Skip to main content

Jane Eyre

I went to watch the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre last night. I had been a little apprehensive - how could it possibly be told from a unique enough angle that would differentiate it from all the others? Well, it wasn't - and yet it worked fine. This gothic story is powerful enough not to need any new fireworks. The chronology was spliced somewhat though - a meek attempt at a different angle. It opens with Jane running from Thornfield, and on towards the evangelical St. John Rivers. It then weaves in, via flashback, her time with the Reeds, and on to Lowood. The cinematography of the moors is moody and misty enough. And Judy Dench as the housekeeper is wonderful; a great Yorkshire accent. The dynamics between Jane and Rochester is well maintained - and I shed tears towards the end as she returns to him. Yet. And yet - what struck me about the story was just how much it was the desire of a woman - Charlotte Bronte. It is, through and through, her projected desire - of how things should have been for her. It serves as a testament of how she suffered from the curse of unrequited love, which she set out less dramatically in Villette. Charlotte just wanted a soul mate - one who saw her as she felt herself to be; plain yet powerful and deserving, yet perplexed that others couldn't see this but only as she looked; the plain governess. Charlotte never got her Rochester in real life - instead she had to make do with the St. John Rivers type - and then she died not long after. One can't say that the failure to have her soul's desires met caused her death - but therein lies the true story - that life is having to make do with St. John when we'd rather have the Rochester. And Charlotte knew this; she could only imagine it to be possible if she had more power in relation to the object of her desire - and the power could only be had if Rochester was not the full man that he was when they met. Blind, limping Rochester whose love - and gratitude - she can be more certain of.



Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Good Canary

Forgot to mention that we went to see Good Canary at Kingston's Rose Theatre last week. Star role played by the brilliantly intense Freya Mavor, who plays a speed addict. It's directed by John Malkovich - his UK's theatre directorial debut. Will try and post more about it later.