Jane Eyre

Comparison between Jane Eyre and Mr.Rochester?


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With the revelation of Mr. Rochester’s marriage to Bertha, Bronte is able to uncover all of the mysteries of Thornfield and Mr. Rochester’s past: the laughter from the third story, Rochester's early error in life and desire for a new wife, Mrs. Fairfax's warning to Jane, the fire in Mr. Rochester's room, and the interloper in Jane's room. Just as Jane has trouble deciding how to judge Rochester, the reader, too, is in a difficult position. Because Mr. Rochester was unaware of Bertha Mason’s hereditary madness, he was essentially victimized by the Mason family. Moreover, considering Bertha’s propensity for violence, he had little choice but to confine her to the room in the attic, especially when an insane asylum during the time period would have been much more barbaric.

Still, Mr. Rochester would gladly have married Jane despite his preexisting marriage, and Jane would have been diminished to the inferior position of mistress without even realizing it. The biggest difficulty for Jane is that she still loves Mr. Rochester, but her innate sense of right and wrong demand that she cast him aside forever. As evidence of Jane’s personal despair, Bronte narrates the bad turn of events with the relentless imagery of ice: "A Christmas frost had come at midsummer; a white December storm had whirled over June; ice glazed the ripe apples…" As in other places in the novel, ice symbolizes destruction, cruelty, hopelessness, and death. In this moment of despair, Jane reaches out to God. While she does not have blind faith in Him (as evidenced by her inability to speak the prayer), God is her last salvation and her last chance (so she believes) to be loved by another.