About the reviewer: VIDISHA KAUSHIK
Vidisha, 18, loves pursuing creativity in all its glorious splendor, be it writing, photography, travel or music. According to her, thoughtful and profound conversations brighten up her day.
The following is her winning piece of the Octopus With A Quill (O.W.A.Q.) creative writing contest in the Critical Book Review category.
“Jane Eyre” is a spell-binding novel by Charlotte Bronte (pen name: Currer Bell), which is an autobiographical narration of Jane, an orphan who journeys through hardships, such as her aunt’s tortures, cousins’ taunts, jibes at a charity school, where she has to constantly choose between her love and conscience. The resilient Jane, skillfully triumphs over all her impediments, with events of her life forming the skeletal of the story.
What makes this story riveting is the multi-dimensionality and the complexity of characters and situations. The mosaic of minute events and poignant details are narrated not only with an ineffable charm and gentle persuasiveness but also with clarity and empathy.
The author juxtaposes the themes of love, sacrifice, sadness, joy, and even a touch of monochromatic melancholy to pen deceptively simple, yet captivating novel.
Jane Eyre exudes a self-deprecating charm that’s hard to resist.
The transformation of the protagonist from a rebellious, fuming and charmingly impish girl to a sophisticated, confident and independent woman is deeply inspiring. The way she is audacious and fearless about what she wants makes her character worthy of profound study.
Not just Jane, Bronte had effortlessly made all the characters come alive. They are passionate, memorable and complex to an extent that the reader naturally connects with them and even cares for them. The dark, angst-driven, eternally pessimistic, but warm nature of the male lead beautifully complements the confident, independent persona of the female.
The romantic saga between Jane and Edward Rochester is what adorns this timeless classic. The palpable tension, little moments the two characters share, and the way their relation slowly progresses, makes the book much more riveting.
However, there were phases where one character was drowning in absolute sorrow and the other one was in paradise, one was perpetually agitated while another is indecisive. During those phases, the reader struggles to keep up with everything going on in the story.
From a critical perspective, the story is saturated with the surrealism of classic fantasies and ends on a typical happily-ever-after note, which makes it a little too perfect of a read, even borderline unrealistic. But then, that’s Jane Eyre for you — the beautiful belief of true love.
In the end, it is Charlotte Bronte’s language and expression which makes the difference. Her patience in revealing the suspense, her gracefulness in handling the intimate scenes, her provoking exploration of the inevitable truth, and her artistic acumen to create a powerful heroine, Jane — all such elements come together to make this book a worthwhile read.
Jane Eyre has got everything — it inveighs and expounds on every possible subject which makes it a thoroughly refreshing read. At times, it does get beguilingly saddening or brilliantly bemusing. Still, it’s an assurance that Jane Eyre will reward its readers with one of the finest literary experiences of history!
Editor’s Notes: Vidisha, though has won the contest, still has a long way to go to view a book from the eyes of a critic and convey an unbiased opinion of it. A good diction, nonetheless! If I look at her write-up critically, then she needs to work on structuring her thoughts in a logical manner — one that builds up next idea on the previous one. Also, she needs to work upon how the book transformed her personally.
Parts of the review have been edited to fit the personality of the website’s content. There were blocks of text which have been broken down into smaller ones to make better sense, and also rearranged a bit.
Vidisha! Hope you’re taking notes. 🙂