The novel Jane Eyre was written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847. Although the novel is widely considered a classic, and is therefore presumed to be timeless in terms of its characters and themes, when a contemporary filmmaker wished to adapt its themes for present day audiences, there were certain aspects of the work that demanded changes, not in plot but in thematic emphasis and visual depiction. First of all, the religious themes of the novel were toned down. Bronte's religious concerns were presumed to be of less interest to modern audiences. Secondly, the passion between Jane and Mr. Rochester was made much more explicit in the film. When a viewer sees a romance on screen, the unspoken thoughts in the characters mind must be turned into a picture. In prose, Jane's doubts about Rochester's love sound more real. Lastly, the contrast between book and film is evident in the physical characterization of the two main romantic protagonists. Jane Eye and Mr. Rochester, we are told by Bronte, are neither conventionally handsome, but are drawn together because they have similarly fiery souls, while the actors who play them are much more conventionally attractive.
The novel Jane Eyre begins and ends with strong religious thematic overtones. The book opens with Jane being sent away to a brutal religious school. Before she leaves, the school's overseer, Mr. Brocklehurst tells Jane that bad children will go to hell if they do not reform. When she resolves, "I must keep in good health, and not die." Mr. Brocklehurst exclaims that she may die, "I buried a little child of five years old only a day or two since." He hypocritically praises how the children are kept at his school, even though he keeps his own children in finery. "My second daughter, Augusta, went with her mama to visit the school, and on her return she exclaimed: 'Oh, dear papa, how quiet and plain all the girls at Lowood look, with their hair combed behind their ears, and their long pinafores, and those little holland pockets outside their frocks--they are almost like poor people's children! and,' said she, 'they looked at my dress and.