i have been quite the book worm lately. i though i would start a new series sharing what books i have been reading and what i think of them (individually and comparatively). is my opinion of some sort of importance or really that smart? of course not, but i would like to maintain this exercise as a kind of school work, to connect and develop my thoughts. and if somebody in this world finds it amusing, great.
as i have mentioned before, i have never been a book worm. i always enjoyed reading, but used my time reading mostly nonfiction, history or social sciences books. i could never get into literature. i think it is because i only gave it a chance in high school, and to be honest i don't think i was smart enough. i always did bad in english especially critical thinking. i didn't have the patience nor put in the effort. now, i think college has improved these skills so therefore i can gain more from these books. i recently tried reading critically acclaimed novels and it has been rewarding.
cary fukunaga's movie jane eyre inspired me to try reading. even though the movie is very different from the book (it is 500 pages), the movie is very good on its own. the movie only chooses few scenes to depict and focuses more on the gothic themes, but what do you expect for such a complex, detailed and long book. anyhoo, in continuing my reading i decided to kind of create a syllabus. right now, i am reading books that are by british, dead, female authors (c. 1800s). you know what i mean.
'jane eyre,' by charlotte bronte
i will say, this is my favorite book thus far (this includes austen's persuasion and pride & prejudice, which will be in vol II). jane eyre is a young women with a rough, lonely past who eventually becomes a governess at thornfield hall. there she learns about the secrets of the property and leanrs more of her master, edward rochester. it deals with such themes as love, religion, gender, class, and sticking with your guns (for lack of a better word). what i enjoyed most:
- jane's perspective: unlike the other books, i feel like i gained so much from this book because it was written in the heroines point of view. you get to understand jane's thought process and how she comes to her conclusions. i find her self determination and morals so admirable that it was rewarding to read this from her perspective. if it was written in third, the book would have been so much weaker.
- criticism of religion: bronte criticizes organized religion and the fear people have of sin. jane goes against the grain and sees the goodness of people. she does not just follow what society thinks.
- women's autonomy: jane has a strong opinion of where she sees her place in society, even though most people would think she is too head strong. she is not willing to sacrifice her freedom for any man, even the man she loves. on a similar note,
- strong sense of self: when you think of this time period, women are usually thought to be submissive, not jane eyre. she knows who she is and what she wants. she will not comply with other's desires if it means going against her own convictions. i will say, she is not perfect and falters at multiple points of the book but she always recovers. this flaw makes here even more likable.
- the sass: jane eyre is sassy. she is not afraid to turn some heads.
i will say, one of the major problems i have of this book is how unlikable mr. rochester is (in contrast, michael fassbender who is in the movie, is such a cutie and makes the character much more likable). even though this is the case, jane eyre is so cool, that you just want her to get what she wants. her cool overrides his doucheyness.
on a side note, some wonderful quotes:
"do you think, because i am poor, obscure, plain, and little, i am soulless and heartless?"
"'do you know where the wicked go after death?' 'they go to hell,' was my ready and orthodox answer. 'and what is hell? can you tell me that?' 'a pit full of fire.' 'and should you like to fall into this pit and be burning there for ever?' 'no sir.' 'and what must you do to avoid it?' i deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: 'i must keep in good health and not die.'"
"you -- you strange --you almost unearthly thing!"
"the more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained i am, the more i will respect myself"
"conventionality is not morality. self-righteousness is not religion"
"women are supposed to be very calm, generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercises for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and its narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-cretures to say they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. it is thoughtlessness to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."
now for a song. it's super unrelated, but is my favorite song right now. 'monster' by mumford and sons. enjoy!