Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teen Review: Gothic Romantic Classic

A review by M.G. Lewis, ninth grade

If, up until this point, you have lived your life believing that old, classic novels are a bore, you may want to read a little book called Jane Eyre, by the one and only Charlotte Bronte. This is a fictitious novel written and set in the nineteenth century that strongly highlights the moral and ethical strength a woman can possess – but that in no way means that you have to be a woman to read it! Due to its formal style of writing and somewhat dark overall themes, as a ninth-grader, I would place Jane Eyre at a 10-12 grade reading level. This 524-page novel is not part of a series; however, if you enjoy it, Charlotte Bronte has written plenty of other novels, stories, and commentaries.

Jane Eyre follows the life of a young woman from childhood up until the days she is a young adult working as governess for a little French girl. Jane finds herself to be the definition of a "plain-Jane," and although she does not have high self-confidence, she makes up for it ten times over with her hard work, high morals, and strict sense of ethics. When faced with choosing between what is right, and what is easy, Jane always chooses the high road. Throughout her life, she is faced with many struggles and adventures, including meeting the wealthy, interesting, somewhat mysterious Mr. Rochester, who is the master of the house where she is a governess. Although faced with other adventures along the way, the story centers around the growth of the unusual relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester.

Among all the female protagonists I have encountered in my day, I would rank Jane as the strongest and most likable. She is relatable on a plethora of levels, and I think many, if not all, young women would agree with me. But whether or not you are female, I guarantee you will appreciate and respect Jane. Boy or girl, young or old, this is a book I would recommend to anyone, and most certainly give a 5/5 rating.

Editor's note: This book has also been made into a movie multiple times, with this version being the most recent.

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