jane eyre

Wasikowska-janeeyre-firstlookbadq

This is a first look of the latest film adaptation of Jane Eyre via Focus Features/BBC Films. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this, first because its directed by Cary Fukunaga (writer/director of Sin Nombre), who said that the movie will focus on the gothic nuances of the novel, and also because of its stellar cast. A dark and moody Jane Eyre? Yes, please.

Now about the novel. I finally finished (re)reading Jane Eyre last night. I say *re* in parenthesis because I first read it in high school and I couldn't remember much of it except that I loved the romance and the way it was written. Did I even finish reading the book? I honestly don't know but I obviously didn't give it the attention that it deserves.

I'm sure there are hundreds of essays and dissertations written about Jane Eyre, so I'll spare you one. The thing that struck me the most though, while reading it, was the difference between the image of Rochester that I've kept in my mind and the Rochester in the novel. I've always viewed him as this mysterious, brooding, and devilishly handsome hero who would do anything for Jane when in fact he is anything but. He is mysterious and brooding, yes, but he is definitely not that handsome and one could say that he is too calculating, even condescending, towards Jane. I found myself thinking, "was this really the Rochester that I loved all those years ago?"

Of course I was a naive teenager who desperately wanted to fall in love so that might have colored my perception then. Needless to say, towards the end of the novel, Rochester redeemed himself in my eyes, not because of anything that he did but because it was his love that Jane chose. She saw all the flaws in his character (literally and figuratively) and yet she came back to him, this time as his partner and equal. And ultimately, the narrative is really about Jane, her journey from being an orphan who didn't have control over her life to being a woman who knew what she wanted and fought for it.

That said, did any of you read this novel or watch one of its film adaptations? What did you think of the story? I'm especially curious to know your opinion about Rochester who, along with Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff, has been dubbed as one of the "literary crushes". In fact, I read somewhere that Twilight's Edward was inspired by him, though I don't see any similarities except their first name and it makes me cringe that people are comparing a classic like Jane Eyre to a teenage vampire romance series, but that's another story altogether.

8 comments:

  1. Jane Eyre is one my favorites. If you ever get the chance to read The Wide Sargasso Sea, I'd recommend it. You'd probably read it in a day. It's simply stunning prose.

    I have yet to see a film adaptation of Jane Eyre that is gothic enough.

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  2. Hi Tien,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I just looked up The Wide Sargasso Sea. So its a prequel to Jane Eyre? I'm really intrigued now and will pick it up for sure :)

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  3. Yeah, it is. It's really beautiful, and gives an entirely different perspective.

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  4. I had no idea a new adaptation was being released! I am so excited. I must have read the novel 10-15 times already :)

    And blech to saying Mr. Rochester is Edward's precursor! I mean I *guess* I can see the similarities -- they are both a little controlling/into witholding the truth, a little broody (though only one of them is a creepy stalker) -- but their comparison by nature also begs a comparison between Jane and Bella, which is laughable, so I prefer not to go there in the first place!

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  5. ha i have nearly every version on dvd. thats exciting.

    also i'm sorry, i've been working out the kinks w the new design!

    heres the link for the shirt..its so cute!

    http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&navAction=jump&id=18027938&search=true&isProduct=true&parentid=SEARCH+RESULTS&color=004

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  6. anjali, don't even get me started on bella and her endless whining! ha. laughable indeed. and you're right about the creepy stalker part, i just don't get the obsession.

    abby, thanks for the link! you have almost all the version, wow.

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  7. I am wholeheartedly with you on Rochester being condescending and calculating. Manipulative, even.

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  8. holly, i'm glad you agree. he's all of the above, though i still love him :P

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