One of the books I will be using for my thesis is called 'Jane Eyre and What Adaptors Have Done to Her.' Here are two examples of precisely what these adaptors have done to her. It has been very interesting for me to witness the response to the newest version of Jane Eyre. In many ways I did not anticipate the ways people react to the novel and previous adaptations when they consider the newest incarnation. One of the surprises has been the belief that because the most recent adaptation is the most recent, it must be 'new' and 'fresh.'
One aspect of the novel which distinguishes it from other romances is that the relationship between Jane and Mr Rochester is not based on physical attraction. They do not lust after eachother as so many experts, and adaptors would have us suppose. And yet, there are but few adaptations that have not attempted to 'sex up' the book. I might be in the minority when I say this, but I find that the real passion of the novel evaporates when it is reduced to some exploitation, panting, and petting.
All of this is preface to the return of Patrick MacNee as Mr Rochester. I thought this was pretty bad until I saw the 2006 Jane Eyre's farewell bedroom romp (you know, the scene where Jane refuses to let Rochester kiss her because he's married? Or, maybe she lets him lie on top of her and pleasure himself. I can't remember, but chances are it is true-to-the-spirit-of-the-book /end sarcasm).
And then, half a century later, the very modern (or 50 year old, however you would prefer looking at it) idea of Rochester the lech:
There really isn't a point to me including the clip where Rochester says: "I want a wife. I want a wife in my bed all night or all day if we choose. If I can't have that I'd rather die."
Friday, October 20, 2006