Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Kindle Edition, AmazonClassics Edition, 313 pages, Published July 11th 2017 by AmazonClassics (first published October 16th 1847)
Born into a poor family and raised by an oppressive aunt, young Jane Eyre becomes the governess at Thornfield Manor to escape the confines of her life. There her fiery independence clashes with the brooding and mysterious nature of her employer, Mr. Rochester. But what begins as outright loathing slowly evolves into a passionate romance. When a terrible secret from Rochester's past threatens to tear the two apart, Jane must make an impossible choice: Should she follow her heart or walk away and lose her love forever?
Unabashedly romantic and utterly enthralling, Jane Eyre endures as one of the greatest love stories of all time. This must-have edition of a timeless classic is beautifully presented for a modern teen audience.
S1: E8 Before school, Rory and Dean meet at the bus stop where she hands him a bag of his favorite type of cookie, Rocky Road, and he returns a copy of a Jane Austen novel that Rory lent and advised him to read. The new couple is consumed by the wonderment that is first love and tease each other about a reward system.
DEAN: Wow, she brings me cookies. How can I repay her?
RORY: How about a little Charlotte Brontë?
DEAN: How about something else? [kisses her] RORY: That's good, too.
S5: E4, S5: E9, S5: E17 Rory has a Charlotte Brontë poster that she hangs in her room throughout her time at Yale alongside another revered feminist icon, Gloria Steinem. The decor appears when Rory shares a suite with Paris as a sophomore at Yale, and it remains with her until she is unexpectedly evicted by Paris, requiring her to change addresses and move in with Logan.
S6: E7 Lorelai and Rory are on the out's for the first time ever. Lorelai has just received a formal invitation to Rory's 21st birthday party that her parents will be hosting in Rory's honor.
SOOKIE: I can't believe Rory's turning 21. It seems like just yesterday she was crying because you told her Charlotte Brontë couldn't come to her sleepover because she's dead.
S8: E2 In AYITL: Spring, Rory returns to Chilton with Paris to offer mentorship, as a bequest from Headmaster Charleston, to the students who will be graduating and offer advice on navigating life after high school. Behind her, there is a chalkboard with notes on the motifs of Jane Eyre. This is the only true cameo of the actual book seen in the entire show's running.
S1: E8 While this exchange between the couple seems harmless, their division of interest is already a microcosm of Rory and Dean's relationship. While he does mention having an interest in reading Hunter S. Thompson here, Dean appreciates his significant other providing provisions and lending her affections more than contributing or entertaining any real meeting of the minds. I'm curious if it was intentional to depict this parallel between them preemptively in the season and have it plausibly hidden behind their puppy love. Alas, life imitates art, and your differences are only about to become more pronounced, girlfriend.
S5: E4, S5: E9, S5: E17, S6: E7 The following references aren't real book cameos! They are, however, a nod to the novel's author and an example of the type of women Lorelai instilled into Rory's life. The Brontë sisters are mentioned intermittently because of the strength witnessed in the females of their novels. Originally written in 1847, these women were true icons of their time.
S8: E2 Jane Eyre, the actual book, isn't mentioned in the original series; Rory only mentions Charlotte Brontë. The true reason this novel is added to our list is due to AYITL: Spring, where it can be deduced that the students are studying the book in class due to the chalkboard notes behind Rory. In the book, Jane was a governess and became a teacher during her journey towards independence. Could it be that ASP is showing us that teaching may be in Rory's future alongside her endeavors as an author when raising her future child?
"' And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?' 'No, sir.' '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.'" - Part 1, Chapter 4
"Ere I had finished this reply, my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of freedom, of triumph, I ever felt. It seemed as if an invisible bond had burst, and that I had struggled out into unhoped-for liberty." - Part 1, Chapter 4
"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you." - Part 2, Chapter 8
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character before? Rochester's charisma and charm are what deem him as one of the most swoon-worthy characters in all of literature despite his physical description. His and Jane's love story combined with her personal triumphs as a free and independent woman had me mentally cheering for all women of that era.
WHAT THE WHAT?:
If the first part of the book shocked you, it's even more surprising to hear that the headmaster from the novel was, in fact, a real person and that Jane Eyre is basically autobiographical. The Clergy Daughters' School's founder, Reverend William Carus-Wilson, wanted to sue Charlotte for libel when the novel was released based on her depiction of the
treatment Jane receives in her early years. Brontë had to issue an apology stating that she exaggerated the details. Letters dated 1912 were found showing resolution to the dispute.
CARO'S RATING: 5 of 5 STARS
I was unaware before reading the book that the first 11 chapters are almost an entirely different section of the book. I did find the story in entirety to be a bit jumpy, which affected the flow of my reading, but overall it was truly a phenomenal read! I enjoyed that the unraveling of Bertha was in juxtaposition to Jane, as a thermometer of her independence, and that she truly made it on her own before settling down, which is normal in a gender reversal. I love the idea of women in this time period reading this book and nodding their heads in solidarity with the depiction of a woman's own competence and freedom of choice. I want to shake Charlotte Brontë's hand for this, she was truly a woman before her time.
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