Movie Wednesday: Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is an orphan. She lives in her cruel aunt’s household where she is mistreated and blamed for her mistreatment. Her aunt soon sends her away to an all girls boarding school where the appalling living conditions are matched only by the ill-treatment of the students. Finally, as an adult, Jane departs and takes up a governess position at Thornfield Hall where she meets the enigmatic Mr. Rochester. A strong passion begins to grow between Jane and her employer, but there are mysteries contained within Thornfield that will threaten everything Jane has come to know and love.
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Originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography under the penname Currer Bell in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is considered a classic of Gothic Romance and has been oft adapted to screen with films dating back as far as 1910.
In 2011, Jane Eyre was once again adapted to screen by director Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska in the titular role and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, alongside Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. This film tells Jane’s story out of sequence, beginning with her fleeing Thornfield and flashing back to the events that led her to do so.
A note to parents: Jane Eyre (2011) is rated PG-13. We recommend looking up the film on sites such as Commonsense Media for detailed lists of content so that you can make an informed decision about whether the film is right for your family.
- The 2011 film uses a nonlinear narrative, meaning scenes are out of strict chronological sequence, did you find it difficult or easy to follow? How does the format impact the telling of the story?
- Jane begins at Thornfield as Mr. Rochester’s employee, he even withholds a portion of her wages attempting to insure she returns from visiting her ailing aunt, how do you think that impacts the power balance between the two characters? Is it possible to form a healthy relationship when one person holds most of the power in a dynamic?
- Fire is a running motif throughout the story, beginning as small candle flames and hearths but escalating to engulf Thornfield Hall and disable Mr. Rochester, what do you think the fire represents?
- Mr. Rochester withholds vital information about himself from Jane with disastrous consequences, why do you think he did that? And do you agree with Jane’s decision to return to him after she has learned the truth?
Learn language arts with the Jane Eyre Boomerang!
The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.