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From the beginning, Jane and Mr. Rochester have an unusual and complex relationship in...

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rachyboprox | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM via web

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From the beginning, Jane and Mr. Rochester have an unusual and complex relationship in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. Examine their relationship analyzing whether or not it is plausible.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM (Answer #1)

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Jane and Mr. Rochester's relationship is based on intelligent equality at first. Mr. Rochester is intrigued with Jane's honesty to his questions which prompts him to inquire more into the way she thinks rather than merely judging her physical features or social status. Generally, for that time period, rich men did not marry their employees; so, for that fact alone, their relationship would not have been taken seriously at the time. Because of that fact, however, the implausible becomes a romantic notion to be explored by the author and discovered by the reader. The phrase "opposites attract" seems to fall into place as both Jane and Mr. Rochester discover intriguing details about one another's life. The details seem to be unequal, though, because Mr. Rochester has more experience and more secrets about his life than Jane has. This makes it easy for Mr. Rochester to manipulate a young girl by trying to make her jealous and keeping a deep, dark secret from her. No true relationship can stand on lies or manipulation. Jane's story could have ended with her leaving Mr. Rochester once the secret of his marriage is revealed and she leaves him. That scenario is the most logical end for Jane and Edward. Of course, a Gothic romance novel cannot end logically! So a horrible accident has to take care of Mr. Rochester's deep secret and punish him for his misdeeds. Through these means justice is satisfied and Jane is able to be reunited with him in a higher standing than when she was with him before. In the end, Jane has the power over the relationship because she did none of the lying and she graciously accepts him back after the death of his wife. The wife's death and Rochester's physical and emotional punishment had to exist in order for Jane to be able to return to him in an honest and forthright way. Summarily, the relationship would not have worked had the secrets of Rochester's wife and the lies he used to manipulate her remained. Once the lies were purged, then the relationship could grow and be maintained in a healthy way.

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