Reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
“Youth is wasted in the young,” George Bernard Shaw said and I totally agree. I also think that forcing teens to read the classics is a waste of time.
To try to keep a bunch of hormone challenged teenagers interested in stories that happened long ago to people dressed in costumes too old-fashioned for their grandparents to have worn is, in my opinion, a losing proposition.
Because I grew up in Spain, at school, I read Cervantes and many other authors I’m sure you never heard about. They were terribly boring, (except for Becquer, of course, who wrote poems of unrequited love. What teenager does not relate to that?). But one was not enough to compensate for the dreadful others and when the time came, around fourteen, for me to choose Science or Letters, I chose Science big time, no doubt about it.
As for British literature, I didn’t get Jane Austen’s novels either when I first read them in my early teens. Nor Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre or her sister Emily Wunthering Heights.
So when I took my daughter to watch the latest screen adaptation of Jane Eyre, last week-end and she slept through it, I was only mildly disappointed.
I, on the other hand, being older and wiser now, enjoyed it.
Jane Eyre is a love story and a gothic story and it resonates with me now in a way it couldn’t before. But, I understand why my daughter fount it too slow and thought the characters’ principles and strong religious convictions were quaint.
I also liked that, in this version, Michael Fassbender who plays Rochester is only 34, younger than the character in the book, and not ugly at all, which works better in the screen. And Mia Wasikowska (21) makes a perfect Jane.
Jane’s relatives and school experiences are horrible as should be, and the moors and the gloomy stone manor that stands for Thornfield House provides the perfect Gothic atmosphere for this passionate love story.
I liked it so well, in fact that I’m reading the novel again. This time in English.
I wouldn’t mind sitting in a class now, and hear what an English teacher has to say on the subject.
But, alas, I’m too old.
If we could only turn time back.