There’s a reason why Classic novels are called Classic. I have to admit, I never was fond of reading Classic novels because (admit it), it’s not the easiest to understand and decipher. I have read some Classics for school in the past and I found them interesting but certainly didn’t enjoy because they were just plain mandatory reads.
I’m into Young Adult literature because they’re the easiest and fastest to read. I could finish a YA book in just a matter of hours. That’s the beauty of it. But this summer, my brother lent me his Kindle. Since Classics are Public Domain, I was able to get hold of the Classic novels I’m interested in reading. One of which is Jane Eyre.
I’ve read a novel by one of the Brontë sisters (The Wuthering Heights), and to be honest, I didn’t like it so much (probably because it was a read for school) so I decided to read another book by the other sister (Charlotte Brontë) which is Jane Eyre. At first, I was hesitant whether or not I’d start reading it because it is extraordinarily long, talk about epic. But then I told myself, I have to finish a decent book before this summer ends so I did. And I don’t regret even a single second spent reading it.
I don’t think any other book has moved me more than this book has. I’ve read a whole lot of romance novels in the past, believe me, but none even one of them would stand a chance against this book. It was like I was inside the book, as if I were Jane Eyre myself. I was able to feel every emotion; every pain, grief and joy she has gone through. I know that sounds weird but I did. I don’t feel the need to retell the story, all I have to say is that reading this book is one of the best choices I had made this summer.
Just right after reading the very last page of the book, I went straight to my computer to watch the movie. I think it has always been a tradition of mine to watch the movie adaptations of the books I’ve enjoyed. This is for me to figure out whether or not I imagined the story right. And right I was!
The movie, however, didn’t quite move me as much as the book did. The book was a long journey for me but the movie, on the contrary, was quite quick. I think the movie left so many essential details from the book so much that when I watched it, I felt like it was lacking. Despite that, I think that Mia Wasikowska exhibited the character of Jane Eyre very well.
I don’t think there could ever be a better Edward Fairfax Rochester than Michael Fassbender. I was just hoping the movie had more of Jane-Edward moments just like the book and also more of his brooding moments, but I guess the book was too long to be constricted in a matter of two short hours.
Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers was quite a surprise for me. When I was reading the book, I never expected St. John to be handsome. I assume he was described by Brontë that way but I guess I never really paid much attention so when I saw a very handsome St. John Rivers on screen, I was astonished.
It was refreshing to see Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. However, the movie followed a different direction towards the end when Jane Eyre comes back to Thornfield Hall and sees Mrs. Fairfax, instead. I am quite sure Jane didn’t see Mrs. Fairfax anymore when she went back to Thornfield to seek for Mr. Rochester.
The ending of the movie did not, I repeat, did not, live up to what I had imagined from the book. I was swearing and cursing when the credits rolled because it wasn’t even close to what I had in mind. And Edward Rochester shouldn’t look like that in the ending. And also, they left out so many details and left things unconcluded. Now, it’s time for me to hunt down all the movie adaptations of this book. But of course, books are always 100x better.
Enough with my babbling, to be brief, I can describe Jane Eyre in one word: poignant. I don’t think I’ll love a book more than I love this one. So to conclude, let me share with you the quotes that deeply moved me:
“I must, then, repeat continually that we are for ever sundered – and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.”
“To live…is to stand on a crater-crist which may crack and spue fire any day.”
“But there was ever in Mr. Rochester (so at least I thought) such a wealth of the power of communicating with happiness, that to taste but of the crumbs he scattered to stray and stranger birds like me, was to feast genially.”
“Do you think I am an automaton? – a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?”
“I loved him every much – more than I could trust myself to say – more than words had power to express.”
“What necessity is there to dwell on the Past, when the Present is so much surer – the Future so much brighter?”
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
“His idea was still with me, because it was not a vapour sunshine could disperse, nor a sand-traced effigy storms could wash away; it was a name graven on a tablet, fated to last as long as the marble it inscribed.”