JANE EYRE BY CHARLOTTE BRONTË

Rating: 4 stars

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” 

Image result for jane eyre quotesmovie

Jane has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at the gloomy and forbidding Thornfield Hall and finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit who is hiding a terrifying secret. Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

I absolutely loved Jane Eyre. Characters like Jane Eyre who is brave, witty, kind, generous, passionate and independent are difficult to find. She is a comprehensive and an excellent representation of a feminist character who stands up for herself as well as for people she loves and cares for. Unlike other insufferable female protagonists of present-day literature, she fights for what she believes is right without being rude or cruel to others. She values love, righteousness, morals and gives equal importance to education. I as a reader found her character inspirational and quite relatable.

[SPOILERS] I hated the romance and thus the one star less rating. In Mrs Fairfax’s words, Mr Rochester was as old to be her father and treated her like a pet. He was hell-bent on finding a wife for himself, in search of who he travelled from continent to continent. Before he met with an accident, he wanted Jane to look pretty, dressed in fine clothes and jewels and as he lost his sight after the accident, he told her not to bother with the same. I’m sure every girl has a right and wishes to dress up and look pretty on her wedding day.

“The third day from this must be our wedding-day, Jane. Never mind fine clothes and jewels, now: all that is not worth a fillip.”

The writing style was different than I’m accustomed to reading and difficult to comprehend. The story was emotional and heart-touching but the ending was a little over the top for my liking. In my humble opinion, Jane married Mr Rochester out of pity and not out of love. Jane Eyre has been praised over time and I don’t have anything else other than that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” 


MAURICE BY E.M. FORSTER

Rating: 4 stars

“I’m an unspeakable of the Oscar Wilde sort.”

Maurice is a tale of a gay young man whose unrequited love opened his heart and mind to his own sexual identity. Through his intimate relationship with Clive Durham, in times when homosexuality was considered a crime (it still is a criminal offence in several countries), he struggles to accept himself as he is and explains how he feels and in an attempt to stay true to himself goes against the society and its rules of class, wealth and politics.

“It comes to this then: there always have been people like me and always will be, and generally they have been persecuted.” 

Maurice is more explicitly gay than any YA book I’ve ever read or than I expected it to be, considering the fact that it was written a century ago. Forster was gay and feared Maurice would end his career if it’s published in the year of its completion, 1914. So he requested Maurice be published only after his death along with a collection of short stories about homosexuality, The Life to Come.

I think Maurice is as relevant as any other book which represents homosexuality. Through Maurice, Forster hopes for a better time and place when and where people can be who they are without the fear of social, political and legal consequences.

Maurice has been both praised and criticised and I don’t have anything else to say that hasn’t been said already. This was my first Forster read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was beautiful and emotional and I look forward to reading more of his books.

“I swear from the bottom of my heart I want to be healed. I want to be like other men, not this outcast whom nobody wants.”


Have You read Jane Eyre and Maurice? Have you read any other books by these authors? Let me know in the comments below!
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13 thoughts on “MINI REVIEWS: (JANE EYRE & MAURICE)

  1. Oh I absolutely love Jane Eyre! She’s one of my fave heroines. I agree with all your criticisms but I personally basically suspended disbelief about all the stupidness of Mr Rochester because I knew it would ruin my enjoyment if I dwelled on it too much 😂 Have you seen the BBC adaptation with Toby Stephens?

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  2. I agree with you on Mr. Rochester especially as I’ve gotten older I’ve thought more and more about the issues there. But on the other hand ever since I saw the movie version with Fassbender I’m like I’d marry him to! Even with all the issues. Of course after reading the above comment I’m going to have to check out that BBC version as well.

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  3. I read Jane Eyre years ago and absolutely loved it! I personally don’t remember Rochester so clearly, but I can understand the issues you had with him. I’m sure as this is historical fiction (as in, back in the days when values were so different), there were relationship issues that we wouldn’t approve of today. Great review! 😀

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  4. I would definitely love to read Maurice. Oscar Wilde had such a fascinating life and he brings wit to all his novels.
    I think when you’ve been reading a lot of YA and then begin reading classics, it can be difficult to adjust to. Because I read Classics first and then YA (not counting HP series), I was shocked at the lax writing style in YA and was so unimpressed. Aside from this, Jane has set the benchmark and it’s no wonder that she is the top two most revered fictional character of all-time alongside Hermione who, to be fair, she is ultimately better than. Jane is faultless and an inspiration to all women and I doubt we will find another like her in literature. I do think she loves Rochester though, yes, she pities him, of course she would, he is in a pitiable condition after all. But with love comes compassion, and when beauty fades, true love remains. She is an independent person after all, she wouldn’t have stayed if she didn’t want to! 👏

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    1. The writing style in YA literature is quite repetitive if you ask me! Yeah, I remember she’s on top followed by Hermione on the second spot. Of course, she’s better than Hermione, that’s why she’s on the first spot! I don’t think i’ll ever find a female protagonist as Jane, not with the type authors these days write a female character, cruel murderous bitches. I like how you see their love but when I think about it, I don’t think I would marry someone who’s been married already and kept it a secret from me, mad ex-wife and pitiable condition or not. I don’t know, it just didn’t feel right and a little over the top.

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      1. Repetitive to the point of lacking a unique voice and style, there are only a few exceptions. I love how Leigh Bardugo managed to portray 5 different characters with nuances and subtleties in speech.

        Yeah, that’s true. I definitely wouldn’t either. Jane doesn’t need to know from the start, but once he began to act on his feelings, he should have revealed it straight away. To do otherwise, is to trap another into a relationship and remove their choice, in my opinion, to decide for themselves. When does Mr Rochester begin to act on his feelings for Jane? I can’t remember when. I think Jane Eyre, in this regard, is a good lesson for readers that lying & omitting information has serious consequences when you pursue a relationship.

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