what does the chestnut tree symbolize besides separation and hope?
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THe tree gets "struck by lightning in the night, and half of it split away." This gets us wondering if this now split tree represents Jane and Rochester's fractured romance of just Rochester all messed up. The best way to see this is that they complement each other. Much later in the book Rochester identifies himself with the tree but jane a new plant, "I am no better than the old lightning-struck chestnut-tree in Thornfield orchard…And what right would that ruin have to bid a budding woodbine cover its decay with freshness?" So if Rochester is all split up and dying, perhaps he is being reborn through Jane.