Thursday, 7 April 2011

Jane Eyre: Introduction

Today I'm introducing a new series I'll be writing for the next few weeks. I'm not sure how many posts it will be, how often I will share on it, and how many other posts will be placed in between. I did however want to start off with this post to just introduce it and let you know where I'm coming from.

About a year and a half ago when I was almost finished school, I read A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille, which I would recommend to students and parents alike. It's an awesome book authored by the founder of George Wythe University and it's all about teaching a new generation of leaders. It's faith based, compares public, home and private education, and focuses on teaching children through mentoring and the classics. It's about teaching children not what to think, but how to think. This is the book that inspired me to read and study classics.

Right now, I'm studying Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It's going much slower than I had hoped with all the different things I have going on right now, and I'm not quite half through, but it has already made me think deeply about so many different things. This series will be a discussion of my thoughts. I don't know how it will go or what kind of feedback I will get, but I want to encourage you to study and to think.

I'm also planning on approaching this in a way that may be unpopular and I want to explain why that is. Although the first few topics I will be discussing are faith-based, I don't want to look at them from a strictly Christian/Biblical perspective, although I will do that. I want to consider human reasoning as well. I want to consider matters from different perspectives. Why is this?

I think very often as Christians, when asked what we believe about something start off with something like "Well, the Bible says. . . ." I'm not necessarily saying this approach is wrong, but sometimes what the Bible says is not actually what we believe, or want to believe. We may believe that what the Bible says is right and true, but we don't necessarily like it. We wish it were different. We are humans and by nature we don't always agree with or want what is right and true, although we should. Also, when you enter into discussions with unbelievers, "The Bible says. . ." isn't going to cut it because they don't believe in it. You have to convince them of your reasoning otherwise.

As I've been thinking through the issues of Jane Eyre, I have been reminded what God's Word has to say about things. But in my heart, I want it to be different. I want to believe that a child's bitterness and resentment is justified by her pain and unfair treatment. And in some ways, I believe I can look at scripture and rightly do that. In some ways I can't.

I haven't embarked on this study to believe, think, or feel all the right things. I have embarked on this journey to learn how to think, to form my own opinions and ideas, to look at life from a different perspective, and perhaps to draw some conclusions, although I don't think I will reach many.

I invite you to join in the discussion, or to begin your own journey into the classics. What I will be sharing on here will likely be general discussions that people can understand without having read the book. I'll avoid giving away major plot details, especially later on, although I have no idea how far I'll go. Also, I haven't watched the new movie or trailer. I want to read and appreciate the book for what it is first. If you join the discussion, please don't give away any details.

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