余小姐今天來電郵，說她看了最新的電影Jane Eyre。她說她小時候對此書並無興趣，書的內容也已忘記。可是電影拍得好，她現在反而對這個故事感到興趣。她說簡愛獨立自主，就是現代的女性也未必比得上她；又說她覺得電影中簡愛拒絕St John Rivers 的求婚那場戲尤為感人。
“I finished reading (skipping a lot) it this morning. Before I read your post, I was thinking that St John’s role was miserably underdeveloped in the film. And I agree that the scene at the moor is good. I was actually taken aback when St John said “All forms of love”, and then I checked and noted that the director is a Japanese American (but he is actually American). In the book, St John is almost perfect physically (tall, fair, handsome) and of the highest quality of men. But he is cold and hard, as he himself says, and he does not love Jane Eyre a bit (he loves another girl, but she will not make a good wife of a missionary). Do you recall that they are actually first cousins? His mother was her father’s sister, and he does not get much from their uncle’s money if Jany Eyre does not share it with him. And he spends months to teach Jane Eyre the Hindu language, and weeks to persuade / pressure her to marry him. So the film has basically cut most of the details about St John so that he seems to be much more romantic than in the book.
This was the first time I actually read the book. And I was pleasantly surprised by the plot. A very delightful read, but perhaps not something for young school girls. What? Bigamy? What? Marrying a handicapped man 20 years senior? What? Neither of the protagonists is good-looking? haha.”
把這個記下來是因為我覺得我們的電郵很有趣。在辦公室討論簡愛，這聽起來十分unlikely，畢竟有誰會在中學英文課堂以外討論簡愛? （其實我上的是中文中學和中文大學，這輩子都沒修讀過西方文學。）而我們討論的竟然是Jane Eyre 和 St John Rivers 的關係，彷彿對別人的私隱說三道四一般，感覺十分八卦。哈哈。