Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

October 11, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 7:46 pm

…*laughs* Sorry, this cannot even pretend to be a serious post.

I’ve just been reading Helen Jerome’s 1930s play of Jane Eyre. I’d have to say… Well, several things. Firstly, I cannot blame Mr Rochester for laughing at Jane as she re-enacts how she punched Mr Brocklehurst “like this, right in his bony chest!” during their first interview. Ah! This play is so many kinds of wonderful silliness… It’s terrible, and I love it! The stage directions are pretty fun as well. I’m not sure how exactly Mr Rochester can “look physically” but he does. It’s probably something sexual, considering how disturbingly he goes on. And then, you know, smothering Jane’s shawl with kisses, before he goes to bed. He does seem a tad more… ornry:

“Here’s your damn birthday present!”

And how about this for drama!

(A long, urgent wailing of the wind, like “Jane! Jane! Jane!”)

Where are you going? Jane, Jane…
(She is running up the staircase. her voice come floating down)

Jane’s voice
(With a note of exultation)
To pack, to pack.

Reminds me of when a Homerist I study with claimed that Virgil’s allusion to Catullus in the Aeneid was like inserting a *pppppppppppppt!*.

Rochester: “So my call reached you”
Jane: “Yes, four days ago”

Good, good! 😀 A lot of it includes much of the text, don’t get me wrong, but these little… ‘improvements’ are quite frequent. At the end, Jane grabs his face and says how he’s such a foolish little darling.

Ah… I must have this for my own, entirely my own! ;D

ETA: I should not have been so brief. But I had to return to purusing this treasure. I got through 2 scenes before I had to stop. At one point I just burst out laughing because it just didn’t make any sense. What in the world is Mr Brocklehurst’s outfit if it is green rusty black shiney Christian martyr style?! Mr Rochester seems to understand this (probably since he’s so sympathetic, you see). He keeps nodding, she keeps acting out her life for him (including scaring him with tales on his pulling their hair, and making him laugh even when everyone has assured us that Mr Rochester never laughs. Maybe he just doesn’t like how they run away when he looks at them? John is really awfully Irish… I’ve never seen such horrid dialect work since I read the Samuel Lover Myths of Ireland. Jane keeps shuddering at the thought of Lowood unless she is expressing her desire to murder Mr Brocklehurst (which ‘scares’ Mr Rochester while strangely compelling him at the same time).

And then they have a brooding contest and glare at eachother in the library for a bit. 😉 It’s magnificient. I’m curious to see how this works out since Jane actually sees Bertha strangling him instead of having his bed on fire. He conceeds that she’s a member of his family, and she seems satisfied with that. Okay, he keeps his relatives in the attic. So long as she doesn’t strangle ME, but then I’m a spunky little thing with my quick fists and ‘mind-stuff’ (when Jane first appears there is a long paragraph of stage direction which means nothing at all. It says how quaker-like Jane is, or, in other words how sophisticated and ‘glamourous’. Or to be more confusing, she seems to be shiney with ‘genius’ or something they describe as ‘a second-born soul’ with ‘mind-stuff’. Confused? How about that there’s also stage direction for the cat?

To conclude, I can barely type for laughing!


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