Can you analyze the setting, tone, mood and imagery in the beginning of chapter 23?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
What does the setting tell you about the characters' feelings and how each passage reflects imagery, tone, mood and setting.
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Rich in imagery, Chapter 23 of Jane Eyre finds Jane in the garden of an evening delighting in the beautiful jewels of color as the sun sets in a "furnace flame at one point on the hill peak" when she detects the smell of Mr. Rochester's burning cigar emanating from an opened casement. Turning into the orchard, that is "Eden-like," Jane threads her way through "the flower and fruit parterres" until she is again stopped by a "warning fragance." Amid the redolence of jasmine, Jane again smells Rochester's cigar; so she hides. But, Rochester lingers on the path, also reveling in the scents of the orchard and the delightful warbling of the nightingale. The symbolism of his picking of fruit cannot be missed as he takes plums and a ripe cherry from a wall.
When Mr. Rochester does speak, Jane starts and feels great trepidation as he speaks of his forthcoming wedding. As Rochester calls her attention to the nightingale, Jane weeps, believing that she must part from Thornfield. But, when Rochester declares his love for her, Jane accuses him of "playing a farce" and there is tension in the passage, not to mention dramatic irony as Jane believes that Rochester mocks her, and as Jane is unaware of the implications involved in Rochester's proposal of marriage.
The use of pathetic fallacy is certainly made in this chapter with the symbolic walk in the orchard garden reflecting the beauty of Rochester and Jane’s love, while the turbulent thunderstorm indicates their passionate natures, as well as the trouble that lies ahead. The horse–chestnut tree, symbolic of the union of Rochester and Jane eventually splits in half, foreshadowing a future catastrophe.
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