The Independent Spirit
——about“ Jane Eyer”
作者: 詹晟 北京广播学院
This is a story about a special and unreserved woman who has been exposed to a hostile environment but continuously and fearlessly struggling for her ideal life. The story can be interpreted as a symbol of the independent spirit.
It seems to me that many readers’ English reading experience starts with Jane Eyer. I am of no exception. As we refer to the movie “Jane Eyer”, it is not surprising to find some differences because of its being filmized and retold in a new way, but the spirit of the novel remains----to be an independent person, both physically and mentally.
Jane Eyer was a born resister, whose parents went off when she was very young, and her aunt，the only relative she had，treated her as badly as a ragtag. Since Jane’s education in Lowwood Orphanage began, she didn’t get what she had been expecting——simply being regarded as a common person, just the same as any other girl around. The suffers from being humiliated and devastated teach Jane to be persevering and prize dignity over anything else.As a reward of revolting the ruthless oppression, Jane got a chance to be a tutor in Thornfield Garden. There she made the acquaintance of lovely Adele and that garden’s owner, Rochester, a man with warm heart despite a cold face outside. Jane expected to change the life from then on, but fate had decided otherwise: After Jane and Rochester fell in love with each other and got down to get marry, she unfortunately came to know in fact Rochester had got a legal wife, who seemed to be the shadow following Rochester and led to his moodiness all the time ----Rochester was also a despairing person in need of salvation. Jane did want to give him a hand, however, she made up her mind to leave, because she didn’t want to betray her own principles, because she was Jane Eyer. The film has finally got a symbolist end: Jane inherited a large number of legacies and finally returned. After finding Rochester’s misfortune brought by his original mad wife, Jane chose to stay with him forever.
I don’t know what others feel, but frankly speaking, I would rather regard the section that Jane began her teaching job in Thornfield as the film’s end----especially when I heard Jane’s words “Never in my life have I been awaken so happily.” For one thing, this ideal and brand-new beginning of life was what Jane had been imagining for long as a suffering person; for another, this should be what the audiences with my views hoped her to get. But the professional judgment of producing films reminded me to wait for a totally different result: There must be something wrong coming with the excellence----perhaps not only should another section be added to enrich the story, but also we may see from the next transition of Jane’s life that “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you would get.” (By Forrest Gump’s mother, in the film “Forrest Gump”)
What’s more, this film didn’t end when Jane left Thornfield. For Jane Eyer herself, there should always be somewhere to realize her great ideal of being independent considering her fortitude, but for Rochester, how he can get salvation? The film gives the answer tentatively: Jane eventually got back to Rochester. In fact, when Jane met Rochester for the first time, she scared his horse and made his heel strained, to a certain extent, which meant Rochester would get retrieval because of Jane. We can consider Rochester’s experiences as that of religion meaning. The fire by his frantic wife was the punishment for the cynicism early in his life. After it, Rochester got the mercy of the God and the love of the woman whom he loved. Here we can say: human nature and divinity get united perfectly in order to let such a story accord with the requirements of both two sides. The value of this film may be due to its efforts to explore a new way for the development of humanism under the faith of religion.
Life is ceaselessly changing, but our living principles remain. Firmly persisting for the rights of being independent gives us enough confidence and courage, which is like the beacon over the capriccioso sea of life. In the world of the film, we have found the stories of ourselves, which makes us so concerned about the fate of the dramatis personae.
In this era of rapid social and technological change leading to increasing life complexity and psychological displacement, both physical and mental effects on us call for a balance. We are likely to find ourselves bogged down in the Sargasso Sea of information overload and living unconsciousness. It’s our spirit that makes the life meaningful.
Heart is the engine of body, brain is the resource of thought, and great films are the mirrors of life. Indubitably, “Jane Eyer” is one of them.