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Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

Essay by review  •  July 4, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,270 Words (6 Pages)  •  908 Views

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In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, we are introduced to a young heroine who faces an uphill life battle that she seems ill equipped for. In the course of the novel, Jane endures hardships throughout her life that help to make her the young woman that she becomes at the end of the novel. Through her journey, she falls in love with an older man of considerable wealth and stature. Jane’s love is unrequited at first, but eventually the elder Mr. Rochester develops feelings for her. However, a series of unfortunate events prevents them from being together initially. In the end, the two finally end up together, but only after dealing with many tragic events. Although in the beginning they weren’t necessarily the best match by the end of the novel they were the ideal person for each other.

Jane has grown up having close to nothing in life; She is meek and humble, and doesn’t seem all that concerned with having the riches in which Mr. Rochester lives upon. Jane’s indifference about money seems to pose a bit of a problem with her and the initial idea of being with Rochester. When Jane first arrives at Thornfield, Rochester was a bit cold and harsh with her. During tea time one evening, Rochester proceeds to interrogate Jane about her background. Jane notes his cold demeanor, “…He searched my face with eyes that I saw were dark, irate, and piercing” (123; Ch.13). Later in the conversation, Mrs. Fairfax is giving praise to Jane for all of her work when Rochester interjects and once more displays a cold, callused demeanor, “Don’t trouble yourself to give her a character… eulogiusms will not bias me; I shall judge for myself” (125; Ch.13). Part of the reason that Rochester acted that way was because he though himself superior to Jane, because Jane was there working for him. Also, there is a sense that he

feels superior to her because he is older and more experienced than Jane, “I claim only such superiority as must result from twenty years’ difference in age and a century’s advance in experienceвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (135; Ch.14). In due time, this superiority claim becomes irrelevant as Rochester soon finds himself falling for young Ms. Eyre.

Rochester finally realizes that he is in love with Jane and convinces her to marry him. Everything seems to be going right for our heroine, but there is a secret from Rochester’s past that plays a part in keeping these two lovers separated. Jane and Rochester are finally at the church about to get married when Rochester’s past finally catches up to him. In the church, Mr. Mason and Mr. Briggs inform Jane that Rochester cannot marry her due to the fact that he is still married, “I affirm and can prove that on the 20th of October, A.D., (a date of fifteen years back) Edward Fairfax Rochester, of Thornfield Hall, in the county of ____, and of Ferndean Manor, in ____shire, England, was married to my sister, Bertha Antoinetta Mason… at___church, Spanish Town, Jamaica” (295; Ch.26). Faced with the undeniable proof that Bertha was still alive, Rochester finally comes clean, “I daresay you have many a time inclined your ear to gossip about the lunatic kept there (Thornfield)… I now inform you that she is my wife, whom I married fifteen years ago” (296; Ch.26). Rochester feels obligated to be truthful now, but Jane is completely heartbroken by this revelation, “Jane Eyre, who had been an ardent, expectant woman вЂ"almost a bride- was a cold, solitary girl again: her life was pale, her prospects were desolate” (300; Ch.26). A devastated Jane then leaves Thornfield. This secret has devastated her chance at happiness in this point of her life and

she’s not quite sure about anything anymore. Lies are a horrible foundation for a relationship and Jane recognizes that.

Ultimately Jane and Mr. Rochester, despite their problems, finally get to be together. During her time with St. John, Mr. Rivers passes away and leaves Jane an inheritance. Jane all of a sudden finds herself a wealthy woman, though she knows not how to handle it at first. Jane ends up back at Thornfield to find it in ruins. She soon learns that Bertha set fire to Thornfield, and in the midst of the fire, Rochester is badly injured while trying to save the servants; He loses a hand as well as his eye sight. Jane seeks out Rochester and finds a different man than she had known before. This Rochester was no longer concerned with material things,

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