Jane Eyre

The Woman at the Door: The Gypsy Scene in Jane Eyre

Jane’s relationship with Mr. Rochester is marked by uncertainty in equality and independence in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Using the Gothic elements of disguise in the gypsy scenes, Mr. Rochester assumes an ambiguous role of gender and class inferiority. By breaking gender barriers, Mr. Rochester finds a way to come out of his shell, speak his true feelings about Jane’s character, and overcome restrictive obstacles placed by social barriers in the 19th century world of the Victorian novel. Mr. Rochester disguises himself, blurring class and gender lines. This is necessary to efface Jane and Mr. Rochester’s differences in order for them to have a more honest relationship.

In the Victorian period gypsies were looked down upon, and their role in society ambiguous. In accordance with characters of Gothic fiction and Gothic themes, the gypsy woman’s entrance is unexplainable and supernatural. Masquerading as a gypsy woman, Mr. Rochester wields a magical power over not only Jane, but the rest of the guests as well. Under this disguise, he controls the emotions of the young single women present. This scene also reveals how much he dictates Jane’s emotions. When it is Jane’s turn to see the gypsy, she is not frightened, but...

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