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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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And back to books. Because really, I read too much. But I think I want to take this oppertunity to talk about one of the classics that truely belongs on the lists of classics, 'Jane Eyre'. This is really two books and in today's publishing market would have been split up. The first half of the book is an interesting glimpse into the life of unwonted children of the age that Bronte wrote. Not orphans, but boarding schools designed to instill disapline and religion into young children who had been sent away from home. An yet the reader gets the sense that this is a home, with some teachers honestly caring for their charges among their strict rules of decorum. Rules that are not just the school's, but an the rules of entire society.

When the main character is finished with school, she leaves and the real story begins. Just like life, childhood may make you the adult you are, but being an adult is where life truly begins. Jane Eyre keeps much of her schools tenets about her and the reader often sees the strength and moral character she gained at school shine through as she takes a job as a governess.

The second half of the story, and in my mind, almost the second book, deals with self sacrifice and the consequences of pride. While Jane is always unbending to the outside world, the struggle to stay on the right path is highly emphasized to the reader. And like many, the ending, while a happy one, still bears the scars of the character's faults and the consequences of their actions.

All in all, it was on of the few classics I could not only stomach, but enjoy and have actually reread on occasion. It is very stiff and for those of us that don't speak French, there are entire paragraphs you will have to figure out by context, but the story is strong and the plot is entertaining.
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