Jane Eyre: A Book Review, Some Regrets, Fassbender’s Face, and a Short Feminist Rant

This book was a pleasure to read from start to finish. It’s a shame it took me so long to pick this up now knowing it has many things I would’ve liked to read while I was growing up. I’ve always enjoyed Gothic novels, delighted in opinionated female characters, and enjoyed beautiful, descriptive writing.

After finishing the book, I was browsing its Goodreads page to see what others thought of it, as I’ve been wont to do because I am nosy and enjoy mentally agreeing/disagreeing with other people’s judgments about things I like. A lot of people hated it, but many others loved it too, sometimes as much as I did though not in the same way. One very poignant review passionately pointed out that she “… could bang Mr. Rochester like a screen door ’till next Tuesday.” Interesting. In another review, Jane’s plainness and sob stories were found boring, and Rochester was found to be insufferable, immoral and uninteresting.

I never really viewed Jane Eyre as a romantic novel. I vehemently refuse to experience it as a love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester because Jane is so much more than her romantic relationships. I also think Rochester is gross, and her admiration for the man ludicrous.* I understand when people are put off by this romance because I hated it too. (Full disclosure: I’ve read Jean Rhys’ prequel Wide Sargasso Sea years back and thus have already formed negative opinions about Rochester before reading Jane Eyre).

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Just saw the 2011 adaptation and Fassbender made Rochester less gross (darnit, Fassbender!!), still old and intense though.

If you allow yourself to look past that ridiculous May-December love affair, you will appreciate Jane’s education – from her difficult time at the hands of the Reeds to her training at the Lowood Charity school, which fed her hunger for a life outside of those walls leading her to the most important part of her coming-of-age at Thornfield Hall. You will love her spunk, and you will enjoy her comebacks to people who did her wrong. You kind of expect Victorian ladies to be all coy and modest but not this Jane. I’ve done far too many mental hellsyeah! every time she tells people off. When her cruel aunt told her cousins to stay away and not associate with her as she is not worthy of notice, she remarks, “They are not fit to associate with me.

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Light by Rob Cham; and Limbo by Playdead

Light is a worldless comic book created by Rob Cham and released by Anino in 2015. The pages are framed in black and features a backpack-toting, nameless fella that travels across different lands, and encounters and battles different monsters in his mysterious quest.

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His journey unfolds delightfully in pitch black backgrounds, with the occasional peppering of colors to signify a milestone. The illustrations are beautifully rendered in the limited color palette that Rob Cham chooses and reminds me a lot of Limbo, a wordless puzzle-platform game made by independent Danish game developer Playdead.

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Both titles play around with black and white, they have beautiful visuals, and both tease their audiences with a mystery (What are these kids up to?) that makes us want to keep going til the very end.

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The Big Bad Wolf

Bigby-sama, show me the ways of the Wolf.

The Wolf Among Us is an episodic game by Telltale Games based on the Fables comic book series by Bill Willingham. Since I am almost always late to most video game parties and all five episodes have been released at the time of playing, it didn’t feel at all very episodic to me but was instead a point-and-click adventure/mystery drama that didn’t play so much as a game as it did an interactive movie.

A huge selling point of Telltale Games’ episodic series was that every choice you make can lead to enormous and vastly different consequences. Apart from the gorgeous graphics and the promise of excellent story-telling, I liked the choice-based mechanic of the game because it felt like an opportunity for me to learn how to be more unyielding and maybe, a bit more zen too.

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You see, I’m a chronic worry-wart and making choices is almost always excruciating for me. I irrationally suffer through the process of making decisions for myself, and suffer twice more when making decisions for others. Huge or tiny choices, it really doesn’t matter. All is fair in mental health problems and war.  If I had my way, it can take me as much time to choose what Jollibee value meal to order, or what internet service provider to choose as much as it takes to decide if I should move out of my folks’ home or not, all of which can be a looong time. And when I finally make the decision, it will always feel like something’s amiss, that maybe I still missed a pro or a con on my list of pro vs cons. Or I didn’t do enough research. Something. Anything. Sometimes, I get so bogged down by the gravity of the act of choosing (not so much the choices, as sometimes the outcome is irrelevant), that I give up and end up not making a choice at all.

That is why choice and consequence games can be a good way for me to make decisions fast (before a timeout!), stay firm about them and not look back (e.g. whine too much). I need to learn how to live with the decisions I make. Unless I die in which case, I go back to an earlier save point.

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But I digress. This post is about the game and not about me, and The Wolf Among Us didn’t feel at all like the decisions I made throughout the game really had much effect on the plot line. They didn’t feel like they added up to something big nor did I see any changes that may have been defined by tiny dialogue options that I had to click before a timeout bar disappears. Apart from a couple of obviously huge decisions (which you would know are huge choices because they are totally IN YOUR FACE), I didn’t think that every other time-based choices made an impact to the story as have been over-hyped. They would probably make you miss a two second retort from the eponymous Bigby Wolf, but nothing major will probably happen. I just didn’t feel any sort of gravity from the choices I had to make. Choose this or that, or not choose at all, and it would probably not matter*.

Continue reading “The Big Bad Wolf”