Posted by Susie on September 24, 1997 at 20:26:07:
In response to "children can feel, but they cannot analyze..." ch.3, written by greg on September 24, 1997 at 04:17:51
] this book is very special to me, because i(like many others) can identify with jane's painful childhood. and i don't think a thoughtful, objective reader of the book can ignore the issue of the abuse of women and children in the piece. the romance is, of course, awesome, so i don't blame people if they'd rather talk about that. but i'm struck by the journey bronte presents us with, of jane's spirit being "caged" as a child and young woman, eventually expressing itself powerfully in the end. the scenes of mr. lloyd intervening on her behalf in ch. 3 are very touching. she knows she is unhappy, but can't find words to express it. finally she says something very telling: "...but i can never get away from gateshead until i am a woman" [my emphasis]. lloyd suggests going to school - something bessie has described as "a place where young ladies sat in the stocks [and] wore backboards", and yet jane replies "i should indeed like to go to school". she jumps at the chance to struggle, because she somehow senses the infinite rewards at the end. it's this journey from inhuman bondage to full, complete, unashamed womanhood that intrigues me! and she expresses this very clearly in that great confrontation with rochester in ch. 23. i contend that the definitive film adaptation will give due treatment of this aspect - i'm looking forward to seeing how this a&e version treats it - something that i think the recent zefirelli version(with the skilled help of charlotte gainsbourg) did a little better than others, however imperfectly.
I wonder whether Jane's "journey" and her stirring example of independent female thinking were probably one of the main reasons for the book being obligatory reading (alongside Virginia Woolf "A Room with a View")for teenage girls at my all girls school. Greg, when did you first read it? I would be intrigued to know if it is widely known and appreciated among men.
Concerning the way the film adaptations handle Chapter 23, I suppose we are jumping the gun to talk about it now. However my coming back to the book after all these years was prompted by seeing the recent version with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds; and as I read I have been thinking about the relationship of screenplay to book, the impossibility and unsuitability of simply transposing chunks of dialogue from the latter, and the consequent necessity of extracting the essence of each scene and conveying it through different means of which the script is but one. My guess is that this latest version does this pretty well given its extremely condensed format, but will look forward to hearing further opinions in due course...
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