreciate more and interpret differently now at age 24, rather like the Great Gatsby - it has good re-readability because of that!
I definitely agree, the first time I read it I loved it but now I see it in a whole different light, and by far my favourite Brontë!. We're currently studying it in terms of the theme if love which is so inherent to the novel, but also really sad in the early chapters when she has so little love! But it's really interesting to look at it regarding different themes, I think it's so cleverly written.
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OliviaMeek
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I am studying Jane Eyre in English Lit and am currently doing AS. I have read the book and we have spent time on it in class but I don't know how to write an essay on it for the exam. In a test we did I got a D and I really want to improve for the mocks next week so any tips would be very helpful.
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georgia.roberts
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I studied Jane Eyre last year for AS and loved it so much. I personally loved the fact that it was written in first person, and that alot of it was inner monologue. I watched the 2011 film remake and loved how accurate it was, especially in terms of the Gothic genre so I'd definitely recommend watching that after you've read the book. Alot of people criticised the novel, suggesting that Jane "gave up" her feminist stand-point when she went back to Rochester but I don't agree with that. She had to gain her own independence before she could go back to him, which is refreshing.

Have a look at Elizabeth Rigby's review of Jane Eyre for some criticisms
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The Empire Odyssey
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I couldn't stand this novel. I think Jane is a weak women who cannot say no. She goes back to Mr. Rochester and only when he is crippled, she gains power over him. He has to depend on her when he only needs physical assistance. C'mon - absolutely ridiculous. She's just a weakling and very whiny too. She puts herself in most of her predicaments and ends up complaining about them!
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chickennuggt
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Hi, I studied Jane Eyre for my AS Levels last year.
To be brutally honest I did not enjoy studying it very much ,but I think this was due to the method in which we were taught it.
Moreover we were also studying Dr Faustus which I found far more interesting and dynamic ,plus it was about half the size of Jane Eyre.
I do believe that the book is a perfect example of a Bildungsroman as it is a spiritual journey for Jane and it succeeded in highlighting the flaws of its characters and its society.
However, at times I did find it tedious but surprisingly my best marks were in my Jane Eyre essay so I cannot complain too much.
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peachesforplums
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I won't lie, I'm studying it for GCSE this year (since it got brought down to our level with the new spec) and, while I enjoy the inner monologue and the bilingdunsroman structure, I struggle to find the appeal. I could go off on it for so long but essentially the main reasons are:
I find reading young Jane's interactions with adults (excluding those of Miss Temple) frustrating at best and painful at worst. It feels so utterly unrealistic that every adult in Jane's life would miss all of her redeemable qualities.
I find Rochester to be one of the dullest characters I've ever read. To me, he seems to be a really bad attempt at creating a Byronic hero to the point where he just seems rude.
The casual racism of Jane and Rochester towards bertha (and just the general treatment of bertha) is something I can't stand to be perfectly honest.
The entire Rivers section is dull as less. No intellectual reasons for this, St John is even more full than Rochester and I can't even remember the names of the other characters as they do next to nothing.
The romance is this book is so strange! It took two re-reads before I began to understand where on earth Jane' love for Rochester came from and even then Rochester's love for her comes out of nowhere! I understand the point is we get Jane's perspective but I struggle to define this novel as a romance since the romance lasts about 5 chapters before Rochester ruins it.

Having said that, I love studying Jane Eyre. I might have hated reading it but since I have so many opinions it makes essays and lessons very enjoyable. Most of my class dislikes the book as well, which is very fun when we're debating with our teacher (who is a die hard Rochester fan).
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SLit
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Interesting, I can see some of your points but it's worth remembering that the society it's set in is very different to today's, I'm sure you've studied context so it's valuable to remember that due to Jane's class status most adults she meets are likely to have a predetermined view. In addition, I would suggest that Bessie and Mr Lloyd both recognise some of her redeeming features.If you wanted to think about Rochester as a Byronic hero you might find the paper Edward Rochester: A New Byronic Hero by Forina interesting, but I'm unconvinced that he is any more rude than other Byronic heros such as Darcy, not sure what you think of him?I would also argue that the romance continues throughout most of the novel, even when Rochester treats Jane awfully - he shows his love in a very strange way - Jane continues to love him and in some ways that forbidden love is integral to a romance and pulls on courtly love ideas, just a few of my thoughts about the novel, it remains one of my favourites
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Parker Tracy
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(Original post by OliviaMeek)
I am studying Jane Eyre in English Lit and am currently doing AS. I have read the book and we have spent time on it in class but I don't know how to write an essay on it for the exam. In a test we did I got a D and I really want to improve for the mocks next week so any tips would be very helpful.
3 things I can advise - the first is to know the text really well, the second is to organise your essay in a very logical way, with each paragraph having a key theme that you set out and evidence through quotation from the text, and the third thing is to read some criticism round the text. David Lodge has a great essay called "fire and Eyre" which is a good source to quote from, for example.
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Parker Tracy
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(Original post by peachesforplums)
I won't lie, I'm studying it for GCSE this year (since it got brought down to our level with the new spec) and, while I enjoy the inner monologue and the bilingdunsroman structure, I struggle to find the appeal. I could go off on it for so long but essentially the main reasons are:
I find reading young Jane's interactions with adults (excluding those of Miss Temple) frustrating at best and painful at worst. It feels so utterly unrealistic that every adult in Jane's life would miss all of her redeemable qualities.
I find Rochester to be one of the dullest characters I've ever read. To me, he seems to be a really bad attempt at creating a Byronic hero to the point where he just seems rude.
The casual racism of Jane and Rochester towards bertha (and just the general treatment of bertha) is something I can't stand to be perfectly honest.
The entire Rivers section is dull as less. No intellectual reasons for this, St John is even more full than Rochester and I can't even remember the names of the other characters as they do next to nothing.
The romance is this book is so strange! It took two re-reads before I began to understand where on earth Jane' love for Rochester came from and even then Rochester's love for her comes out of nowhere! I understand the point is we get Jane's perspective but I struggle to define this novel as a romance since the romance lasts about 5 chapters before Rochester ruins it.

Having said that, I love studying Jane Eyre. I might have hated reading it but since I have so many opinions it makes essays and lessons very enjoyable. Most of my class dislikes the book as well, which is very fun when we're debating with our teacher (who is a die hard Rochester fan).

There are several things that you need to appreciate in tempering your critique - the first is not to apply 21st century values to Victorian literature. Getting worked up about racism or sexism is pretty much like getting frustrated that Romeo and Juliet couldn't just text one another. As Jacques Derrida would say, "there is nothing outside the text". we must appreciate the novel for what it is, within the constraints in which it is set.

One of the other points you raise is about Jane's progress through the novel - David Lodge wrote an interesting essay called "Fire and Eyre" which will explain that Jane's interactions with various characters is a means of taking her from the extremity of her personality, to a more moderated version of who she is. thus, she learns from everyone in the novel that neither absolute self-sacrifice (Helen Burns' stoicism) nor absolute unregulated passion (Bertha Mason) is the solution. Lots of stuff in this essay as well about the significance of the elements - fire (Bertha), water (St John Rivers) and Air (Jane Eyre). A long time since i've read this essay, but it made a big impression on me...
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