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shiftedxreality
01-04-2008, 02:36 AM
Three main differences between the book and the movie?

LadyWentworth
01-04-2008, 03:04 AM
Well, which movie are you comparing the book to?

dissenter
03-25-2008, 07:24 PM
This is a long post I wrote about everything I felt very annoyed by in the movies, especially the last one. Its all on physical chemistry.


When I read the book I was so UN-attracted to Rochester. He was a heartless (remember how little illegitimate hurting Adele is starving for fatherly affection, and he's a jerk who brushes her off just because she is a bastard when he could have well fathered plenty himself?), hypocritical (you know how he picks on his wife for being of questionable character....and he had 3 lovers--whom he promptly abandoned...different rules for rich men, though...), and terribly selfish. And I thought he loved Jane BECAUSE she was pure, and good-hearted, with a steel spine (good moral character) and a sharp mind. He wasn't attracted to her because of "chemistry"[email protected]#[email protected]# That was what his OTHER 3 girlfriends were---they should make a movie on THEM if they want "chemistry"!!! And Rochester's total odiousness comes out in the scene after the aborted wedding, when he talks so disparagingly and heartlessly about the mistresses he dumped (the nice one, not Adele's mother) and his horrible wife--and so self-pityingly of himself--giving himself every excuse. He's a total wretch. If Jane let him (as he has had for the past 10 years) have his way, she would have damned him.
For the first time, he loved someone (again in his self-devouring ravenous selfish love) that had a grain of real love in it--something bigger than chemistry--actually seeing the value in a human soul. (He isn't attracted to her body but to her soul!! There was no "chemistry"!!!!) If this had gone the way of his past 3 loves, he would have just sunk deeper into his byronic and totally bratty (devilish) misery. He'd have cut a fine figure in (CSLewis's THe Great Divorce) Hell, full of the remains of people who are eaten up with their own selfish narcissic misery--with not one last spark of real love left (and plenty of stuff they call "love" that is just torment and cruelty).

Anyway, Jane loves him more than she loves herself--and is the first girl willing to put Truth before her own passion or happiness or pity for him. (He even works off of woman's pity---and I think in the story, Charlotte Bronte made a point that all his "mean" and shallow mistresses and wife are only portrayed that way---through his eyes. With the exception of Adele's mother, the rest of them were probably much like Jane, and fell for him out of love and attraction and pity. He probably pulled the whole "I can't live without you" card before on the other woman as well--and doubtless meant it then.)

That is what makes that scene so dreadful. It is like he is burying himself in more and more lies, and begging Jane out of all her compassion and love to destroy herself with him. Its lies from hell that are coming out of his mouth. All blameshifting and denying the sacred personhood and humanity of the girls (2 other mistresses) he's ruined, as well as the wife he has wronged. She sinned like him, but was probably as tormented as him, and probably was once as he was.

Anyway, I think Jane pitied him very much, because she KNEW he wasn't as victimized as he made himself out to be. It is like watching a drowning man cling to a lead weight as he sinks down. I mean he was victimized--by his own sin and the Devil, but most of all, by himself.
Charlotte Bronte was following the Gothic tradition of the Byronic Hero, but here she turned it on its head a little by showing us how his "byronicness" is an odious thing, and his soul is chained to it and he is sinking.


Interlude: St. John Rivers. Its a very interesting twist here. First you think, "Oh, he's the opposite of Rochester". And of course no one can stand him, and modern audiences think "See! Priggish Moral Pastor v. Byronic debauched Hot guy! Cool movie!" That wasn't the point. In Charlotte's world, St. John Rivers would be considered very attractive, so she went to greater lengths to show his sin than she would have today in our culture.
As the story progresses, you realize the St. John RIvers and Rochester are very much alike. Neither of them has repented, and Rochester with his Byronic guilt-shifting and Rivers who thinks God must agree to his will.... They both have, at root, pride and unrepentence. Rivers wants someone who will think his ideas&wishes are God's (which he wholeheartedly believes himself. That is his greatest sin. Remember when he is turning down the cute girl who likes him and he is struggling? There is no mention of being obedient to Christ's will or loving CHrist. It is "MY noble goals and MY heroism and MY missionary feats....")

They are really the same. Rochester wants to kill God (by rejecting morality) for "love" which he destroys in his very ravenous devouring. St. John has recreated God as his means to glory, and mistakes his own voice for the ALmighty.

So St. John Rivers wants to use Jane as well, by having a docile wife-worker who thinks he's God. She refuses that too. (Remember how she says, "I'll obey GOD! and give him my heart...I'm not giving it to you" and he's like "Give me your personhood and I'll reshape it. My will is GOD'S will....")
St. John is also killing God.

And Jane refuses that too. She refused both the Godless "Love" and the Loveless "God". (Neither of which are Christ, and both of which were very present in that age.)

Now comes Part Two: Repentance
1. Rochester thinks he's killed Jane. Finally for once in his life he realizes how destructive his own wonderful love is, and how he has been destroying all those he "loves". It is no accident that he is running after the madwife and shouting her name. Through Janes refusal and (what he thinks) death, he has come to realize his blindness and selfish devouring. He has recognized his madwife's personhood, and is treating her as a human again. The sad part is that she is lost, her soul is eaten out by hatred to him (which was partly his fault as well as hers) and commits suicide. He almost dies trying to rescue her. But it is too late. This is one of the saddest parts of the book. It recognizes that though we may come to repentance, those WE have helped "push over the edge" may not. Rochester's repentance is too late to save Bertha. (If he had repented earlier and taken care of her out of christian love--his first few years didn't count, that was stoic "poor little me, she DISGUSTING in her sin, I'm so good and taking care of her...." What can be more insulting than that?!---anyway, if he had repented and acknowledge her value as a human being earlier, she may have come to a peaceful end...probably still crazy, but peacefully so.). So Rochester damned Bertha, in a way, though of course it was her choice in the end.

Anyway, Rochester has finally realized his own sin, and his evil. He actually has finally repented. Before that, all his "repentance" was the sham fake kind, the byronic self-deprecating guilt (I'm sure the Devil has that) that is not repentance (recognizing the precious sanctity and the image of God in other human beings).

So Jane comes back. He's no longer cool and byronic, but a doddering, blind, impoverished man. But he's changed. He's lost all that stupid glamor which was his cage. He is free now--free from the prison of his old self. He is repentant.

Jane marries him, though he had fallen more passionately in love with many other women, and has alot of problems and psycho stuff from all his years of selfishness. He is only beginning to be good. But he is sincere for the first time in his life, no longer trapped in himself and his own self-pity.

2. And finally, we get a hint of St. John's Rivers repentance. It must have been a hard blow to him that the "degenerate" but repentant Rochester was more worthy than him. Jane, by her actions and her words, made it clear to him that he was not GOd. It took him a long time to swallow, and we are not sure if he ever did. But in the end he has finally become weak--wasted away. And he still writes letters to Jane....making us begin to wonder if perhaps under all his bloated egoism, he actually did love her in his cold way though choked by pride. And in the end, he is weak, and dying, with no fan club. ANd he says, "come lord Jesus, come quickly". He's finally calling out to Christ while in utter weakness. Perhaps he didn't repent of his pride....but the earnestness of his last letter seems to suggest that he has. I felt in it, a submission. He has come a long way.