The Book vs. The Movie: Jane Eyre

Hello readers and writers!

In honor of finally finishing Jane Eyre, my roommate and I watched the film adaptation with Mia Wasikowska as the lead and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester. The movie came out in 2011 (what?!) which is incredibly recent. I thought the movie came out in the early 2000s, but that just shows how quickly time moves, right guys?

Anyway, this review is going to be much different than my usual set-up because I’ll be comparing an already well-known novel with the movie. There will be spoilers since people have had over a century to read the novel and almost a decade to see the movie.


The movie begins with our heroine and main character Jane Eyre running through a field where the readers know she’s running from the drama and craziness to be mentioned later in the review. She’s taken in by a nice family and then we get flashbacks throughout the movie that shows us her past, starting from her childhood and ending with her running away from Mr. Rochester.

Big Differences:

  • The movie starts with the climax of the story and then gives us flashbacks into how she ended up in that position. I think it was a better decision since she relives her entire life for that family when you’re 86% through the novel. Providing us with flashbacks was a much better way to tell the story.
  • They took out all the super weird Mr. Rochester stuff. Like do you guys remember when he pretended to be a psychic and then pulled off his robe and was like, “HAHA, tricked you. ‘Tis I, Mr. Rochester!” Yeah, super weird and not needed for the story.
  • Some of the interactions between characters were changed to make the movie more dramatic, and I think they were good choices. There’s only so much time they can put into the movie, so they can’t include all of her relationships and female influences she had growing up.


  • They kept a lot of the important parts of their dialogue that had us swooning in the novel. Mia and Michael did amazing jobs expressing themselves as the characters, and I loved reliving those moments with them.
  • A lot of the turning points in Jane Eyre’s life were kept the same as well. The confrontation with her aunt, the death of her childhood best friend, and more. They really captured her life and condensed it well for the movie.

My Favorite Part:

The proposal was my absolute favorite part. She’s so unprepared and not expecting it from him, and they played all of it off so well. He’s actually much more transparent in the movie than he was in the novel, and I enjoyed the shock on her face during this part. It was sweet, romantic, and raw. How can one actress possess so many emotions in one look?! I don’t know, but Mia makes it work so well.

The Craziness:

When shit hits the fan in this movie, it really hits it. The novel was much more chaotic during this scene as Mr. Rochester throws himself all over the rooms, crying and shouting and calling himself a scoundrel. In the movie, he was reeled back a bit, so was the actress playing his wife, but it was nice to see all the emotions on his face, especially during the part where he begs her to stay. For anyone who’s seen it, you know what I mean. He’s not as devastated as in the novel though, but I like both versions. Mr. Rochester is a bit of a spoiled brat in the novel so his overdramatic reactions fit him well when the movie version of him is much more strong and stoic emotionally. They made it work well.


I would recommend reading the novel and then watching the movie. They do a great job of adapting the story into a shorter period of time, but there are a lot of great details left out in the movie. Doing both makes for a much richer experience.

Thanks for reading! Have you read the novel or watched the movie? What did you think?

Leave a comment to let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram. Like my Facebook page or join my group. Check out the rest of my blog if you want more content from me.

BTW, I do not own any of these photos and they might even be taken down for copyright purposes so we will see.

One thought on “The Book vs. The Movie: Jane Eyre

  1. I think Mr. Rochester pretending to be a fortune telling old woman is significant in the story as he did it to make Jane confess to her feelings and describes more what type of character Mr. Rochester is


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