My favorite part of reading is coming across a character who lives and breathes, one who mirrors my soul and teaches me about the way I think and feel, a character who shows me myself.
As an INFJ, it is not very easy to find a character like myself. More often, I find characters who I can admire and love, but not relate to in the same way.
Jane Eyre is one of the few books I’ve read with a main character who I feel is a mirror of my own heart.
This gorgeous classic is the story of Jane Eyre, a young woman of 19th century England. The book begins with her childhood, her poor treatment at the hands of her cruel and selfish aunt, her transfer to a charity school in Lowood, and the death of her childhood friend.
At eighteen, now an accomplished teacher, she advertises as a governess and is accepted to a post at Thornfield Hall, tutoring a young French girl who dotes on her, prattles ceaselessly about nothing in particular, and cares more for her pretty gowns than her books. The other servants in the house, an old housekeeper, a married couple, and a common, rough sort of woman living in the attic, offer very little in the way of company or companionship. So Jane is left to herself, to explore the grounds and contemplate whether or not to stay on in a place so lonely and cut off from the rest of the world.
Then, the master of Thornfield hall returns. Mr. Rochester brings with him a whirl of gaiety, of fine guests, and of dark mystery. His frequent bouts of moodiness, of dark thoughts, and impulsive departures and returns bring something of excitement to the old mansion, albeit of an almost arcane sort. Thornfield houses a black secret that its master has spent many years avoiding, but Jane’s fresh presence in the estate draws him back again and incites a chain of events that soon has her fleeing its dark walls.
Jane Eyre does not have the lighthearted romance that Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility offer. It is a darker, more mysterious kind of book, with macabre secrets, jealousies, and passions that run wilder than your average romance. This book fascinated me when I first read it at twelve or thirteen, and it is still one of my absolute favorites. Charlotte Brontë has created in Jane Eyre a woman that I can see in myself, with desires, thoughts, and habits that run very near my own. It is a book that I return to again and again and happily recommend to anyone looking for a new novel to pick up.
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.