Jane’s Reaction to Rochester’s Proposal
When Jane comes to know about Mr. Rochester’s prior marriage, she reverts to her bedchamber and grapples with the issue about her possible departure from Thornfield. As she goes out of the room, Mr. Rochester pursues her there and he solemnly begs pardon. Jane confidentially grants the pardon but chooses to remain silent. This apart, she prevents his physical advances in an effort to peck her. He tenders before her the proposal that they go to a conspicuous place in south of France to reside there as wife and husband. Jane is not willing and she breaks down and asserts that notwithstanding her love for him, she will just be his mistress as long as Bertha lives. The reason given by her is just the mask for her to hide her true feelings of her inner world. Bertha represents the position of women in the Victorian Era, the male dominated society, and how marriage imprisons women. Jane articulates, what happen to Bertha can happen to her as well in view of Rochester’s higher social status and the proprietary feelings he has for her. The societal sanctions against women in the Victorian Era were strange. Charlotte Bronte argues “Conventionality is not morality.” As per the conventions governing the society, women had to be submissive to the dictates of men. For the sake of love of marrying Jane, Mr. Rochester had no hesitation in coming out of the established marriage conventions. But for Jane’s refusal, he would have continued to live with her, leaving Bertha to her fate. He is not at all feeling guilty about his double standards. Whereas, Jane is sincere to her feelings and is not willing to break the societal conventions for the sake of her selfishness though conventions are not morally right in many situations.
Episode 2: Write a short essay on the interview of Jane Eyre and Mrs. Reed…
Jane arrives at Gateshead Hall, the place in which she spent her miserable childhood. Mrs. Reed is at the terminating stage of her life, extremely sick and bedridden. She speaks incoherently and murmurs that Jane has been a frightening child with extreme disposition to naughtiness. As she broods over the past and how she had treated Jane, a feeling of remorse engulfs her inner world. She deeply repents what she did about Jane which affected her future. Three years ago she candidly admitted that she had received a communication from Jane’s uncle, John Eyre. He desired to adopt Jane with a view to make her his inheritor. Maliciously, Mrs. Reed did not reveal the contents of that communique to anyone and sent a reply that Jane had met with her death at Lowood down with fever. The relation between Jane and Mrs. Reed is more complex and Mrs. Reed is the cunning stepmother. Mrs. Reed hates Jane because she considers her as an intruder in the family circle. Jane, by temperament is a woman, who does not care for the societal status quo, and family in the Victorian Era was considered as the smallest social unit and Jane was considered by her as the threat as she would vitiate the family structure. Jane frightened Mrs. Reed as she behaved like an adult. Mrs. Reed wanted Jane to be submissive and calm. She said something important on her deathbed that scared Jane. Mrs. Reed’s guilt overpowered her in the deathbed. she realized that she mistreated her, almost considered her as an animal. Mrs. Reed upheld patriarchal structures and she detested female freedom. She was finally punished for her evil ways, her son caused her ruin, and most probably death and her daughters did not love her. No one was there to grieve her on her death.
http://www.bronte.netfury.co.uk/jane-eyre/.Web: Accessed on May 1, 2014