Monday, April 25, 2011

Jane Eyre a book and movie review

When I was a sophomore in high school one of the books required for my English class was Jane Eyre. I started it, but didn't make it past Lowood school. I read the cliff notes, and watched a movie I found at the library and did my best to pass the test. As a junior in college I started realizing that I really wanted to read the classics. I hate to admit it but I had never even read a book by Jane Austen at that time. So I started to compile a list of the books I should read. I am still working on that list.

But I started out with Persuasion, then Pride and Prejudice, and fell in love. The summer I graduated I picked up Jane Eyre again. Only this time I could hardly put it down. I read it in a few days and enjoyed every single page. Over the years, Jane has become one of those characters that no longer exists in my mind as fiction, but seems like a friend, a real person who I value and who has made a lasting impression in my life.

A month ago I again picked up my now favorite book. I finished reading on April 15th, just in time to go see the new Jane Eyre movie out in theaters, with my sisters. I love the book Jane Eyre for many reasons, most of all because Jane is a strong woman of Great character.

I love as Mr. Rochester describes what he reads in Jane's face..." I can live alone, if self respect and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to by bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only a price I cannot afford to give. Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desire may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgement shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by: but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience."

I have to say I enjoyed this new movie. It was well cast and although they skipped and abbreviated several sections, to fit it into a movie time length, I thought it was well done. I thought it captured the essence of Jane Eyre and beautifully portrayed this timeless story.

My favorite version remains the Masterpiece Theater version of Jane Eyre (below). However I think it is definitely a close second. If you haven't seen either of these movies they are worth making the time to go see them. If you are in the Salt Lake City area, Jane Eyre is showing at the Broadway Theater.
Most of all if you haven't read Jane Eyre or haven't read it in awhile. I highly recommend adding this beautiful book to your list of "To Reads" Jane is who I strive to be like. Strong, kind, determined and most of all true to herself and the beliefs she holds dear. She is able to see real and true beauty and to understand love at a deep and intimate level. I could go on forever about Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece. I hope you get a chance to let this story into your heart.