The central romance in Jane Eyre resolves happily. (Do I need to mark that as a spoiler? Surely not! Surely, if you haven’t read Charlotte Bronte’s triumph of a novel by this time, you’ve at least watched a movie version?) Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre overcome every obstacle, including those within themselves, to meet as equals at last in the eyes of all, marry, produce offspring, and live happily ever after. Good for them. Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2013: BY CHARITY BISHOP
Have you ever despaired of ever seeing a “perfect” adaptation to one of your favorite stories?
Jane Eyre is one of those over-filmed classics. Every decade or so, a new screenwriter tackles the gothic romance full of insanity, devotion, and a choice between faith and desire. Yet, no adaptation has ever truly captured the nuances of the book, except for a little-known, short-lived (fortunately, available as an audio CD) Broadway musical. There, audiences can find the richness of Jane’s character, her desire to “wander,” and feel her raging indecision over pursuing the wishes of her heart and abiding by her moral integrity, set to music. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2013: BY CHRISTY McDOUGALL
For my literary villain, I offer a minister and aspiring missionary who wants nothing more than to do what he is called to do; a man called good by all the people who know him; a man who believes serving God as a missionary is the greatest thing anyone can do; a man willing to give up everything important to him to go out and live, serve, and die in India, doing the work of God; a man determined to help preserve the virtue of a young woman he knows and admires and offers her the chance to do what is truly noble and serve God by his side. This man is Jane Eyre’s St. John Rivers, one of my least favorite fictional characters of all time. Continue reading
MARCH / APRIL 2013: BY SHANNON H.
Edward Rochester laid in bed face up with his only hand on his chest, feeling the pulsating beats of his heart. This night was his last as a bachelor, for he was to be married the next day to Miss Jane Eyre. He fixed his blurry gaze at the ceiling. He could not sleep. An overwhelming sensation of excitement and fear gripped him; he was looking forward to finally being happily married, but he was still afraid. Would Jane reject him again? Of course not! He shook the thought from his mind. She loved him too much to reject him this time.
It seemed as if it were only yesterday that a plain governess came to reside at his home for the purpose of educating his ward, Adele. He remembered accusing her of bewitching his horse. The mere thought made him chuckle a bit. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2011: BY KATIE S.
1934 Version (Colin Clive, Virginia Bruce)
Short, sweet and to the point, the oldest available version with sound, it is more slapstick comedy than Victorian Gothic. Jane is quite pretty, while Edward is far more Darcy than Rochester. A silly, but cute little film bearing little to no resemblance to Charlotte Bronte’s novel. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2011: BY CHARITY BISHOP
Literature is full of wonderful, selfless men… and then there is Edward Rochester, the dark anti-hero in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Ill-mannered, gruff, and deceitful, he embodies the definition of what women should not want in a man, yet we are drawn to him. Is he worthy of our pity and admiration or should we hold him in contempt for his intention to manipulate Jane? Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2011: BY KATHARINE TAYLOR
At a turning point in plot and character development in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet stares up in “earnest contemplation” at a portrait of Mr. Darcy hanging in his home. It’s a moment that represents true seeing—she has misjudged him and is beginning to realize her mistake fully. The painting is described in the novel as “a striking resemblance” of the handsome Mr. Darcy, notably wearing a smile on his face instead of the usual expression of disapproval that has characterized him throughout the book.
Pride and Prejudice is not the only classic novel to use art at key moments to illuminate the characters’ thoughts or to provide a visual symbol of conflict. Continue reading