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puzzling ending in "Jane Eyre"Is it only love that makes Jane choose Rochester or is it...

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daizy | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 28, 2009 at 2:18 PM via web

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puzzling ending in "Jane Eyre"

Is it only love that makes Jane choose Rochester or is it something more?Does she really find the true happiness?if yes, why does she mention St John in the last paragraphs?

thank you for your ideas!

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neneta | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 29, 2009 at 1:36 AM (Answer #2)

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Jane chooses Rochester because she truly loves him. Jane and Rochester has many things in commons as their love of nature, which incites Rochester to tell her some events occurred in his past. In a way, Jane has become Rochester´s confident, despite the fact that there is a social barrier between them. Moreover, she had rescued him of being burnt to death. When Manson is injured, she helps Rochester to take care of Manson, while Roger goes to empty the physician. All those factors cause Jane´s interest for his employer.  Rochester’s personality also attracts her. He is passionate, strong, and powerful. Attributes that Jane admires in a man.  In the context of the play, Rochester’s personality connotes masculinity.

Yes, this novel has a happy-end since Jane returns to Thornfield deciding to marry Rochester. This happy-end has several connotations. I shall tell you what I think. By becoming a wealthy woman, she becomes independent and equal to Rochester.

She mentions St. John in the end, because St. John is a friend who found her a job, when she was more destitute. St.Jonn is the opposite of Rochester-he does not have the passion and turbulent character as Rochester does. In fact, he may display a feminine character. In addition, he does not have the fierceness, Rochester does. Instead, he is rather cold and his religion comes first. As Jane is a passionate woman, she chooses Rochester.

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mshargaden | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM (Answer #3)

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I don't think that anyone who did not truly love another person could have the tumultuous emotions that Jane does while she lives at Thornfield Hall with Rochester in the beginning of her time there, when she realizes that she is falling in love with Rochester.  And to go through what she did at the wedding ceremony and still have feelings for him only underscores the intensity of her love.  I truly believe that she loved him and that St. John was too harsh, cold, and inflexible for Jane's rather unconventional nature.

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted January 3, 2010 at 9:17 PM (Answer #4)

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She truly loves him which makes the ending much more dramatic. If there was some type of ulterior motive, it would diffuse the ending. Often, the endings that have the most dramatic effect are the most direct ones.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:02 PM (Answer #5)

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That Jane truly loves Mr. Rochester is evidenced in her words when she learns the shocking truth about his wife.  After she returns to her room, Jane says,

My eyes were covered and closed:  eddying darkness seemed to swim around me, and reflection came in as black and confused a flow.  Self-abandoned, relaxed, and effortless, I seemed to have laid me down in the dried-up bed of a great river; I heard a flood loosened in remote mountain and felt the torrent come:  to rise I had no will, to flee i had no strength.

Jane--the"poor little bird"--finds love and contentment with Mr. Rochester. With him she has an intellectual, spiritual, and emotional bond.  When Jane is reunited with Mr. Rochester, she describes herself,

There was no harassing restraint, no repressing of glee and vivacity with him; for with him I was at perfect ease, because I knew I suited him:  all I said or did seemed either to console or revive him.  Delightful consciousness!  It brought to life and light my who nature:  in his presence I thoroughly lived; and he lived in mine.

Jane has had her visions; she says in Volume III, Chapter 9,

"it is my time to assume ascendancy.My powers were in play, and in force."

She now knows herself and what she wants.  Having experienced the restraint of having been around St. John, Jane knows that she loves Fairfax Rochester.

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 26, 2010 at 10:02 AM (Answer #6)

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One of the central conflicts between the novel is between hot, flaming passion (symbolised as fire) and cold, logical, hard reason (often symbolised as ice). Jane needs to resolve the conflict between these two opposing states within herself, but also these states are reflected in different characters in the novel - chiefly Rochester (representing passion) and St. John Rivers (representing reason). Jane marries Rochester because she has been able to reconcile these two forces within herself and more importantly, Rochester has gone through a purgatorial kind of experience through his maiming thanks to Bertha Mason. During the last section of the novel, Jane is raised up in the eyes of society thanks to her inheritance, and Rochester is lowered because of his physical disabilities - thus there is no inequality between them in the same way that there was when Rochester was going to marry a poor governess without name or connections.

The novel ends with St. John Rivers as a contrast to the happy ending of Jane, showing us how lives directed by reason alone end up. It also does show us the genuine respect that Jane has for her cousin, even if she does not choose to live that life that he led.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM (Answer #7)

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What more is there than love?  She had everything else offered to her--friendship, marriage, companionship--yet she doesn't settle permanently with any one of them.  Instead, she's not content until she has found all three of them...plus love.  Jane is a strong moral being, and she has previously refused to settle for anything less than that.  There may have been a point, in the midst of her darkest days after leaving Thornfield, when she might have done so; however, now that she is as financially independent as she is independent in spirit, she is uncompromising.  Jane is also a thankful person, and her reference to St. John reflects that gratitude, I think.  He showed her what a marriage without love woould have looked like.  That, in turn, propelled her to seek what she truly wanted--a loving marriage with Mr. Rochester.

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