Mixed Feelings

The love/hate reading experience that first came to mind was when I undertook Jane Eyre. What an experience that was. I’ll be honest, though, and admit that my “hatred” (a bit strong) for Jane Eyre far outweighs my love for it. It will take up much less time for me to explain the things I enjoyed about reading it, so I’ll start there.

I was going to be a sophomore in high school and still fully committed to the idea that I was supposed to love and value all classic literature. Jane Eyre certainly fit into this category, so I willed myself to find the beauty in the author’s ability to write long, descriptive paragraphs and a mildly unsettling plot. It was interesting, I will say that, and I can’t call it boring, so I suppose I loved that as well. Personally, I find there are few things worse than being bored by the book I’m reading.

Now for the hatred. As previously mentioned, one of the things I really struggled with was the long, long descriptions of chimneys or gardens or peeling wallpaper. I find beauty in being able to write paragraphs like that well, but I don’t particularly enjoy reading them. I couldn’t understand why anyone would ever take that much time to describe random objects. Perhaps the thing I disliked the most was the main character herself. I found Jane extremely unlikeable. She was quiet, stand-offish and truthfully not all that interesting. I didn’t believe her love story, I didn’t buy into the book’s ending, and I had absolutely no common ground with any of the characters.

There isn’t really much connection between what I liked and disliked, they were all mostly personal preferences about random things. Sorry for all you Jane Eyre lovers out there, she’s not my favorite.

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