What are the popular elements that make the novel "Jane Eyre" novel so interesting to the reader?
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Jane is an admirable character because she comes from nothing and makes herself into someone worth emulating. While other women of her time are "settling" in some way (some for less, some for much less), Jane has set a high standard for her own behavior and expects others to treat her with the same sense of respect. She knows her place, and she is content there. For someone who is "just a governess," she sure experiences a lot of things and has an impact on many people. To some degree, then, while we're glad we're not her, we also kind of wish we were.
As ms-mcgregor comments, apart from the appeal of the gothic terror in Thornfield, what makes this novel enduring and so popular is the story of Jane Eyre herself - how she begins from low circumstances and then finally reaches a place of happiness - both personally, socially and emotionally - by the end of the novel. The novel charts the various ups and downs of this journey, and the method of narration in the novel - retrospective first person narration - helps us to feel intimately connected with Jane as she experiences the various events that make up this journey. Therefore we as a reader are profoundly connected with the protagonist, which makes her story very important to us, and helps us to trace our own "journeys" in our lives.
The novel contains many popular elements of the Gothic novel such as mystery, horror, and the classic medieval castle setting. The story of Jane Eyre is also very appealing —the rise of a poor orphan girl against overwhelming odds, whose love and determination eventually redeem a tormented hero. Yet, the novel also has serious things to say about issues that are still popular today: the relations between men and women, women's equality, the realization of self, and the nature of true love. So the novel appeals not only to the audience’s heart but also to their heads. That's why the novel has been, and continues to be, popular since the day it was published.
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