Occasionally, I like to think about plot similarities between movies and books. Before I delve in to today’s topic, I’d like to note that this post contains spoiler warnings for both JANE EYRE and the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC, which I will be referring to as TSOM. You have been warned.
I am not sure if it was intentional or not, and I know some details of the Von Trapps were altered for the sake of storytelling in the movie, but it seems both of these stories have some noteworthy similarities. To me, TSOM is like JANE EYRE without so many of the Gothic elements. Obviously, there is not a mentally ill woman in the attic in TSOM, but let’s look closely at these stories.
- A wealthy, moody, handsome, older, male character, who also owns a massive estate in Europe.
- Governesses who fall in love with their employers.
- A rich women who serves as an obstacle to the main character’s love for their employer (Blanche Ingram & Baroness Schrader).
- Conflict within the main character causing them to leave their employer and position, secretly, even though they are quite helplessly in love with their employer.
- Main characters with strong faiths.
- Governesses marrying their employers.
I’m sure there are more similarities, and if you can think of more, please comment!
I agree TSOM does share some huge similiarities wuth Jane Eyre.
Although I feel I should point out that Mr. Rochester is not a handsome man. It is noted in the book that he and Jane are of the same likeness, neither generally considered handsome.
I had the same reaction while watching the Jane Ayre movie (with Michael Fassbender as Rochester).I am very familiar with The Sound of Music and the similarity first occurred to me when Jane arrived at the impressive home of Mr.Rochester and mistook the head servant for the woman of the house. Maria mistook the butler for the Captain in the Sound of Music. As you noted, the male characters appear similar (?archetypes), at least in the movies (I understand the Rochester of the novel is somewhat different). The Captain is clearly scarred by his previous marriage and warns Maria when they first meet that “there are certain rooms in this house that are not to be disturbed.” Jane and Maria are both unintimidated (in contrast to everyone else in the household) and win him over. Both have unique skills (artistic and musical) and both prove to be loving, motherly types to the respective children. The feeling I had from both movies at this stage was very similar. The von Trapp story was significantly changed in comparison with the biography for the sake of the movie. I suspect whoever wrote the book for the musical was very familia with Jane Ayre.
Thanks for blogging on this topic. I was glad to find I wasn’t the only one to be struck by this.
I’m so happy to find your post!! I’ve just see Jane Erye again since college and I was just telling my daughter how it now reminded me so much of TSOM and I gave her the same breakdown. It’s just nice to know I’m not insane when I decide to research if he stories were borrowed from one another. I do enjoy both individually.