Jane Eyre Comparison Essay

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In the novel, Jane Eyre, the title character experiences difficulty with her social class and its impact on her love life. She falls in love with Mr. Rochester, who is a wealthier man than her, but he appears to express interest in Blanche Ingram. Miss Ingram is a woman of higher status and is socially compatible with Mr. Rochester, causing Jane to question his love as well as her own. These struggles can be depicted through narration, however the movie adaptations of the novel must resort to other methods. One choice made by the directors, Robert Stevenson, director of the 1944 adaptation, and Cary Fukunaga, director of the 2011 adaptation, is the costume design of specific character. Stevenson utilizes the style of costume design between…show more content…
Both women seek to marry the same man, Mr. Rochester, however it appears that he desires Miss Ingram due to his shared social class, while Jane remains poorer than him. The existence of this social conflict is prevalent through the plots, however the costume designs of Jane Eyre and Blanche Ingram emphasize the elements of status. The apparent differences in costume selections for Miss Ingram and Jane Eyre serve to further emphasize the gap in social status between the two. From this, the audience can see Blanche’s beauty and grace being highlighted by her outfit, causing her to appear as more desirable than Jane. The extravagance of Miss Ingram causes the audience to assume that Mr. Rochester wishes to marry her over Jane and her simplistic style, and, in turn, creates tension within the conflict. The costume design produces the implication that Jane is undesirable to Mr. Rochester, due to her evident lower social class. This tension is best created by Stevenson, as he utilizes the stark contrasts of clothing between Jane’s simplicity and Blanche’s complexity. In contrast, Fukunaga’s choices in costume design draw too many parallels between the clothes of women in two opposing social classes. As a result, the audience does not sense this tension developed by differences in costuming and the impact of the resolution, when Mr. Rochester proposes to Jane, is
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