The second volume of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is still strictly from the perspective of Jane, herself; however, the reader gets a few more stories from other characters as they are told to Jane. The most important one being the secret Mr. Rochester finally reveals to Jane. Since others may not have read this novel, I won’t give it away. The one oddity about Mr. Rochester’s story is that I found it to be humorous. I’m curious if any other readers of Jane Eyre found something comical about this aspect of his past. For some reason, I’m not sure I was suppose to be laughing. As wonderful of a story as it is, I didn’t see it as a funny one – except for this part.
The brilliance Bronte puts into Jane as a character is in her ability to make Jane both reserved and passionate, both traditional and rebellious – at the same time. Jane, herself, gives the reader a clue to this part of her personality:
I know no medium: I never in my life have known any medium in my dealings with positive, hard characters, antagonistic to my own, between absolute submission and determined revolt. I have always faithfully observed the one, up to the very moment of bursting, sometimes with volcanic vehemence, into the other…
While the novel is a classic and has been made into at least a few movies, I was not aware of how Jane’s “romances” played out. I do know that it’s not simply modern day mystery novels that can keep me guessing on the edge of my seat. Nineteenth century British romances can do the same.
Here is my post for Jane Eyre – Volume the First.