A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 10

J is for — Jane from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

I first read Jane Eyre in junior high English. It was on one of those required reading lists containing books that, for my age group, were more often than not, shall we say… uninteresting. I fully expected Jane Eyre to fall into that category, and because it was the thickest book on the list, decided to read it first to get it out of the way. To my amazement, I discovered that I actually liked it and soon became engrossed in the travails of Jane and Mr. Rochester, and the mystery at Thornfield. I learned a valuable lesson from the experience: read before you judge.

Jane has so many wonderful qualities — honesty, forthrightness, courage. I love her perseverance, her resilience, and her kindness in forgiving those who have wronged her. She is a great reminder to a world that glorifies perfect faces and bodies that it is beauty on the inside that counts.

Of the six movie versions I’ve seen, I think I like the 2006 BBC Masterpiece Theater production with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens the best. They have great chemistry, and everything is well done — the brooding atmosphere, the harrowing suspense, and romantic tension with scenes that aren’t overdone. Wilson is perfect as Plain Jane, both strong and vulnerable. There are moments after her encounters with Mr. Rochester when she positively glows, no longer plain but young and pretty and in love. Stephens reminds me of a rougher Hugh Jackman, with enough presence and just enough attractiveness, but not too much, to keep things interesting.

Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens as Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre, BBC, 2006

Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens as
Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester
in Jane Eyre, BBC, 2006
Photo Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk

J_JaneEyre_BookMovie

17 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 10

  1. I agree that Jane is a strong and interesting character. Have you read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Jane’s sister Anne Bronte? It’s my favourite book from the Brontes, and features another great heroine.

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  2. As soon as I saw what your post was about I thought of Ruth Wilson. So glad we agree on the best adaptation! Though I liked Samantha Morton too – can’t remember who her Rochester was.

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  3. I’m reading Jane Eyre right now and I’m absolutely loving it! Kindle says I have about an hour and a half left to read and oh, I don’t want to see it go away. The film adaptation you suggest is actually exactly how I imagined Mr. Rochester! After I finish with the book, I’ll definitely give this film a look. Thanks! ^__^

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  4. I love Jane Eyre, and I completely agree the 2006 Adaptation is great and seems really under appreciated. I thought they really got the emotions across, and Toby Stephens for me seemed the perfect Rochester, eccentric and brooding, with enough charm to pull off Rochester’s stranger qualities.

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