Character relationships

Jane and Rochester

The relationship between Jane and Rochester is at the center of the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. 

Jane and Rochester’s relationship is fueled bypassion. In Rochester, Jane finds a kindred spirit, as she admires his mind. In turn, Rochester is attracted to Jane’s purity and innocence, and her honest and blunt manner. However, at the beginning, Jane and Rochester are not equals. Rochester is more than fifteen years older than Jane, significantly wealthier, and he is also her employer. As Jane gives in to passion and falls more and more in love with Rochester, she overlooks his faults: “I was growing very lenient to my master: I was forgetting all his faults, for which I had once kept a sharp look-out. (…) Now I saw no bad” (Chapter 18, 45%).

Rochester’s courtship of Jane is also unconventional and highlights Rochester’s immoral character. He tricks her by pretending to be a fortune teller, and by pretending to pursue and wish to marry Blanche Ingram. In this way, Rochester causes Jane pain through his deception as he tries to get her to confess her feelings for him. 

The existence of his marriage with Bertha shows Jane the dangers of giving in to her passions unrestrained, without listening to reason, and she runs from Thornfield and Rochester: 

I was experiencing an ordeal: a hand of fiery iron grasped my vitals. Terrible moment: full of struggle, blackness, burning! Not a human being that ever lived could wish to be loved better than I was loved; and him who thus loved me I absolutely worshipped: and I must renounce love and idol. (Chapter 27, 74%)

Jane’s use of fire and burning to explain her feelings hints at the idea that to give in to passion is to be c...

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