TITLE : Manga Classics : Jane Eyre
AUTHOR : Charlotte Bronte
AUTHOR & STORY ADAPTATION : Crystal S Chan
ART : SunNeko Lee
GENRE : Manga/Graphic Novel/Sequential Art, Classics, Historical Fiction , Romance
FBRC RATING : 4.5 Stars
As an orphaned child, Jane Eyre is first cruelly abused by her aunt, then cast out and sent to a charity school. Though she meets with further abuse, she receives an education, and eventually takes a job as a governess at the estate of Edward Rochester. Jane and Rochester begin to bond, but his dark moods trouble her. When Jane uncovers the terrible secret Rochester has been hiding, she flees and finds temporary refuge at the home of St. John Rivers.
FBRC REVIEW :
Jane Eyre has always been on my radar but I never seem to pick it up for some strange reason. I really wanted to read the original before I got into the Manga edition but I didn’t have the time to read the original before reading the Manga. So here I am diving straight into the adapted version of the original hoping it will be an enjoyable experience. I have to say I loved the Manga and wouldn’t have minded it be longer. I enjoyed the illustrations, the characters, and now I can’t wait to read the original book.
Jane Eyre was the perfect amount of demure and feisty that is a rarity for women of that time. She is independent, passionate, speaks her mind, does not tolerate nonsense from people. She is also someone who is strong, holds onto her faith, tries to be better and also serve without judgment. I found her to be the perfect heroine for this romantic novel. I loved her and wanted her to find her happiness however she chooses it to be.
Rochester is an interesting guy. I loved how despite their social standing and the class differences they seemed to have found one another. He was quirky, moody and handsome. I liked how he was portrayed and the illustrations were amazing. Rochester loved Jane but seemed to be having difficulties dealing with his baggage from his past. The worry of it, the pain and distress he seems to be in are depicted very well in the Manga.
The story is said in the first person and so we have the POV of Jane. This makes readers not understand the thought processes happening through some of the other characters. But I still believe it helps us understand her emotions and her reasons for her actions throughout the book.
The other characters in the book are also depicted effectively. The book has a lot of themes that need further discussion. The social hierarchy and the class system is very prevalent and creates a lot of pressure on the interaction between people of these classes. The idea of having interaction between people of various social classes and being friendly with them is just appalling. How money and your position in society can determine one’s worth is apparent in the book. The idea of marrying to secure your social standing and making sure the family status is maintained is also very well portrayed in the story.
Faith is also presented in various circumstances to help us understand how despite the unfavorable conditions they have to live in the source of comfort or the ray of hope seems to be in the power of a higher being and mercy. Helen Burns and St.John hold onto their faith and strive for being better regardless of the devastation they have to deal with in their life. In all these situations we see Jane struggling to accept their way of thinking in the midst of turmoil. I found the stark differences in the belief system and values to be quite interesting. The idea of morality and how one needs to accept the rules of the society that defines morality for the characters.
The gender relationships, expectations, and destiny also play vital role in the story. Jane and Rochester’s relationship will be considered by society to be inappropriate. People are expected to have similar statuses to engage in a relationship or the prospect of it. Governesses cannot engage in relationship with their master nor can they interact freely with them. We get to see how Rochester himself had these views and how he overcomes these and has remorse for the thoughts. The social conditioning of the characters are evident in the story and in the interactions as well.
Overall the Manga did well to engage and entertain and invoke curiosity in the reader with its visual story-telling to involve the readers emotionally. I loved the Manga and now I really want to read the original story in its entirety. I am sure I will enjoy it more once I get all the story and the little tidbits that make up the whole novel for a more engrossing experience. I have given the book 4.5 stars and will probably get a full 5 stars after I read the original.
This is a book about love, duty, social classes, morality, and destiny. If you love classics and you enjoy Manga this book would be a perfect combo to take with you. Highly recommend!!!