This girl and I go waaaaaaaay back.
I talk about it in my introductory post, but Jane Eyre changed my life because she really was unlike anyone I’d ever read. She was plain, definitely not pretty, but it didn’t really matter to her because she knew she was a smart and independent woman. After living through a childhood filled with mental, physical, and spiritual abuse, she makes it her top priority in life to maintain her self-respect and dignity. I love how much the book focuses on her strength of character, but I also really like how vulnerable she is shown to be when it comes to Mr. Rochester. While her self-respect and dignity are what make her a model individual, it’s her vulnerabilities that make her relatable. I believe this is a big reason why so many readers (myself included) continue to idolize Jane’s character. Having an independent mind and strong will are important for one’s character, but it’s just as important to stay in touch with your emotions, especially in the face of love and other adventures. Whether you love her or hate her is irrelevant to Jane because she makes it very clear from the get-go that she doesn’t need anyone’s approval. This character is an icon of proto-feminist literature, but for me, she was (and remains) the ultimate hero.