Monday, September 22, 2014

Jane Eyre Read Along Week 1

I am excited that the Read Along has begun and I am reading Jane Eyre! This week’s questions are brought to us by my read - along cohost Maria of A Night's Dream of Books.

Our questions, which I will answer together; are as follows:

What do you know about this novel
and its author?

Have you ever read it before, or
is this your first reading?

Have you seen any of the TV 
or movie versions?

Jane Eyre is one of the books that has been on my radar for a very long time. Indeed this novel has been on my “lifetime reading plan” for years. I have not previously read any of the works written by the Bronte family but once again, I have wanted to do so for a long time.

My expectations for the work are grounded on what I have heard and read from others. This book seems like a really important and esteemed novel that is a must read for anyone interested in great literature. In addition, based upon the movie version that I have seen, as well as the opinions of others, my general expectation is that this is also darkly atmospheric tale.

I have only seen the 1942 film version staring Joan Fontain and Orson Wells. It has been a few years since I have last viewed it, but I remember it being a really good film. I recall that Orson Wells’s performance being extraordinary as he was perfectly cast. I hope to re - watch it during the read along. If I do so I will try to put up an extra post on it.

We will be reading Chapters 1 – 5 for next week. Our questions, courtesy of Maria are below. Feel free to answer as many or few as you want to. I can see how one may want to wander all six or as little as one. I am the kind of blogger who might just take a single one and write 2000 words it!

The novel opens on a very dreary, rainy November afternoon.  How do you think this contributes to the general mood of the first chapter?

What literary function do curtains and draperies have in the opening chapters?

Mrs. Reed's cruelty would have been noticed and reported, had it taken place in our contemporary society.  What factors do you think might have contributed to its tacit acceptance at the time?

Bessie's attitude toward Jane is inconsistent; at times, she's kind toward the child, while at others, she scolds her unfairly.  Why do you think she acts this way?

Jane speaks more like an adult than a child, especially in the scene with Mrs. Reed, after Brocklehurst leaves.  Do you think this is because she's a very
 intelligent, precocious child, or is this simply an unrealistic aspect of the novel?

How did Bronte show hypocritical vs. true Christian behavior in the characters of Mr. Brocklehurst and Miss Temple?

Please do not forget to use the below widget to link your post so we all can read it.

Post & Reading Schedule

Week 1: Sept. 22nd

Reading: Chapters 1 - 5
Thoughts on Reading Jane Eyre 
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 2: Sept. 29th

Reading: Chapters 6 -10

Discussion Questions: Chapters 1 - 5
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 3: Oct. 6th

Reading: Chapters 11 - 14
Discussion Questions: Chapters 6 - 10
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 4: Oct. 13th

Reading: Chapters 15 - 19
Discussion Questions: Chapters 11 - 14
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 5: Oct. 20th

Reading: Chapters 20 - 23
Discussion Questions: Chapters 15 - 19
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 6: Oct. 27th

Reading: Chapters 24 - 28
Discussion Questions: Chapters 20 - 23
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 7: Nov. 3rd

Reading: Chapters 29 - 33
Discussion Questions: Chapters 24 - 28
Discussion Question for Next Week:
A Night's Dream of Books

Week 8: Nov. 10th

Reading: Chapters 34 - 38
Discussion Questions: Chapters 29 - 33
Discussion Questions for Next Week:
Babbling Books

Week 9: Nov. 17th

Discussion Questions, Chapters 34 - 38

Week 9: Nov. 21st

Book Reviews Posted


Caroline said...

I actually really liked the movie version with Michael Fassbender. I've seen the old version too though.
I love the opening and the dreary atmosphere.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Loving this idea, that you give such concise questions. I look forward to following its progress.

James said...

Thanks for cohosting this read-along. Reading the novel brings back fond memories and reminds me what a great read it still is.

Maria Behar said...

Hey, Brian!

I see that you're already enjoying this great classic! You're correct in stating that it's a must read for anyone who loves great literature.

This novel has remained one of my favorite classics (perhaps I should really THE favorite) since the first time I read it. This is my second complete reading of it, but I have skimmed through it to re-read favorite passages throughout the years. From now on, every time I open it, it will be to re-read it from cover to cover! It has already begun to affect me as profoundly (if not more so) as it did when I first read it.

Thank you so much for co-hosting this read-along with me!! : )

Suko said...

Brian Joseph, this will certainly be interesting to follow, judging from the questions. I look forward to reading the discussions about Jane Eyre. Interesting that Erica Jong wrote the (new) intro! I wonder what she says?!

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Caroline - I am going to get in as many versions as I can for the event. Stay tuned as I will get a post up on it.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Tracy - These first to sets are from Maria.

I do think that they will lead to some great posts.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi James - Everyone has such high praise for this book! As I am progressing through it I am beginning to understand why.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Maria - Since I wrote the above I am beginning to see the enormous appeal that this book holds.

It will be interesting to read your impressions for the 2nd time around. I think that reading often yields different impressions.

Thank you for co - hosting!

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Suko- I do not have the version with the Erica Jong Introduction. i wonder if anyone has it or has read it?

The Bookworm said...

Great set of questions here to inspire interesting discussions! I purposely haven't watched any of the film versions because I want to read the book first.
Happy reading!

Guy Savage said...

I won't be joining in, but I'll read your post. Jane Eyre is an all-time favourite novel of mine, & I try and reread it about every 5 years.

JacquiWine said...

I really liked the recent film adaptation with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender in the lead roles. There's a kind of restrained intensity to their performances, and the film looks beautiful; the scenes have a slightly hazy look, and everything seems tinged with a washed-out colour palette. I much preferred it to other adaptations I've seen (including the Welles and Fontaine version).

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Naida - I sometimes avoid films with hopes of reading the book first. Sometimes with the classics however I plunge on to the film anyway. Sometimes it is nice to see a film right after one reads the book.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Guy - I definitely understand time constraints.
Every five years is actually a neat way to revisit a book!

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Jacqui - I am convinced that I will watch that version probably first. Sometimes though, I am just a sucker for all things Orson Wells.

Violet said...

I'm glad you're finally reading a Bronte novel. :) I think the best adaptation is the 2006 BBC series with Ruth Gordon and Toby Stephens. I'm sure you'll find much to think about and analyse in the book.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Violet - I will hopefully be checking out some screen versions of Jane Eyrie very soon.

I am beginning to progress through the book and indeed, there is a lot to ponder!

Harvee said...

I really ought to read this book again to try to understand Mr. Rochester....

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Harvee - As I move further and further in there are indeed lots of enigmas.

So many books, so little time said...

I can't take part as I am snowed down with txt books however, I just wanted to keep track and say this is one I haven't read, yet. I haven't seen any of the tv ones either.


Brian Joseph said...

Hi Lainy - Thanks for stopping by. I understand being busy so no need to explain.

You and I seem to be the only ones who have not previously read this book.

Stay tuned.

Stephanie Faris said...

What a great idea! I haven't read that book or seen a movie version of it.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Stephanie - Thank you for sopping by.

I must give credit for most of the plan to Maria. It is indeed a great idea that is very planned out.

I am progressing through the books and I find it well worth the read so far.

JaneGS said...

Hope you're enjoying it--one of the best books ever written!

Brian Joseph said...

Hi jane - I am enjoying it so far. It really is a powerful and important work.

Brona said...

This is one of those special books for me.
My first read was at age 11 or 12.

I've read it several times since then, finding new insights and layers each time.

The only part I still struggle with is when Jane runs away (I won't say anymore since you have a while to go before you get to that point!)

I'll be curious to check our the questions and answers for that section.

Good luck

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Brona - I am have actually gotten ahead in the book and I am seriously struggling on what you are referring to.

I will have to say a lot about it when we get to it!

I seem to be one of the few that is not doing a reread of this.