I'm still trying to gather my thoughts, and I honestly feel like I need to write an essay for school about this novel. It was a doozy and not at all what I was expecting in the least. I'm also pretty positive that this will have an edit or two, so bear with me. Here we go:
First of all, I believed this to be a general love story, the likes of which Jane Austen might have written. Her novels are fluffy romance compared to this. I will say I prefer the fluffy romance, but with not knowing anything at all about what this novel contained, I appreciated the unknown and the grit in this one. This novel contained fire, accidents, deaths, monsters, child abuse, infidelity, mystery, deceit, crime, love, and relationships. Family, money, and proper characters were a given, but the others somewhat surprised me.
As for the novel's events, it progressed rather smoothly. Some parts felt a bit strange, but I got the point. It starts when Jane is 10 years old and getting abused by her "foster" family. She stands up for herself and they send her away to orphan school. The headmaster declares lies about her and her only friend dies. Things get better for her there, though, because she says for 6 more years as a student and 2 as a teacher. She moves on in life when she gets a response to her advertisement to be a governess for a family. Mrs. Fairfax contacts her to governess for the ward of a Mr. Rochester. Jane enjoys the little girl, and she meets the master of the house without knowing it is him. She thinks he's nothing to look at, and he's quite a jerk, if I do say so. He hates children, and he calls the one he takes care of an "it." He's rude, bossy, and very outspoken. He's also quite a bit older than Jane. However, this doesn't stop him from using another woman to create jealousy in the mind of Jane in order to woo her. It works in the end, and they're set to marry.
Let me say here that Jane is a gigantic fool. She didn't even find him attractive! What the hell could she have fallen in love with him for? He's a rude liar, and he hates Adele! Absurd. Anyway, the ceremony is cut short when a Mr. Mason shows up to expose the secret of Mr. Rochester's wife, one who has tried to terrorize Jane in the days before the wedding and is a hideous, mad monster living in his house. He reveals his secret and Jane flees. Good girl.
Now she is taken in by a family whose father just died, after living on the streets for two nights and some insisting she's good on her part. When she finds out her uncle has died and left her quite a bit of fortune, she also finds out that this family is in fact her own family. They are cousins, and she insists on sharing the wealth. Way nice of her, considering the fact that later her male cousin wants to marry her.. almost insists on it. Eff that. So now she must leave there and heads back to Mr. Rochester, who is now blind and crippled from a fire at his house. His wife dies after jumping off the roof, so he is now free to marry Jane, which he does since she'll still have him. Wow.
At the end of the novel, they've been married for 10 years, and Mr. Rochester has regained some of his sight in the one eye he has left. Good for him, but he's still a creepo. Jane had considerable wealth and could have been fine on her own. I don't think she really needed Mr. Rochester, but I guess she loved him. She felt needed and important. She tried to see how he was doing throughout the years, but I just cannot imagine what she saw in him!! Maybe it was because I listened to it and didn't read it in my own voice in my head. I don't know. Either way, he just seemed like a scheming liar. I don't like that business.
I thought this book had just a ton of words, and too many things happened for one novel. Maybe that's because I'm used to the novels of today. We are much more of an instant gratification society that this book seemed very long and drawn out. I did enjoy it, especially since I had zero idea of what it was about to begin with. But I felt like a lot of this story could have been told in a shorter amount of time.
In other news, I am way too immature sometimes when it comes to words they used back then that mean crude things nowadays. Take, "gay" for example. Today that only has a negative connotation. Back then it was quite normal to say that about any happy person. Also, "ejaculate" or "ejaculation" for speaking excitedly and "erection" for structure/building/bridge. Oh boy.