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In Jane Eyre, after confessing his painful past, Rochester tells Jane, “Strange that...

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Gurps1334 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM via web

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In Jane Eyre, after confessing his painful past, Rochester tells Jane, “Strange that I should choose you for the confidant of all this, young lady . . .”  Explain why he would confide in her. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 11, 2013 at 3:27 AM (Answer #1)

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In Jane Eyre, Edward Fairfax finds an equal, a woman of the fiery passion and iron individualism that is equal to his own. When Jane is first hired,  she accidentally encounters Mr. Rochester, who is thrown from his horse, but does not reveal his identity to Jane.  In her natural kindness, she aids him; later, she is summoned to meet her employer, and he is surprised at Jane's spirit when he talks with her. In Chapter13, for example, when he accuses Jane of having had a master aid he in her paintings, Jane waxes, "No, indeed!"

On another evening, as they sit by the fire, Mr. Rochester asks to view Jane's pictures. As she acquiesces, and they view them, Rochester gains a respect for Jane, and he apprehends that she is discreet as he talks with her, for she has no one which whom she can gossip. "The confidence he had thought fit to repose in me seemed a tribute to my discretion." Rochester enjoys Jane's honesty and candidness; they each find the other's frankness stimulating. In Chapter 15, Rochester chooses Jane as his "confidant" and relates his love affair with Adele's mother, Celine. He finds Jane's ingenuousness refreshing, also.

It was his nature to be communicative; he liked to open to a mind unacquainted with the world glimpses of its scenes and ways.... and I had a keen delight in receiving the new ideas he offered, in imagining the new pictures he portrayed, and following him in thought through the new regions he disclosed, never startled or troubled by one noxious allusion.

On her part, Jane delights in the confidences:

....my thin crescent-destiny seemed to enlarge; the blanks of existence were filled up; my bodily health improved; I gathered flesh and strength.

Strangely, they are much alike. Jane observes,

But I believed that his moodiness, his harshness, and his former faults of morality... had their source in some cruel cross of fate...

She senses that there is something hidden, held back in Rochester, just as in her. Although from different worlds, Jane and Edward Rochester are kindred souls.


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