For the past six months, I spent a lot of time reading and studying Jane Eyre. With being busy and reading other books at the same time, this study got drawn out a lot longer than I would have liked it to, but it was a rewarding six months. I have shared some of my thoughts on the book on this blog previously, and by clicking the Jane Eyre tag at the bottom of the article, you can see all the other ones.
While reading, I worked through some of my own thoughts on whether a child's behaviour is justified by her authority's actions, the effectiveness of discipline, love being blind and pondering through some of my favourite conversations and quotes. I think some of my ideas have changed somewhat by now. At the end, I worked through two sets of discussion questions related to the plot, characters, issues of feminism, self-respect, social status, Christian morality, salvation, love and marriage.
One of the biggest challenges at the end was determining Jane's philosophy of God. Then I had to determine the philosophy of love and marriage for several main characters as well as develop my own. If any of my readers express a curiosity in it, I might share it in a later post. I also discussed the importance of marriage, the rules that govern it, and how it impacts society among many other issues.
Literature has so much to offer us. Having studied one book on my own with a little help, I have determined that the study of the classics is worth it. Yes, I had to think hard, and there's times I just wanted to skip over things. But I think we learn best when we are inspired to learn, when we choose to think and answer those tough questions, rather than when we are forced to.
So pick up a classic and be inspired to learn and I'll enjoy Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.