Monthly Archives: March 2012

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

I’m having some trouble articulating my feelings about Jane Eyre. I started out really loving the book, it really challenged my English reading comprehension and had some very lovely observations in it. I loved Jane’s character and how it developed and became quite fascinated by the goings on at Thornfield. I sometimes wished Jane would be a little more inquisitive about the strange things that were happening, but I understood her to be very trusting of Mr. Rochester due to her love for him.
Jane’s acceptance of Rochesters forceful ways are sometimes a little much for my tastes, I would have liked her to challenge him a bit more to even the score. But I quite enjoyed the resolution of the mystery of Thornfield. I was surprised by all the stuff that happens after that. I could see how much book I still had left to read, but I could not have predicted the curve the story took. At first I was quite fascinated by this whole new part of the story, and I felt that Jane finding a place at the village school would have been a good ending to the book. It would subvert the expectation that at some point the obstacle keeping her and Rochester apart would be solved and they could finally be together. (I am quite amused that the problem would never have been a problem in today’s society, it shows how different the world is now.)

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë I was a little disappointed with where the story went next. Not that Jane didn’t deserve to be happy, but that she just happens upon long lost relations didn’t feel realistic to me. And the religious context of the discussions Jane and St. John have about becoming a missionary did not give me a good feeling. I had a little trouble divorcing from my regular attitude about such things and to put it in the context of the times the book was written. The long speeches were also a little difficult for me. Maybe I’ll understand it better on a re-read.
When Jane finally returns to Thornfield Hall to see how it’s fared, I got excited again. But all that has happened really is that the story wraps itself in a nice little bow to give our heroine her happy ever after.

While I was very proud of Jane for sticking to her principles and leaving Thornfield in the first place, at that time I was so very curious to stay with the people staying behind and learn how they’re impacted by the leaving of Jane and the happenings that led to her doing so. As a reader I felt constricted by the first-person narrative right then. That’s the first time that has ever happened to me. Usually I really love the first-person view.

I think the secret of Thornfield Hall and what it ended up being was my favourite part of the book.

The bookmark is mostly Acrylic (I sketched with a pencil, then put a layer of colour pencil on it, then painted over that with acrilyc paint and finally put some acrylic varnish on it.) Those who’ve read the book will (hopefully) recognize the portrait. :)

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

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Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brother do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

I am just loving Jane Eyre!

Jane Eyre

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the unique style of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’ve read the original Austen novel (and I’m a big fan of the BBC mini-series) so this re-imagining was quite different than what I’m used to. One of the things I needed to get used to was the occasional very clear sexist remarks toward women (more so then I remember from the orginal). I understand it’s written like that to highlight how ridiculous it is and to make it funny. But I had to get into that mindset first.
I instantly liked the zombies and battles though! Once I got into the rhythm of this version of the story I enjoyed it very much, and I feel that the way Elizabeth’s literal fights emphasized the confrontational scenes she has with some people in the book was very well done.
Even though the slaying of undead will never get old for me, my favourite thing about the addition of zombies was the constant reference to the zombie-problem of England the characters make. It’s a part of the way they speak because the zombies are an unfortunate reality for them. To me it reads as hilariously absurd and I enjoy that.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies Pride & Prejudice & Zombies Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

This bookmark took me a lot of time because I did quite a few different layers which required drying time in between. I love mixing different materials, and this is most definitely mixed media. Those of you at home in the mixed media world might recognise the folksy doll-like style of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as similar to Suzi Blu‘s work. That’s because I learned it in her Les Petites Academy. If you like the style I highly recommend you check out her work because she’s much better at it then I am.
Because the illustrations in this library copy of the book are so beautiful (painted by Robert Parada) and realistic I needed to do something entirely different because I could never match the work already in the book. I’m quite happy with the end result, although it took me longer then I would have liked. (Again a month! But to be fair I did went on a trip for a week so that week doesn’t count in production time.)

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
It really is an awesome looking book. It even has a ribbon, which means my bookmark is superfluous.

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