Comparing books to movies is a common practice among many readers and moviegoers. It allows us to examine how the different mediums portray the story and characters, and often sparks discussions on what each version brings to the table. In the case of the novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, there have been two notable film adaptations: one released in 1996 and another in 2011.
When analyzing the trailers for these two adaptations, one can observe differences in how they portray the genre of the novel. The 1996 trailer emphasizes the romantic elements of the story, showcasing the passionate relationship between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. It captures the intense emotions and longing between the characters, creating a sense of a classic love story. On the other hand, the 2011 trailer focuses more on the gothic elements of the novel, highlighting the mysterious and eerie atmosphere surrounding Thornfield Hall. It presents the story as a haunting and atmospheric tale, suggesting a darker and more sinister tone.
In terms of gothic tropes, both trailers incorporate elements that align with the genre of the novel. The 1996 trailer includes shots of a grand and isolated mansion, representing the isolated setting often characteristic of gothic novels. It also highlights the theme of secrets and hidden pasts, as well as the presence of a “madwoman in the attic.” These tropes are consistent with the gothic tradition and mirror the elements present in the novel itself.
Similarly, the 2011 trailer also incorporates gothic tropes by emphasizing the dark and foreboding atmosphere of Thornfield Hall. It utilizes cinematography techniques such as dim lighting, shadows, and eerie music to evoke a sense of unease and mystery. Additionally, it introduces the motif of fire, which plays a significant role in the novel and is often associated with destruction and rebirth.
When considering which trailer most accurately portrays the novel, it is essential to note that both interpretations capture different aspects of the story. The 1996 trailer leans more towards the romantic elements, highlighting the passionate relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester. While this aspect is indeed crucial to the novel, it does not fully encompass the gothic elements that are also integral to the narrative. On the other hand, the 2011 trailer effectively captures the darker and more mysterious aspects of the novel, providing a glimpse into the unsettling atmosphere of Thornfield Hall.
However, it is important to acknowledge that no trailer can entirely capture the nuances and complexities of a novel. Trailers, by nature, aim to entice and captivate audiences, and often make certain choices to appeal to specific cinematic expectations. Therefore, while both trailers offer interpretations of the novel, they cannot fully encapsulate the entirety of the story.
In terms of gothic tropes present in the novel, one notable example is the motif of the haunted house or isolated setting. This can be seen when Jane first arrives at Thornfield Hall. The novel describes it as “a great building of grey, battlemented stone, looking, in its massive size, more like a church than a house” (Bronte, 1847, p. 83). This description evokes a sense of mystery and foreboding, emphasizing the isolation and eerie atmosphere of the mansion. Additionally, the presence of a hidden, madwoman in the attic adds to the gothic theme of secrets and hidden pasts. As Jane explores the mansion, she discovers this unsettling truth, which further contributes to the gothic elements of the story.
In conclusion, comparing the trailers for the 1996 and 2011 film adaptations of “Jane Eyre” allows us to analyze their portrayal of the genre and gothic tropes present in the novel. While the trailers capture different aspects of the story, neither can fully encompass the entirety of the novel’s complexity. Nevertheless, they provide unique interpretations that showcase the romantic and gothic elements of the narrative to varying degrees. When examining the novel itself, the presence of gothic tropes like the haunted setting and hidden secrets further reinforce its classification as a gothic work.