How is Rochester portrayed as a loving person in Jane Eyre?

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Mr. Rochester's love is problematic through much of the novel. For example, he shows love for his illegitimate daughter Adele by caring for her, giving her gifts, and hiring her a governess in the form of Jane Eyre , but he also dismisses the child as affected and not...

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Mr. Rochester's love is problematic through much of the novel. For example, he shows love for his illegitimate daughter Adele by caring for her, giving her gifts, and hiring her a governess in the form of Jane Eyre, but he also dismisses the child as affected and not very intelligent. Therefore, his love for her is mixed with distaste.

Rochester's love for Jane is also mixed: in this case, it is tainted with selfishness and deception. He loves her, and he believes her strength of character and purity can save him and make him a happy man, but he doesn't love her enough to tell her the truth about his situation of being married to Bertha Mason. He shows what imperfect love he has by proposing marriage to her, such as when he states:

"My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me?"

He tries to express to her how much he loves her, even though he is not being honest with her:

You— you strange, you almost unearthly thing!—I love as my own flesh. You—poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are—I entreat to accept me as a husband.

He is willing to trick her into bigamy, which is what marrying means while Bertha is still alive. While we do not doubt that Rochester loves Jane, he is ready to sacrifice her moral values, which he knows matter deeply to her, for his own happiness. At this point, his love is selfish.

It's not until the end of the novel, when he has become blind and mutilated from the fire that consumed Thornfield that he has been humbled enough to truly love Jane as an equal.

When they reunite, he speaks these loving words to her:

My living darling! These are certainly her limbs, and these her features; but I cannot be so blest, after all my misery. It is a dream; such dreams as I have had at night when I have clasped her once more to my heart, as I do now; and kissed her, as thus—and felt that she loved me, and trusted that she would not leave me.

Later, Jane testifies to the love they share as husband and wife, this time an unselfish love on both sides:

We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character— perfect concord is the result.

Rochester has grown, through painful experience, into a man who can love Jane as she deserves.

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