How does the significance of role playing and disguise in creating generic effects in Jane Eyre volume 2, chapter 3, suggest underlying meanings?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The role playing of the guests at Thornfield suggests that these charades are indicative of the real characters of Mr. Rochester's guests. 

After the guests arrive at Thornfield and there is a party in which the guests play charades, Jane, who is in attendance, discerns that Mr. Rochester cleverly exposes the pretentiousness of such guests as Blanche Ingram. Jane observes,

She laughed continually: her laugh was satirical, and so was the habitual expression of her arched and haughty lip.

Jane notices that Miss Ingram does not seem genuine and has superficial feelings as she feigns enjoyment in Mr. Rochester. In fact, this insincerity and shallowness seems rather widespread among the other guests, as well. When Jane describes Miss Ingram, she describes the others as well, 

She was very showy, but she was not genuine; she had a fine person, many brilliant attainments, but her mind was poor, her heart barren by nature; nothing bloomed spontaneously on that soil; no unforced natural fruit delighted by its freshness.

Jane concludes that Mr. Rochester is going to marry Miss Ingram for social or political reasons, and she is pained to accept this as Blanche does "not charm him," nor does she seem to understand how to soothe him from his choleric moods. However, after the gypsy woman tells Blanche Ingram's fortune, she seems discontent, "momentarily darker, more dissatisfied" and removes herself into a corner. Jane wonders about her change in attitude and what the gypsy has told her.