Rochester’s Love for Jane
Jane Eyre’s novel, whose author is Charlotte Brontë, is a great and captivating account, narrating the encounters of Jane, an apparently simple and plain lassie, battling through life’s challenges. The story is recognized for the many secrets between the characters, with the appalling one being the point that Rochester had previously married Bertha. Typically, Rochester married for money and not love because he had to secure his future, as his older brother was to inherit his father’s affluence. This is why Rochester married Bertha, an attractive and rich woman. Besides appearing to be a perfect spouse, insanity ran through her family, but Rochester was unaware of it. Soon, she went mad, which made Rochester upset; thus, he paid a caretaker to take care of her in a concealed room. Before discovering this secret, I perceived the marriage proposal as a mistaken lust for love by Mr. Rochester because the dazzling Rochester had aroused her. This swiftly changes into a marriage proposal full of love and care from Mr. Rochester to the beautiful and witty Blanche, whose love is manipulative and deceptive.
Consistently, in the marriage proposal scene, Rochester confesses that he has strong emotions for Jane, and she also discloses her love for him. Robert said, “I sometimes have a queer feeling about you—especially when you are near me, as now (Brontë 300). While expressing her feelings, Jane says, “It is my spirit that addresses your spirit” (Brontë 301). The quote demonstrates that a marriage proposal came immediately after Rochester said she did not intend to marry Blanche. In his proposal, Rochester said, “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self and best earthly companion.” (Brontë 302). She was first hesitant, but she agreed to marry him. Rochester asks, “Do you doubt me, Jane?” (Brontë 303). Essentially, nothing could convince her that he was serious. At this point, Rochester’s secret was yet to be revealed. As such, I interpreted the passage as a romantic one full of everlasting love that was undeniable for the two of them.
I felt that Rochester was merely telling Jane that he would marry Blanche to make her jealous. He knew all along that he wanted to marry Jane and had feelings for her, but he had to mess with her a little. He told her that she had to go away. Rochester says, “Indeed I have already, through my future mother-in-law, heard of a place that I think will suit” (Brontë 299). He also says, “You’ll like Ireland, I think: they’re such warm-hearted people there” (Brontë 299). Consequently, I understood that even telling Jane that he had found a governess work in Ireland for her to go to was only a strategy to see her reaction and potentially confirm if she had feelings for him as well. After Jane expresses that she loves Thornfield a lot and Rochester asks her to stay, Jane is reluctant.
I understood that Jane did not want to be controlled in this part. She wanted to make her own choices, and that is why she declared her independence. Jane says, “I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.” (Brontë 302). Additionally, Jane rebukes Rochester for opting to marry Blanche because she wants to take this place and marry him. Jane could not believe that Rochester had proposed. Thus, she thought he was only teasing her. She was only right to doubt the proposal because he had told her about Blanche and the job in Ireland. Reading about how Rochester kissed her after they rushed inside convinced me of how passionate their love was and would continue to be. Accordingly, the scene left me certain that Rochester truly loved Jane. Hence, I expected the two to have the most glamorous marriage and live happily.
However, I saw the scene differently after Rochester’s secret was revealed. The first thing I thought after discovering the existence of Bertha was that Rochester did not truly love Jane because he would have told her the secret. Suppose he had been sincere with Jane; she would have understood and probably worked through the issue together. I began thinking about how he primarily married Bertha for her wealth, so I began to contemplate his reasons for marrying Jane, the poor girl. Even if he had feelings for Jane, they must have been very weak for him to lie to her directly. I saw Rochester for the dishonest and manipulating person that he was. During the marriage proposal scene, Rochester could have gone straight to Jane and romantically made a marriage proposal without lying about marrying Blanche. However, he had to get his way and mess with her emotions, demonstrating his manipulating abilities. Nature is even against this proposal because it was aware that the marriage would not go on. It is for this reason that the weather abruptly transforms into a downpour. The rain potentially saved Jane from continuing this love because it was not real. There was lightning later that night, which tore the chestnut tree apart. This was the same spot where the proposal had taken place. Having learned the truth about Bertha, I can openly say that even nature was against their marriage and that the storm was only a sign of the dying proposal. In the same way that the lightning tore the tree apart, their marriage would split because of the secret that Rochester was keeping.
On the other hand, opponents could say that Rochester’s love for Jane was true, which is why he lied to avoid losing her. Looking from the other side of the coin, the interpretation could be that Rochester must have been terrified that their love could have ended if Rochester had told Jane the secret, and as such, he decided to keep it to win Jane’s love. He could also have been embarrassed by his wife being mad and was uncomfortable disclosing the secret. As such, he did not disclose the secret to safeguard the love. However, I still think that Rochester is a liar and manipulator. Therefore, my interpretation is doubtful of the sincerity of this love. He knew he could only have married Jane as a second wife. Jane’s love for Rochester was true, just as showcased in the scene, and she was innocent. Nevertheless, Jane finally says, “Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present” (Brontë 517). This means she eventually gained control over her life and opted to marry Rochester out of love instead of obligation.
In conclusion, I doubt the sincerity of his love towards Jane because of Rochester’s lie regarding his marriage to Bertha. Opponents could say that Rochester’s love for Jane was true, which is why he lied to avoid losing her. Subsequently, my interpretation of the marriage proposal scene changed after realizing the lie. However, the love between Rochester and Jane initially looks real and promising.
Brontë, Charlotte. “Jane Eyre.” Medicine and Literature. CRC Press, 2018. 53-72.
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Be sure to add an MLA style heading: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_general_format.html.
The title of the novel should be italicized, and the author should be named in the first sentence.
The tense of all the action you describe should be present: soon Bertha ‘goes’ crazy. Instead of ‘crazy,’ use one of the terms Rochester uses.
In your thesis statement, try to characterize how you interpreted the marriage proposal scene at first and then later. Maybe at first, you understood the scene as betraying Mr. Rochester’s uncertainty with respect to a preference for Blanche, and then later, you understood something else.