I just finished the book Jane Eyre and smiled through every page. It has been over 30 years since I last read it and it was just as delightful as the first time. I thought of Charlotte Bronte writing this story prior to it's publication in 1847 and how much of herself was written into the character, Jane Eyre.
Charlotte Bronte was born in 1816 and married in her late 30's. She spent most of her life on the Yorkshire Moors. I imagine she was a woman of strong constitution. In the book, Jane Eyre contemplates her choices with Mr. Rochester and asks herself, which is better?...
"-To have surrendered to temptation, listened to passion; made no painful effort- not struggle; but to have sunk down in the silken snare; fallen asleep on the flowers covering it; wakened in a southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have been now living in France, Mr. Rochester's mistress; delirious with his love...
-But where am I wandering, and what am I saying, and above all, feeling?
-Whether it is better, I ask, to be a slave in fool's paradise at Marseilles- fevered with delusive bliss one hour- suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next- or to be a village school-mistress, free and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England?
-Yes; I feel now that I was right when I adhered to principle and law, and scorned and crushed the insane promptings of a frenzied moment.
-Having brought my eventide musings to this point, I rose, went to my door, and looked at the sunset of the harvest-day, and at the quiet fields before my cottage, which, with the school, was distant half a mile from the village. The birds were singing their last strains--
'The air was mild, the dew was balm.' "
What a contrast to the stories of today. I watched the move I Am Love with Tilda Swinton over the weekend and wondered what Charlotte Bronte would have thought...
"I AM LOVE tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reigns of his massive industrial company, surprising everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi, and grandson Edo. But Edo dreams of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a handsome and talented chef. At the heart of the family is Tancredi's wife Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, her existence is shocked to the core when she falls quickly and deeply in love with Edo's friend and partner Antonio, and embarks on a passionate love affair that will change her family forever."
Both stories speak of passion, love and choices. I Am Love is a powerful story and I will say no more for those who have not seen it. I wonder if Jane Eyre would have been considered the same in it's day? Just something I have been thinking about on this summer's day :)
Jane Austen is next on my list...now the question is which one?
Text for Jane Eyre from the novel
Text for I Am Love from www.iamlovemovie.com