Jane Eyre is the story of an un-loved, plain, poor, and parent-less girl. The book does a great job describing her painful growing up years. After her parents die, Jane is left in the hands of a loveless aunt who sends Jane off to school at the age of ten. Jane become a talented educated young lady, but unfortunately never a beauty. After eight or so years at school, Jane manages to get herself a position as a governess.
I always assumed that the novel ends there...she meets someone, falls in love...yadayada. But no! This is not your typical romance story. Jane is plain but good. Her hero Mr. Rochester is not handsome and a bit gruff. And the servants are hiding a huge secret that could drive Jane and Mr. Rochester apart.
I apparently thought I had read this book because a while back I had seen a 1996 movie version and, honestly, it didn't impress me too much. Jane was a little too mousy for me. I don't think I even watched the whole movie because the second half of this book totally caught me off guard. I can see now after reading the book how hard it would be to portray Jane and Mr. Rochester in just the right way.
The book was much much better. I totally felt for Jane and thought she was an amazing character. She eventually gains happiness but she only does it on her terms. Again and again she was tested and could have chosen the easy path, but she didn't. While Mr. Rochester isn't my favorite male lead...by the end of the story I really liked his character.
There is a newer version of Jane Eyre which was recently aired on PBS which is supposed to be pretty darn good. I also have to say I want to watch it because the character of Mr. Rochester is played by Toby Stephens who does an amazing job as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.
Just a question: For those of you who have read Jane Eyre or watched the any of the movie versions, what are your opinions? Do you like the book better? Did the movie turn you on or off the story of Jane?
P.S. I read Jane Eyre on Google Books. A great resource for reading books online that are past the copyrighted protection. Make sure you search the "Full-view" only for the book in its entirety.
This is the 1996 movie:
This is the newer version which aired on PBS this year:
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