The Classics Club created Monthly Meme to bring members of the club closer together using various discussion topics. A new question is asked each month pertaining to the classics, and bloggers are given a chance to weigh in on their own blog as well as others. Below is this months question as well as my response.
What is your favorite classic book? Why?
My favorite classic book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’ll admit that I finally read it because the movie was about to come out. I’ve made a point for years to always read the book before watching the movie – unless I wasn’t aware of it being a book.
I experienced some major Brontë shunning after hearing she had a negative opinion of Jane Austen. I decided to show Charlotte who was boss when finally deciding to reading the book by using the Austen flower bookmark I got in Bath. Charlotte decided to show me who was boss by writing Jane Eyre.
There are books that you like, and then there are books that you love, and I LOVE Jane Eyre. The main thing I love about it is how Jane is able to manage on her own, only take what she needs, if even that, and she stands up for herself when the situation calls for it. Some say she goes overboard, and while I cannot entirely disagree I will say that I prefer her going overboard instead of the female characters who don’t stand up for themselves and get placed in impossible situations because of it.
It humors me how Charlotte wasn’t a fan of Austen, yet Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice have a lot in common in regards to standing up for themselves and not accepting what is expected of them. To “get back at” Charlotte for creating such a wonderful novel, I will admit that Pride and Prejudice is my second favorite classic. If you wonder why my favorites aren’t the other way around, look to the men who compliment the two female protagonists. While I adore Darcy, he is no Rochester. There are similarities, yes, but there is a ferocity in Rochester and a “mad woman in the attic” history that takes him a step beyond what Austen did with Darcy.
I could go on and on about why I love this novel, and perhaps one day I will, but for now let me leave you with a quote from Jane Eyre.
Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!