Jane Eyre: the Movie First Then the Book

“It’s not like this in the book!”

For literature enthusiasts, seeing a film adaptation from a favorite book is like walking on hot coal (for the filmmaker). Every bits is scrutinized before the film is out for public: the cast, the wardrobe, the cast. To think the film trailer producer has never work so hard to impress those who have read the book first hand. I took a different turn: the movie first, then the book. I am not sure Charlotte Bronte concerns with this turn of events. Also, I am not trying to compare both the book and the movie. As I just finished reading Charlotte Bronte, I am more than eager to discuss it.

The Tormented Main Character (Surprisingly, others are too)

The story centers around Jane Eyre, an immensely tough person whose life has never been accustomed to the easy. Having lived an orphan with no blood relation–despite living her childhood with her aunt and cousins in the lavish walls of Gateshead–she hardly felt like she’s home. Being estranged and abused by her aunt and cousins, she constantly asked herself why is she treated that way. For the first few chapters, it revolves around Gateshead and her isolation in the nursery among the rooms there. For a child at the time, the character seemed to be a very blunt and straightforward girl without afraid of spilling some harsh truth when provoked by her aunt. At the time, it was uncommon for a child to have an adult-like speech. Even the aunt claimed her to be so wicked, she sent her away to Lowood school.

“And no one told you life was gonna be this way…” *clap* *clap**clap**clap*

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Eyre is in constant fight against herself, trying to break free and felt freedom. At time she was in Lowood, she felt happy with new friends and teachers yet I felt her slightly caged between the lines. It was intermittent, when she felt that she can be herself around other people. With Helen Burns and Miss Maria Temple is first I read Jane Eyre that she look at other people with admiration instead of misery.

I found out how plainly naive she was when she enters Thornfield Hall and met Edward Fairfax Rochester. Even he claimed her to be so untainted, he got closer to her than before. She never actually met another man of his stature and somehow she is read to be more open to him than to any character, even Helen. Not only she is straightforward and blunt with Rochester–I could mistaken it for sarcasm–he replies with such normality that I understand why she becomes subordinate to him (and later falls for him too). He not only accepts but also tries to figure her out too.

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You know, Rochester is described to be no more than 40 with no feature so handsome nor is he odd-looking. So, the word I am looking for is rugged? I can’t make him out in my head so instead I pictured him in Michael Fassbender’s face. He is rugged-handsome looking person.

Breaking the Fourth Wall (She beat Deadpool to it, y’all)

There’s a difference you know, between narrating a story and writing it in first person. Jane Eyre calls us “Reader…” and expects us to understand her on the book. She eloquently explains herself through the last few chapters of the book because she is read to be someone who is distinct, compared to a few chapters before. Moreover, sometimes it babbles around like an actual thoughts of a human being. So I guess Eyre takes us as her conscience? Not only Jane Eyre, the book presented various characters with such tormented souls hidden underneath. Since the book takes Jane Eyre’s point of view as if she’s breaking the fourth wall to us it can only be felt once she made an attempt to analyze them, trying to figure them out. This is apparent when she described Miss Ingram.


Truthfully, when I watched the film for the first time, it was not my cup of tea as I was still in love with Jane Austen’s characters. At first, I even thought it was period horror (with the crazy lady and stuff) it seemed rigid and detached, the film Eyre. Bronte seemed to be writing a satirical character of Jane Eyre. Since at the time Jane Austen is famous for making her main characters positively charming women with twinkly eyes, filled with determination and charm (and sass), Bronte go south with Eyre and honestly? It’s a breath of fresh air–for me, at least–not to read a woman with hardly any hardships at all times.

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One thought on “Jane Eyre: the Movie First Then the Book

  • January 17, 2017 at 6:35 am

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