Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

-Jane Eyre

‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, a classic novel that has withstood the test of time, has been read, reread and appreciated by many literature and classic novel lovers over the years. It is an extremely rare novel that manages to lure readers by virtue of its charm alone, despite not having much going into it in terms of the overall plot. Despite its complexity, though, the heart and soul of this book is the story of Jane Eyre, a principled young woman who has seen a lot of suffering.

Charlotte Bronte was an English novelist and poet, eldest of three sisters who were also famous novelists. ‘Jane Eyre’ is her most impactful novel which she released in the year 1847. Charlotte Bronte faced a lot of difficulties in her life and she found a way to express her grief and come out of it through writing. She died at the age of 38, with her unborn child, due to suspected phthisis. Her novel, ‘Jane Eyre’ has caught the attention of many critics and literature patrons.

The plot of the book talks about how Jane Eyre, an orphan of no beauty, wealth, or social standing, is taken in by her relatives, the Reeds, who treat her with contempt and even cruelty. When she’s old enough Jane is sent to Lowood School, much to her relief. But the food is foul, several of the teachers are cruel, and sanitation is so bad that an epidemic causes several deaths among the pupils. A ray of light brightens Jane’s life in the form of Helen, her best friend but Helen succumbs to the epidemic while Jane survives. Jane continues in Lowood for eight years, six as a student and two as a teacher. She yearns for a change and takes up a job as a governess to Adele Varens, the ward of the master of Thornfield, Edward Rochester, a dark, brooding Byronic man living in a seemingly haunted house. Jane finds herself falling secretly in love with Mr Rochester and when he proposes to her, surprising her, she accepts willingly. Their wedding ceremony is stopped short when a man interrupts them claiming that Rochester is already married. Jane decides to leave him and flees, penniless and struggling since she feels humiliated. The events that follow lead to a series of discoveries, tales of empathy and friendship, struggles faced by a woman, Jane’s dilemma, misfortunes that befall Mr Rochester after Jane leaves him and the latent yet passionate love between Jane and Mr Rochester.

I do not have a particular genre of books that I prefer over others and hence, I decided to read this timeless classic, having received many positive reviews about it. What struck me the most about this novel is the style of writing used by Bronte, which combines a certain authenticity with good quality writing.The manner in which Bronte has explicitly explained what all Jane underwent made me feel that I was a part of Jane’s story as I leafed through the pages. The book taught me a lot about friendship, empathy, patience and love. Jane’s character impressed me the most.  Despite her social powerlessness Jane is one of the strongest women characters in fiction and by sticking to her principles she is rewarded with true love. This book, I believe brings out the struggles faced by a woman and her will to overcome them. It is one of the most powerful novels written by one of the most prolific classic writers. To me, it is an inspirational novel that each person perceives in his or her own way. I feel that this timeless classic is a must read for all those literature and classic loves out there and also those who want to be introduced to the world of classic literature.

Srishti M

I HEPP ‘N

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The Sandman-Preludes and Nocturnes (Book 1)

 

 

 

The Sandman Preludes Nocturnes

The Sandman Preludes Nocturnes

The Sandman- Preludes and Nocturnes is a dark fantasy novel, the first book in the Sandman series of graphic novels authored by the Hugo prize awardee Neil Gaiman with the art work contributed by Sam Keith. The Sandman series was the critically acclaimed work by Neil Gaiman that got him established as one of the greatest fantasy writers. Some of his other works are, ‘Good Omens’, co-written with the late author Terry Pratchett, ‘Neverwhere’, ‘Anansi Boys’, etc.

The Sandman, as the title suggests is the story of Morpheus, an endless, more commonly known as Sandman or Dream, the ruler of the dream realm. He is the sibling of the other endless’, Death, Delirium, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Destiny.

Precludes and Nocturnes starts out with the capture of Morpheus by the magician, Roderick Burgess. Burgess with his son, Alex and his occult followers, perform a ritual in hopes of capturing Death, Morpheus’ elder sister in order to bargain for immortality but mistakenly, bind Dream, instead. For decades, Morpheus stays in captivity while humanity suffers with the absence of the ruler of dreams. Eventually, Morpheus breaks out in 1988, after 72 years in captivity, incredibly weakened. The story then takes us through the journey of Sandman, through his quest for revenge and recovery of his totems of power which had been scattered in the duration of his imprisonment.

The story is an incredibly well researched and well written piece of literature. It is a perfect blend of lore and fiction, a must read for all the mythology enthusiasts out there. We come across many popular figures, biblical and fictional like Cain and Abel, ucifer, Beelzebub, John Constantine and urban legends like Dr.Dee, an embodiment of the popular John Dee.

The most incredible part of the graphic novel, which I particularly enjoyed was the last chapter, where the author introduces Death, to the readers. Where most pieces of literature portray Death, personified or otherwise, as a negative character/phenomenon, Neil Gaiman has put forth a different view, something that would make us ponder over our irrational fear of death and that land of the unknown beyond that.

He is of the opinion that Death, like any of us, is just doing her job, a dirty work that no one else is willing to do. While we worship the God who gives life, why do we fear Death? A valid argument against mankind’s notions of life and death.

‘I find myself wondering about humanity,’ he says in the voice of Sandman, ‘Their attitude to my sister’s gift is so strange. Why do they fear the sunless lands? It is as natural to die as it is to be born. But they fear her. Dread her. Feebly they attempt to placate her. They do not love her.’

Precludes and Nocturnes, is a thoroughly enjoyable book, given the reader has interest in the genre and doesn’t have a sensitive stomach. It is certainly one of the most satisfying pieces of literature that I have come across. And like most Gaiman literature, Preludes and Nocturnes is one of a kind.

Sujitha Prabhakar

II HEPP N