Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jane Stays True to Herself. Cathy is Just Silly

Samantha Ellis reevaluates her appreciation for her literary heroines in this article in the Daily Mail:

I was on the Brontës’ beloved Yorkshire moors, arguing with my best friend about whether we’d rather be Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights.
I thought Cathy. She’s passionate, headstrong and gorgeous. But my best friend Emma argued that Jane was independent, she knew who she was, she didn’t suffer fools and she stuck to her principles.
‘And Cathy’s just silly,’ she said.
I decided that when I got back to London I would dig out my copies of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre and read them again, with more scrutiny and less sentiment. But if I’d been wrong about Cathy, had I been wrong about my other literary heroines too? (...)
#Cathy Earnshaw
From: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
I’ve read Wuthering Heights every year since first finding it at 12. Cathy Earnshaw was always my favourite literary heroine. But this time I’ve sworn to really think about her.
What I feel is surprising is that Cathy seems haughty. She seems petulant at times, solipsistic and violent. And I struggle with her decision to marry Edgar after Heathcliff runs off. Why does she do it?
When Heathcliff  returns three years later and, finding her married, asks, ‘Why did you betray your own heart?’, I’m wondering the same thing.
But Wuthering Heights isn’t really about Cathy as a heroine. It’s about love. Transcendent love, operatic love, excessive, abandoned love.
As a teenager, I wanted a love so intense it could send me into a brain fever or cause the man who loved me to dash his head against a tree till he bled.
But now I see Cathy and Heathcliff’s love is just not realistic. It’s the kind of love that could only be written by someone who had never been in love. And, as I learned in my 20s, it’s a terrible template for conducting a love affair.
Heroine or has-been? Has-been
#Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
As a teenager, I found Jane impassive, dejected. She’s plain and awkward, as I was.
But now, I’m surprised on the very first page: she questions authority and gets a book thrown at her head.
Jane could have taught me that you don’t have to be beautiful to value yourself. When Rochester, her foxy employer, needs her to deal with crises, she’s calm, unhysterical, brave.
And how can anyone not love a Jane who demands, ‘Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, that I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!’
But she becomes a proper heroine when, her marriage ruined by the discovery of Rochester’s mad wife in the attic, she refuses to stay and be his mistress.
She is independent, brave and clever, and she stays true to herself. And while Cathy ends up a wandering ghost, Jane ends up happily married.
Heroine or has-been? Heroine
Crain's Chicago Business interviews the choreographer Margi Cole. Not surprisingly (she was the choreographer of Written in the Body, inspired by the Brontës) she is quite the Brontëite:
Name a fictional character who resonates. Jane Eyre. I'm just enamored of those Brontë ladies. I made a 30-minute work about the Brontë sisters and their masculine alter-egos, and in reading about them, I came to fully understand the place Jane Eyre came from. (Christina Le Beau)
Emma John quotes no other than Emily Brontë talking about the The Ashes Test cricket series in The Guardian:
Or, as Emily Brontë would have had it: "Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves." Who would have believed that thinking they were too good would ever have proved a problem for the England team?
 The Jakarta Post talks about the artist and entrepeneur Melissa Sunjaya:
“It is a collaborative work with Kampus Diakonia Modern, a foundation that gives care to street children. We provide them with the material, which applies a zero-waste concept,” added Melissa, whose favorite books are Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Siddharta by Herman Hesse and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. (Niken Prathivi)
The Independent (Ireland) also highlights the broadcast of Jane Eyre 2011 on BBC Two next Monday:
By my reckoning this is at least the tenth major English language film version of Jane Eyre, and that's not counting the 1943 zombie version directed by Jacques Tourneur (I'm not kidding, check it out). Perhaps a perfect screen rendering of Charlotte Brontë's brooding masterpiece is impossible, but this Cary Joji Fukunaga/Moira Buffini adaptation might just be the best yet.
Mia Wasikowska (above) plays the adult Jane, whom we first meet when she rushes onto the wintry moors and collapses at a cottage door. She is rescued by a kindly but proper minister called St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell), and as she recuperates we travel through her life in flashback.
Neglected and tormented by her cruel aunt following the premature deaths of her parents, young Jane (Amelia Clarkson) is sent to Lowood boarding school, a supposedly charitable institution that treats its inmates cruelly. There Jane learns a kind of joyless self-reliance, and when she emerges at 18 she lands a job as governess to a little girl at a country house called Thornfield Hall.
Jane is pleased by her new surroundings and the relative independence they afford her. But she soon discovers Thornfield is a house full of pain and secrets. 
El Confidencial (Spain) devotes a post to Joan Fontaine and is quite concernet about Jane Eyre's hairdo:

Tal vez por esa doble faz de fuerza y resquebrajamiento, de nerviosismo a flor de piel y solidez de roca, nadie podría haber interpretado mejor el papel de Jane Eyre al lado de Orson Welles en la adaptación de la novela de Charlotte Brönte (sic) que llevó a cabo Robert Stevenson en 1944. Y, si me permiten una nota de frivolidad, aguantar el peinado de la señorira Eyre- raya en medio y una especie de moñetes abultados que tapan las orejas- durante todo el rodaje muestra la capacidad de la actriz para ser creíble incluso en las situaciones más comprometidas. (Marta Sanz) (Translation)
Financial Post announces the death of Edgar M. Bronfman who among many other things was the owner of Sagittarius Productions, producers of Jane Eyre 1970; Dulce Inspiración (in Spanish) posts about the Brontës and Jane Austen; A Life Among the Pages reviews Wuthering Nights by I.J. Miller; we are intrigued by this drawing by C+D: Edith Wharton + Charlotte Brontë Pinhole camera for a Curate; Tim Holt visited Brontë country.

Comments :

0 comments to “ Jane Stays True to Herself. Cathy is Just Silly ”
Post a Comment