Posts Tagged ‘Jane Eyre’

From richardarmitagenet.com

I’ve been reading some fun blogs about the difference between love in fiction and love in real life.

Since I’m working on a novel right now in which the main character (like me) likes Darcy, Thornton and Rochester a little too much, it has been on my mind.

In my not so humble opinion, a good romance is realistic.  There are enough “men are from mars” type insights in Pride and Prejudice, North and South, and Jane Eyre to make those male characters ring true emotionally.  Of course, they may be richer and better looking than the men at the grocery store, at church, or at work but underneath the fictional glitz, they really are men — and that’s why those books are so popular today.

Or am I just deluding myself?

One of the interesting blogs:



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I find the character of Jane Eyre fascinating — even more fascinating than the melodramatic plot of the book that bears her  name.

Jane Eyre is such a moral person — true to herself.  SPOILERS.  She doesn’t go off with Rochester when she learns he’s already married (even though we all know that she would love to do that), and she doesn’t marry the missionary cousin who would give her a “noble” life  of church service but doesn’t love her.  She does what she believes is right at a huge personal cost.  She shares her inheritance and she is even kind to her nasty aunt later in life.  In the hands of a lesser writer, Jane would be a very annoying too perfect character.  But she’s not.  Thank you, Charlotte Bronte.

Jane is painfully honest about her flaws and fears, and doesn’t see herself as others see her.  As much as I love a brooding hero, I sometimes wish she would end up with someone nicer than Rochester.  But I understand how their interactions strip away the layers of social norms and reveal them as they really are, which makes for great fiction.

I’m in a Jane Eyre mood and ready (finally) to watch the latest version with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.  More later.

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10.  John Thornton.  John Thornton is a fascinating, romantic character.  He is a wise business man, who has overcome poverty through his hard work and now wants to improve himself through education.  I admire his practicality in hiring the Irish workers, and I admire his stand against the strikers.  He accepts responsibility for his actions and lives within his own moral code.

He has a loving, respectful relationship with his mother.  They are open and honest about how they feel, the troubles with the business, and Thornton’s growing attraction for Margaret.  I like the sense of humor they share. 

Thornton loves Margaret, even when he thinks that she will never love him.  He proposes, believing that she will refuse him.  And after she has refused him, he still brings fruit to her mother, and shows up at the funeral, asking if he can help.  And best of all, he helps in the criminal investigation, when he thinks that she has been foolish.  He just won’t give up his love, even when she gives him no hope. 

I also liked his relationship with Higgins.  He goes from distrusting Higgins, to listening to him, to apologizing, to working with him.  This character arc shows that Thornton is a decent man who is willing to change his mind about someone.  By the end of the series, Thornton and Higgins truly respect each other.

Overall, I think Thornton’s greatest attraction is that we know him.  Thornton’s emotions and thoughts are transparent — the viewer never has to guess at what he is thinking or feeling.  That is very appealing.

After watching the miniseries, I read the novel.   I do wish the screenplay had included the scene where Thornton carries Margaret into his house after she’s been wounded, but I won’t complain.  Sandy Welch wrote an ending that was even more romantic than the one in the novel, which was very romantic for its day.

As I read the novel, I was amazed by the depth of the characterization.  The beauty of BBC North and South was not just a talented screenwriter and an amazing actor augmenting a great story.  Elizabeth Gaskell gave them the information they needed.  She describes more thoughts and emotions of her male lead than any other Victorian author that I recall. Rochester, is fascinating, but he is an enigma through most of Jane Eyre.  I haven’t read enough Dickens recently to discuss what he did, but I don’t remember him describing male and female thoughts with the same depth as Gaskell.  Interestingly, in the extra interview with Richard Armitage on the dvd, he mentions that he read the novel to prepare for the audition and to help him as he was performing the part.

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