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Mr. Rochester…

April 19, 2011

There is something about Jane Eyre. I am not quite sure what it is. But like so many of the great novels written in its time period, it didn’t grab hold of my heart until well after I finished the first third of the novel. It took me 10 days to get that far; and now, in about five more days, I am only two chapters from being finished.

My assumptions about this novel were completely false. And how refreshing it is to have one’s assumptions about a novel be proven completely false.

I should admit that the reason I am reading the novel is because of the compelling trailers for the recently released film. I wanted to read the novel before seeing the film – which has proven to be far easier than I anticipated, as it is yet to arrive in the small city of Regina.

I was compelled by how dark the film came across in this teaser.

And I assumed that this was a matter of post-modern reinterpretation; I anticipated reading a love story coloured merely by the confusion of the protagonist. How wrong I was.

This is a dark, compelling novel. With moments of hope, ever-so brief, touching your heart. Only to be dashed and dashed again. I cannot imagine this novel, rewritten by modern authors, with modern story-telling approaches and language and characterization. How desperate and sad it would be!

This is no love story; this is a story of infatuation disappointed. You hurt and are shocked by the events that twist the story – and the supernatural darkness that hovers throughout is terrifying. The humour, the satire and criticism of society and religion, they are very carefully intertwined with the story – and the bite hidden within is one that hurts. Charlotte Bronte is not kind, and neither is Jane Eyre; both are just.

I shall have to slow down my reading in the coming days to make sure that I do not soon find myself without more of the story to read. But I have so many options to start afterwards…

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