Relationship Between Jane Eyre and Rochester Analysis Essay

Relationship Between Jane Eyre and Rochester Analysis Essay
📌Category: Books, Literature
📌Words: 1148
📌Pages: 5
📌Published: 17 April 2021

In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester develop a strong and intimate relationship throughout the chapters leading up to the proposal. Edward is keen on Jane while he is also manipulative. On the other hand, Jane makes her admiration and love for Edward known as she is very passionate about Edward’s demeanor but understands that she is going to lose the love of her life as he marries Blanche Ingram. Instead, Mr. Rochester is going to propose to Jane. Brontë creates a tranquil atmosphere at the beginning of chapter 23 and transitions to a suspenseful atmosphere in the scenes that lead to the proposal. Brontë ends the chapter with catastrophe and carelessness. Brontë institutes a dynamic atmosphere to distinguish and emphasize the moods of the scenes before and after the proposal. 

The scene takes place in Thornfield during a heavenly summer evening. Thornfield’s initial setting, described as colorful and blissful in the summer, is used by Brontë to show Jane’s contentment at Thornfield. Jane describes the skyline as “a solemn purple, burning with the light of red jewel and furnace flame at one point... extending high and wide, soft and still softer.. over half heaven (p. 377)” which suggests that she is at peace with Thornfield and her surroundings that make up Thornfield. Though she rarely describes the outskirts of Thornfield, Jane illuminates the beauty and colors present in Thornfield as she is outside walking around. Jane emphasizes that she is comfortable and at ease when she says, "over half heaven." This scene sets a peaceful mood for the setting as she implies Thornfield being like heaven. The phrases “solemn purple” and “burning with the light of red jewel and furnace flame” depict the immense pleasure and comfort that can be found in Thornfield through Jane. The phrases also indicate the intensity and power of peace at Thornfield.  Also, Jane compares Mr. Rochester’s cigar to “sweet-briar and southernwood, jasmine, pink, and rose... yielding their evening sacrifice of incense (p. 378).” Brontë includes this description to contrast the sweet and pleasant smell of the flowers to  Mr. Rochester’s odiferous cigar. Jane finds Mr. Rochester’s presence bothersome as his cigar disturbs the immaculate scenery of Thornfield. Additionally, Jane describes a corner of Thornfield as “more Edenlike; it was full of trees, it bloomed with flowers…(p. 378)”. Jane alludes to the Garden of Eden, perhaps to highlight the beauty, life, and contentment she receives from her surroundings which also implies that she is curious. Moreover, Brontë uses compelling images in the beginning pages of the chapter to reveal the tranquility of the scene and the serenity Jane feels in Thornfield that evening. 

As the chapter continues, suspense and fear builds up. The closer Mr. Rochester seems to Jane, the more apprehensive Jane becomes while her surroundings seem to illustrate her emotions. Suspense arises when Jane explains that Mr. Rochester’s cigar smell is becoming stronger. Jane hears a nightingale singing as “no moving form is visible, no coming step audible; but that perfume increases: I must flee (p.378).” As Jane is exploring Thornfield on her own, she starts to realize that Mr. Rochester is also exploring Thornfield but does not want to confront him. However, she is unable to identify where he is coming from so that she can escape from his sight. She feels trapped. One prominent motif in Jane Eyre is birds. This motif is significant because, throughout the book, birds have appeared numerous times while Jane was distressed or glum. Birds have usually had a positive connotation in the book. In Jane’s situation, she feels trapped as she is not sure where to go or what to do but to run away from Mr. Rochester’s presence. Just like a bird has wings to fly away, Jane has her freedom as she “must flee” from Mr. Rochester’s entrapment yet isn’t sure how to go about it and makes this scene suspenseful. Although birds usually bring hope and reassurance to Jane, she allows fear to take over her emotions. Brontë adds the line “no moving form visible, no coming step audible, but the perfume increases” to evoke suspense as we sense Jane’s fear and perplexity to express the disturbance of Mr. Rochester’s presence. 

Suspense, fear, and tension endure as Jane eventually gets caught sneaking away by Mr. Rochester. Once he captures Jane, he insists that she walk around Thornfield with him. Jane was “... alone with Mr. Rochester in the shadowy orchard, but I could not find a reason to allege for leaving him (p. 380).” Through the phrase “shadowy orchard”, Brontë uses diction to signify that Jane finds darkness and heaviness in Mr. Rochester’s presence. She wants to go back to the color and life, away from the dullness of the shadows. Tension appears when Mr. Rochester and Jane discuss his wedding. Jane becomes distressed as he tells her he will send her to Ireland as soon as he and Blanche get married. After Mr. Rochester blatantly proposes to Jane, “a waft of wind trembled through the boughs of the chestnut... The nightingale’s song was then the only voice of the hour: in listening to it, I again wept (p. 387)” Jane weeps with the nightingale as she believes she has lost her the man she once loved and the place that has felt like her home. She felt alone as the nightingale’s song brought to her eyes tears of humiliation and added a somber mood to the proposal.

Finally, Mr. Rochester sets the scene as he pleads to Jane that he is being sincere. Enchanted with the proposal,  she was careless of her surroundings. Jane explains that “... loud as the wind blew, near and deep as the thunder crashed, fierce and frequent as the lightning gleamed, cataract-like as the rain fell during a storm of two hours’ duration, I experienced no fear and little awe (p. 391) .” After coming back inside with Mr. Rochester, Jane is wonderstruck that nothing bothers her or scares her despite how severe the weather conditions are outside. Brontë uses images to portray the severity of the storm and support the idea that Jane had become incognizant of her surroundings. Anything catastrophic, like the chestnut tree struck by lightning, was disregarded by Jane since she was carried away with the enchantment of the proposal.

Brontë establishes a complex atmosphere for the proposal through setting and mood. Jane is a dynamic character as her emotions shift from relaxed to distressed while she discusses her pleasures and concerns. Jane incognizant of the weather reminds me of the reactions to the coronavirus pandemic. Many people today see the conditions in which we are living but fail to recognize the severity of the situation. For example, some people choose not to wear a face mask when they go out because they long for fresh air and embrace the open air.  However, some people are not mindful of those around them, especially if they are susceptible to being infected. How our lifestyles have changed has taken a toll on some of us as we are not used to being indoors and having to adapt to such changes. All of our atmospheres have changed, some people see the pandemic as a good thing for themselves, even though people are dying, while others see the pandemic as stressful. Similarly, Jane’s emotions shift from positive to negative as she experiences changes in her atmosphere which allows the reader to sympathize with her.

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