And off we go...
Oh woa woa, Jaaaane! I am stinkin' loving this book so far. I think the first time I sorta-read it, I was in my early 20s, so that's been on 'round 10 years ago. And I've slept a lot since then, and I've endured a good deal of brain drain since then, and I've forgotten most of the things about this book.
As it opens, the young Jane lives with her dastardly (ok, maybe just bitchy) aunt and her bratty cousins and she is mucho unhappy. I was actually relieved to see Jane packed off to Lowood, even if Mr. Brockelhurst was a bit of an ass, what with starving the children and all. For the first time, Jane was allowed to be on an equal playing field with her peers. I was certainly rooting for her to prove herself and do good things both at Lowood and beyond. I did another little happy dance when she gained her employment at Thornfield.
I thought Bronte did a great job establishing Jane's character right from the beginning of the book. She's fiery and not terribly afraid of sticking up for herself which makes me love her. However, she still has enough self-control to listen to reason. She fits in nicely at Lowood once she realizes that no one is judging her harshly as she expects they will based on the besmirching of her character by ole Brockelfart. Urrr, Brockelhurst.
Someone asked me on Facebook or Twitter if Jane Eyre is considered a gothic novel, and while I wouldn't say it's a straightforward gothic novel, it certainly possess elements. The red room, for instance. She is locked away for a long while by herself and falls into a swoon. Has an episode. Whatever you want to call it. She's basically scared out of her wits because it's the room where her uncle passed away. While there's no evidence that Jane actually saw a ghost, the implication is one of great atmosphere and gothic flavor.
So yeah, beyond those early pages I pretty much remember nothing about this book from my first reading, so it's like reading it for the first time all over again. Nothin' wrong with that.
How's it coming for you?