In Bronte's Jane Eyre, how does this quote reinforce the mood of the conversation between Rochestor and Jane?"with apple-trees, pear-trees, and cherry-trees on one side, and a border on the other,...

In Bronte's Jane Eyre, how does this quote reinforce the mood of the conversation between Rochestor and Jane?

"with apple-trees, pear-trees, and cherry-trees on one side, and a border on the other, full of all sorts of old-fashioned flowers, stocks, sweet-williams, primroses, pansies, mingled with southernwood, sweet-brier, and various fragrant herbs. They were fresh now as a succession of April showers and gleams, followed by a lovely spring morning, could make them: the sun was just entering the dappled east, and his light illumined the wreathed and dewy orchard-trees, and shone down the quiet walks under them.“

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, the quote provided sets the mood because it shows, as the author continually does, the distance in social position that separates Jane from Rochester.

While there are instances that hint at a special connection just beneath the surface between master and governess, it would seem an impossible relationship: he is a member of the upper-class; she is merely a governess, slightly higher in social standing than a maid, but not important enough to be considered a member of the family.

This is pointed out clearly by Blanche Ingram and her mother. So the mood is one of division. As Jane and Rochester take a "breather" after the mysterious happenings that caused Mr. Mason to be so seriously injured, and finally removed from the house, Bronte describes the plants. As a Romantic, nature was not only described as part of the setting, but alive in reflecting the nature of people—their characteristics, and here, their "borders." The first part of the quote describes (symbolically) Rochester:

He strayed down a walk edged with box; with apple-trees, pear-trees, and cherry-trees on one side...

Rochester is rich; the trees to one side of the walk are full of fruit, indicating wealth and success. "Strayed" may be used to indicate that Rochester isn't sticking to his side of the social fence. On the other side of the walk are things much more common; things that need no close supervision, as fruit trees would:

...a border on the other, full of all sorts of old-fashioned flowers, stocks, sweet-williams, primroses, pansies, mingled with southernwood, sweet-brier, and various fragrant herbs.

These things describe Jane: old-fashioned, certainly. She is a woman of strong ethics. She knows what is right and decent and will not be swayed from it. The plants are pretty, but wild and common, much like Jane...not cared for and not tied down with expectation...she is no hothouse flower.

The remainder of the quote seems to represent the relationship between Jane and Rochester. It is something new, now. They are more tightly connected than before because of what Jane has helped Rochester through that night, though she hardly understands it all. However, the rising of the sun and the newness and freshness of the plants might make Jane feel that they were beginning a new chapter in their relationship: not of love, for while Jane may be leaning that way, she is not foolish enough to believe that a man of Rochester's social standing would leave Miss Ingram's side to be with her.

They were fresh now as a succession of April showers and gleams, followed by a lovely spring morning, could make them: the sun was just entering the dappled east, and his light illumined the wreathed and dewy orchard-trees, and shone down the quiet walks under them.

And so while the sunrise and beauty and freshness of the plants and fruit might make Jane feel this is a special time shared between them, the boxes in which the plants/trees are located, as well as the walk that separates them is a metaphor for the differences that separate them from each other.

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