Jane Eyre Book vs Movie (2011)

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**Warning: Spoilers for both book and movie!**

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)

Jane Eyre directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (2011)

I have read this book and seen this movie before and both are worth your time! There is a reason why this book is a favorite of so many and why there have been so many adaptations of it! This movie in particular, I highly recommend! After reading the book, it felt rushed at times. But back when I saw it, not having read the book, it didn’t feel that way. There is just so much to the book, that it’s inevitable for the movie to feel like it glosses over things at times. None the less, if you haven’t seen or read this book, I highly recommend them! And it is best to go into both, not having the plot spoiled for you. Though, this book has been out for like 150 years and it seems like most people know the story already. However, I’m sure there are more people than I might realize who may have heard the title, but don’t actually know what it is about.

Summary

An orphaned girl is sent to a strict boarding school. She befriends a fellow student named Helen, who ends up being sick and dies. When Jane is done being a student, she teaches for two years before leaving to be a governess at Thornfield Hall. She teaches a young girl who is the ward of Mr. Rochester who is a strange man but he and Jane fall in love. During her time there, strange things happen and she hears disturbing laughs, and even sees a vampire like woman in her room one night. When she and Mr. Rochester are about to get married, she discovers that he is married to a woman who is a lunatic and is locked up in the house. She sometimes escapes though, and it is she Jane has heard and seen.

Jane leaves and spends time teaching with a clergyman. He proposes to her, but she says no. She ultimately ends up returning to Thornfield hall to see what has become of Mr. Rochester. She finds that the house has been burned down by the crazy wife and she herself is dead. Mr. Rochester went blind in the fire, and when Jane returns to him, they proclaim their love and are married happily ever after.

Thoughts on Book

This is my second time reading this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it both times! It is beautifully written; Bronte describes everything in such an evocative way. Whether it is the scenery, a person’s character, or Jane’s inner thoughts. The dialogue is also clever and well written. The story is also unique for a romance, especially for the time I’m sure, with the scary element to it which I loved.

Movie

There have been so many adaptations of this movie! Since the 1930’s there has been at least one per decade! I have seen a few of them and decided to cover the 2011 version. For one, simply because it is the newest. But also, because it is the best one that I have seen, though there is a British mini-series version that has great ratings and is four hours long, so I’m sure that one is a more thorough adaptation. The 1943 version with Orson Welles (and a young Elizabeth Taylor as Helen) is a well loved movie, however I personally don’t like it as much.

This version is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga who directed the latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die!

One of the many reasons I love this adaptation so much, is the casting is so spot on! Everyone is perfect in their roles and embodies their character so well.

Acting

Mia Wasikowska is fantastic as Jane. Jane tends to be a woman of few words, and so much is shown through her facial expressions and attitude. Wasikoska also looks the part, she is of course prettier than book Jane, but still, they did a good job making her look plainer.

Michael Fassbender is Mr. Rochester and despite being too handsome for the role (he is described as an ugly man, though large and strong) he is an incredible actor and brings Mr. Rochester to life.

Judi Dench is the perfect choice for the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax. The movie has the scene in the end when Jane returns to Thornfield and Mrs. Fairfax says that Jane should have talked to her before leaving because Mrs. Fairfax could have helped her. It is a scene that isn’t in the book, but I loved that they added it, showing the bond she and Jane had had and how kind she was. In the book, after Thornfield burns, Mrs. Fairfax and everyone else is sent away and we never hear of her again.

Jamie Bell is Mr. Rivers, the stern clergyman who saves Jane.

Sally Hawkins is in the brief role of Mrs. Reed, but I had to include her because she is incredible in the few scenes she does have!

Jane’s Childhood

The movie follows the book well with what happens when she lives with Mrs. Reed, showing the son, John Reed bullying her and her being punished by being put in the red room where she faints because she was so worked up and scared. From there, she is sent to Lowood Boarding School, which is a strict, charity school for orphan girls. When meeting with the man who runs the school, both book and movie have the great line where he asks Jane where wicked children go and she replies, hell. He then asks what she needs to do in order to make sure she doesn’t go to hell, to which she replies, “I must keep in good health and not die.” An early example of her whit which Mr. Rochester later finds so unique and loves.

The book doesn’t spend too much time in her childhood; however, the movie skips a lot of details about her time at Lowood. She meets Helen while there, and initially befriends her when she sees her reading during their “recess”. The book reads, ““Is your book interesting?” I had already formed the intention of asking her to lend it to me some day.” Helen is a very calm, kind and smart and Jane learns a lot from her and looks up to her. There is also a teacher there named Miss Temple who is kind and befriends Jane and cares deeply for Helen who is sickly. When typhus takes over the school, many girls die, including Helen.

The movie doesn’t have the Miss Temple character, and sort of rushes over their time at Lowood. I don’t mind this though, because it isn’t necessary to get all those details. They show what we do need to know, which is that she received a thorough education while there, that the strictness curbed her passion and attitude, the impact her friendship with Helen had on her, and that she had two years of teaching experience at the end of her time there.

Grace Poole

Even though the trailer of this movie makes it seem like a scary movie, the book was more eerie and chilling than the movie was. Early on, while at Thornfield, she hears a strange, low, mirthless laugh. When asking Mrs. Fairfax about it, she says it’s one of the servants, Grace Poole and says she’s an odd woman. Anytime something suspicious happens, it is said to be Grace Poole. There is a lot of mystery around this woman, Jane at one point hears other servants talking about her, but when they see Jane hears them, they abruptly stop. She also doesn’t understand why Mr. Rochester keeps her around and apparently pays her well, despite her oddities. Not just oddities though, because she also starts a fire in Mr. Rochester’s room.

(Before a governess was officially hired, Mr. Rochester told Mrs. Fairfax to not let the future governess know about Bertha, because he was worried she would quit if she were to know. The staff knew of Bertha, but they weren’t aware it was Rochester’s wife.)

The movie leaves out Grace Poole and doesn’t have as many of the strange things that happen. There is the scene where Adele tells Jane that there is a rumor that there is a vampire woman who haunts the halls of Thornfield, but that’s about it. They do have the fire scene of course, and it is well done.

Of course, we later learn that Grace Poole isn’t the reason for these things but is the woman who looks after Bertha. In both though it is said that Grace sometimes drinks too much gin and when she is passed out, Bertha gets the key and can escape.

Bertha Mason Rochester

Speaking of Bertha, in the book we learn more about Mr. Rochester’s courtship and marriage of her, but the movie tells us the gist of it. That he didn’t know her really and his father arranged the marriage because her family had money. We also learn more about Adele’s mother in the book as well.

But back to Bertha. The creepiest scene in the whole book, isn’t even in this movie! This is the biggest disappointment as far as this adaptation is concerned, at least in my opinion.

Not long before the wedding of Jane and Mr. Rochester, he is out of town doing something and when he returns Jane tells him about the night before. She had been having a strange dream, so that starts the scene, then she awakes from the dream to see there is a lit candle in her room and then notices a woman she has never seen before. The book reads, “There was a light in the dressing-table, and the door of the closet, where, before going to bed, I had hung my  wedding-dress and veil, stood open; I heard a rustling there. I asked, ‘Sophie, what are you doing?’ No one  answered, but a form emerged from the closet; it took the light, held it aloft, and surveyed the garments pendent  from the portmanteau. ‘Sophie! Sophie!’ I again cried: and still it was silent. I had risen up in bed, I bent  forward: first surprise, then bewilderment, came over me; and then my blood crept cold through my veins. Mr.  Rochester, this was not Sophie, it was not Leah, it was not Mrs. Fairfax: it was not—no, I was sure of it, and am  still—it was not even that strange woman, Grace Poole.” “It must have been one of them,” interrupted my  master. “No, sir, I solemnly assure you to the contrary. The shape standing before me had never crossed my  eyes within the precincts of Thornfield Hall before; the height, the contour were new to me.” “Describe it, Jane.”  “It seemed, sir, a woman, tall and large, with thick and dark hair hanging long down her back. I know not what  dress she had on: it was white and straight; but whether gown, sheet, or shroud, I cannot tell.” “

She continues to describe the woman and the whole scene is just so well written and I remember the first time reading it, I found it quite scary! In the movie they show Jane’s distress when she is pacing outside and Mr. Rochester rides up and she talks about how it seems unreal and that he is the most phantom like of all.

Blanche Ingram

After Jane saves Mr. Rochester from the fire, they have an emotionally intimate moment together. The next morning Jane is excited to see him but is told he has gone to a social gathering and is told of a Miss Ingram. In the movie, Mrs. Fairfax says how she thinks he and Miss Ingram will marry and how they have such great chemistry basically. In the book, Jane is jealous at the thought of Blanche Ingram and asks Mrs. Fairfax is she thinks they will marry. Mrs. Fairfax says that she doesn’t think so because of the age difference. Then when the party comes to Thornfield, it reaches a time when Mrs. Fairfax and everyone else does start to assume they will become engaged.

In the movie he says much more which leads us to believe he is interested in Miss Ingram, even calling her his flower at one point. We also see them being playful outside.

In the book, once Jane sees the two of them together, she feels less jealous because she can see that he doesn’t love her. She says, “But I was not jealous: or very rarely;—the nature of the pain I suffered could not be explained by that word.  Miss Ingram was a mark beneath jealousy: she was too inferior to excite the feeling. Pardon the seeming  paradox; I mean what I say. She was very showy, but she was not genuine: she had a fine person, many brilliant  attainments; but her mind was poor, her heart barren by nature: nothing bloomed spontaneously on that soil; no  unforced natural fruit delighted by its freshness. …she did not know the sensations of sympathy and pity; tenderness and truth were not in her. Too  often she betrayed this, by the undue vent she gave to a spiteful antipathy she had conceived against little Adèle:  pushing her away with some contumelious epithet if she happened to approach her; sometimes ordering her from  the room, and always treating her with coldness and acrimony. Other eyes besides mine watched these  manifestations of character—watched them closely, keenly, shrewdly. Yes; the future bridegroom, Mr.  Rochester himself, exercised over his intended a ceaseless surveillance; and it was from this sagacity—this  guardedness of his—this perfect, clear consciousness of his fair one’s defects—this obvious absence of passion  in his sentiments towards her, that my ever-torturing pain arose. I saw he was going to marry her, for family,  perhaps political reasons, because her rank and connections suited him; I felt he had not given her his love, and  that her qualifications were ill adapted to win from him that treasure.”

Later, when Mr. Rochester asks Jane to marry him, in the movie he says Blanche is the machine with no feelings and she isn’t spoken of after. In the book, we learn that Mr. Rochester started a rumor that his fortune wasn’t a third of what people thought it was. Blanche was only interested in him for his money, so when hearing this, she ends things with him. I like that the book explains this. In the movie, even if Blanche is hoity toity and rude, she still isn’t a machine with no feelings. So, it seemed messed up he had been leading her on like that. So the book gives up the clarification that she ended it, just as Mr. Rochester expected she would.

When they are about to be married, Jane asks him why he made a point to make Jane think he was going to marry Blanche. He says that he started to fall for Jane, so he had Blanche and all that come about as a way to see if Jane would be jealous and in hopes that by seeing another woman interested, would make her love him all the more.

Jane and Mr. Rochester

In the book and movie, Mr. Rochester will compare Jane to something other worldly, or like a magical creature of some sort. Jane goes along with it, making for a playful conversation yet spoken so seriously. The book has another scene where they are going into town and they bring Adele. Mr. Rochester is telling Adele that he is going to take Jane to the moon with him, so he can have her to himself. Adele asks questions and Mr. Rochester goes along with this fantasy and it was a fun scene to hear Mr. Rochester’s imagination and how Adele enjoyed it so much.

A scene I liked in both book and movie is when she returns to Thornfield after having gone to visit Mrs. Reed who was dying. In the book, she walks home from town, rather than take a carriage and when he sees her approaching it reads,

“And this is Jane Eyre? Are you coming from Millcote, and on foot? Yes—just one of your tricks: not to send  for a carriage, and come clattering over street and road like a common mortal, but to steal into the vicinage of  your home along with twilight, just as if you were a dream or a shade. What the deuce have you done with  yourself this last month?” “I have been with my aunt, sir, who is dead.” “A true Janian reply! Good angels be  my guard! She comes from the other world—from the abode of people who are dead; and tells me so when she  meets me alone here in the gloaming! If I dared, I’d touch you, to see if you are substance or shadow, you elf!— but I’d as soon offer to take hold of a blue ignis fatuus light in a marsh. Truant! truant!” he added, when he had  paused an instant. “Absent from me a whole month, and forgetting me quite, I’ll be sworn!”

She then tells him that she is strangely glad to be back. This was very pleasant; there is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures and feeling that  your presence is an addition to their comfort.

I think one of the reasons I love that scene so much is because Bronte brings those emotions to life so vividly and the love and comfort Jane feels by those around her. And that’s what a person wants, and that’s what home means.

The scene when he proposes to her is also wonderful in both. Such powerful dialogue spoken by both, and when Wasikowska gives her monologue about speaking to him spirit to spirit, I literally got goosebumps.

When they are engaged, Mr. Rochester wants to buy her new dresses and picks out these colorful ones, to which she says it’s not her style. Basically, saying she is too plain for fancy dresses and jewels. On one hand, I liked that she doesn’t go along with it, and doesn’t change for him. She also goes on too much about how plain she is. When he compliments her looks, she tells him not to lie to her. I get Jane can be very logical, but it also just sounds like the unhealthy attitude woman often have of not believing themselves to be attractive. Earlier on, Jane spends two hours drawing a self-portrait, then two weeks drawing a portrait of what she believes Blanche Ingram must look like. She says, anytime she things Mr. Rochester has in interest in her, she shall compare these two drawings and remind herself that she isn’t attractive enough for a man to be interested in her. Don’t address me as if I were a beauty; I am your plain, Quakerish governess.” “You are a beauty in my eyes,  and a beauty just after the desire of my heart,—delicate and aërial.” “Puny and insignificant, you mean. You are  dreaming, sir,—or you are sneering. For God’s sake don’t be ironical!” “I will make the world acknowledge  you a beauty, too,” he went on, while I really became uneasy at the strain he had adopted, because I felt he was  either deluding himself or trying to delude me. “I will attire my Jane in satin and lace, and she shall have roses  in her hair; and I will cover the head I love best with a priceless veil.” “And then you won’t know me, sir; and I  shall not be your Jane Eyre any longer, but an ape in a harlequin’s jacket—a jay in borrowed plumes. I would as  soon see you, Mr. Rochester, tricked out in stage-trappings, as myself clad in a court-lady’s robe; and I don’t call  you handsome, sir, though I love you most dearly: far too dearly to flatter you. Don’t flatter me.”

She gets on him so much about it, he refers to her as “thing” to which she thinks, “There, you are less than civil now; and I like rudeness a great deal better than flattery. I had rather be  a thing than an angel.” This again though I think goes back to not having self-confidence and not thinking you deserve better. At the same time, I get it though because I am someone who is skeptical of words of flattery. I just think Jane is a bit too extreme at times.

Leaving Mr. Rochester

Yet another powerful moment in both, is after the wedding, when Jane and Mr. Rochester speak and she ends up leaving him. He wants her to live with him and be with him, even if they can’t be legally married. That would make her his mistress though, and after hearing about three previous mistress’ he’d had, she doesn’t want to be in that same position. She would think less of herself if they did that, and she feels that over time, he would also think less of her. I felt the truth of these words; and I drew from them the certain inference, that if I were so far to forget myself  and all the teaching that had ever been instilled into me, as—under any pretext—with any justification—through  any temptation—to become the successor of these poor girls, he would one day regard me with the same feeling  which now in his mind desecrated their memory. I did not give utterance to this conviction: it was enough to  feel it. I impressed it on my heart, that it might remain there to serve me as aid in the time of trial.

The thought of leaving Mr. Rochester and Thornfield is painful, and she wishes there was an easier option. “But, then, a voice within me averred that I could do it and foretold that I should do it. I wrestled with my own  resolution: I wanted to be weak that I might avoid the awful passage of further suffering I saw laid out for me;  and Conscience, turned tyrant, held Passion by the throat, told her tauntingly, she had yet but dipped her dainty foot in the slough, and swore that with that arm of iron he would thrust her down to unsounded depths of agony.  “Let me be torn away,” then I cried. “Let another help me!” “No; you shall tear yourself away, none shall help  you: you shall yourself pluck out your right eye; yourself cut off your right hand: your heart shall be the victim,  and you the priest to transfix it.” “

When she is speaking with him later, she wants to give in and just stay with him. Her inner thoughts read, “ and while he spoke my very conscience and reason turned traitors against me, and charged me  with crime in resisting him. They spoke almost as loud as Feeling: and that clamoured wildly. “Oh, comply!” it  said. “Think of his misery; think of his danger—look at his state when left alone; remember his headlong  nature; consider the recklessness following on despair—soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him  and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?” Still indomitable was  the reply—“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will  respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by  me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no  temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent  are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their  worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane —quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived  opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.” I did.”

In the end, when Jane returns to him and they can now be married, he tells her, “Jane! you think me, I daresay, an irreligious dog: but my heart swells with gratitude to the beneficent God of  this earth just now. He sees not as man sees, but far clearer: judges not as man judges, but far more wisely. I  did wrong: I would have sullied my innocent flower—breathed guilt on its purity: the Omnipotent snatched it  from me. I, in my stiff-necked rebellion, almost cursed the dispensation: instead of bending to the decree, I defied it. Divine justice pursued its course; disasters came thick on me: I was forced to pass through the valley  of the shadow of death. His chastisements are mighty; and one smote me which has humbled me for ever.”

I like that he came to a point on his own, where he was grateful the marriage was stopped and that Jane didn’t simply become his mistress.

St. John Rivers

When Jane leaves, she had a bag with her, but she forgets it in the carriage that takes her into town. She then spends two nights sleeping out in the open and begs for food before coming upon the home of the Rivers family. The brother and two sisters (and their housekeeper) are gathered in their family home because their father has died. St. John rescues Jane, and they help bring her health back. She doesn’t want to be found by Mr. Rochester, so she tells them her name is Jane Elliot. She and the two sisters get along right away and form a close friendship. Whereas St. John is more reserved and seems only fulfilled when he is off to help others and when the task is more trying, the more he likes it.

In the movie, that fact that their father died is omitted. Shortly after Jane’s arrival, they get a letter telling them their uncle died and did not leave them any money and instead left it all to another relative of his.

Later, in both, St. John sees a drawing of hers with her signature below it. He takes it, and later returns, explaining his actions. We learn that  lawyer named Mr. Briggs has been in search of her and asked St. John if he knew of a Jane Eyre. Turns out her uncle died and left all his money to her but she couldn’t be found. Upon seeing Jane’s signature, he realized the truth. It also turns out that John Eyre was the same uncle of the Rivers’, whose death they had heard about earlier. We discover that Jane and the Rivers are cousins. This is a large reason why Jane splits her inheritance with them, since they were his family as well. In the movie, this coincidence isn’t mentioned and she just splits the money with them as a thank you and because she loves them. She also says that she wants them as brother and sisters. Whereas, in the book, turns out they are blood related after all. This seemed like too big of a coincidence, so I didn’t mind that the movie left out the fact that they were cousins.

Speaking of John Eyre, apparently that man was well connected. When Jane learns of him, she writes to him and in a letter says she is to marry Mr. Rochester of Thornfield Hall. Apparently, John Eyre knew Mr. Mason, Bertha’s brother. He remembers Mason mentioning a Rochester and asks him about it. So it is Jane’s letter to her uncle, which leads to the lawyer and Mason showing up on their wedding day and stopping Mr. Rochester from becoming a bigamist.

In the movie, this too is left out. Just like with the cousins, I didn’t mind this because it also seemed like too much of a coincidence.

Anyway, back to St. John. He takes an interest in Jane and tells her to learn the same language he is learning, so he can practice with her. He is very strict with their studying, and life in general, and Jane is unhappy yet has a hard time stopping herself from succumbing to his will. When he later asks her to marry him so she can be a missionary’s wife, telling her, “God and nature intended you for a missionary’s wife. It is not personal, but mental endowments they have  given you: you are formed for labour, not for love. A missionary’s wife you must—shall be. You shall be mine:  I claim you—not for my pleasure, but for my Sovereign’s service.”

She replies in both book and movie that to do so would kill her. In the book this is explained better because she has a hard time saying no to what he wants, and this in turn causes her true self to die in a way. She writes, “As for me, I daily wished more to please him; but to do so, I felt daily more and more that I must disown half my  nature, stifle half my faculties, wrest my tastes from their original bent, force myself to the adoption of pursuits  for which I had no natural vocation.” She has been unhappy as it is, doing what he wants, and to be married to him and deal with that forever, would kill her soul and eventually her body.

In the movie, she turns him down and from there is goes to her returning to Thornfield. In the book though, he spends the week being cold to her and guilt tripping her to marry him. He even tells her, “and do not forget that if you reject it, it is not me you deny, but God.  Through my means, He opens to you a noble career; as my wife only can you enter upon it. Refuse to be my  wife, and you limit yourself for ever to a track of selfish ease and barren obscurity. Tremble lest in that case you  should be numbered with those who have denied the faith, and are worse than infidels!”

She starts to feel like she should just give in, but then that night she thinks she hears Mr. Rochester calling to her, and this causes her to leave the next day to Thornfield.

Returning to Mr. Rochester

In the book, Jane had written Mrs. Fairfax asking how everyone was. She wrote on two separate occasions and never got a reply which made her want to go in person and see what happened.

In the movie, she sees Thornfield is burned and comes across Mrs. Fairfax who fills her in on what happened. She then walks a little way where Mr. Rochester is sitting. They have a sweet reunion, and the movie ends. I did want to mention Jane’s dress and bonnet in this scene. Her bonnet is so beautiful and intricate and her dress is fairly simple, but has gold trim and just beautiful, subtle details! In general, I just love moves that take place in the 1800’s because the wardrobe is so beautiful. Though in this movie most of Jane’s clothing is plain and simple.

In the movie, she is told what happened at Thornfield by an innkeeper. He tells her where Mr. Rochester is now living, with just two servants. They reunite, but it is a few days before they decide to marry. They were both hesitant and unsure if that’s what the other had wanted. She also tells him of St. John and his proposal and says it in a way to get Mr. Rochester jealous. I liked that their reunion was drawn out more, and that she teases him and even gets him jealous (similar to what he did with her with Blanche). They do marry though, and she has Adele come back home though she once again is sent to a boarding school but it is a nice one and Jane visits often.

Mr. Rochester went blind in the fire, but in the book, we learn that after a few years his sight began to slowly return. When Jane is writing this, they have now been married ten years and she says of their relationship, “To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day  long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on  him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result. “

Gypsy Scene

An interesting scene in the book that wasn’t in the movie is when Mr. Rochester disguises himself as a gypsy who can tell fortunes and tricks the members of his group. Jane is last to enter, and eventually realizes it is Mr. Rochester. I think it’s good the movie didn’t have this scene though because it could have seemed weird and silly.

In general, there is just more said about the time when all the people are at Thornfield, including the negative things they say about Jane and governess’s as a whole.

Granted, in the book there is more said about just about everything!

Feminism

This month I covered books by women authors and I have enjoyed it so much! Unfortunately the majority of books I cover here tend to be written by white men. A lot of books that are considered classic/must read literature, and a lot of books that get made into popular movies are written by white men. There are still plenty of options out there written by women or people of color and I do try read a variety of authors. But this experience makes me want to have months where I focus on a certain group; it makes for a more immersive experience I think.

This is a great book to end on because it was very different for it’s time. Jane is her own person, and refuses to conform to what the men in her life want of her. This book had its critics when it came out, one reviewer saying, “We do not hesitate to say that the tone of mind and thought which has overthrown authority and violated every code human and divine abroad…and rebellion at home, is the same which has also written Jane Eyre.” It was also said to be anti-Chrisitan. This doesn’t make sense to me though because Jane speaks of her own faith and prayer, as well as Mr. Rochester at the end talking about his faith. The character of St. John is an example of the religious extreme, though he and Jane maintain a correspondence after she leaves and remain close. It’s not like either held a grudge against the other.

This was a novel ahead of its time, and that is in part why it holds up so well to this day.Charlotte Brontë’s sister is the writer of Wuthering Heights which I will be covering as well. I was actually going to read it for this month, but after Gone Girl, I wanted to cover a happier romance. Whereas Wuthering Heights isn’t happy as far as I know (I haven’t read it yet). I love books about unhealthy people though, so I will be reading it sooner rather than later I would think.

Book vs Movie

Overall, I would have to say the book wins. For all the reasons the book usually is the winner-more details into everyone and everything! It is also beautifully written, plus has that scarier element to it. I highly recommend the movie though! The acting is wonderful, and the cinematography is so beautiful! So many gorgeous shots throughout this film. I mentioned the wardrobe earlier and want to bring attention to that as well. In fact, the only Oscar nomination this film received, was Michael O’Conner for best wardrobe however, he lost to The Artist.

If you have seen other Jane Eyre adaptations, which one is your favorite?