Why does Jane refuse to marry Rochester?

Jane refuses to marry Mr. Rochester because he is already married. Even though his wife Bertha is insane, Rochester cannot legally marry again so long as she lives. As Jane doesn't want to be a party to a bigamous marriage, she refuses to stay with Rochester, even though she loves him.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Jane may love Rochester with all her heart and all her soul, but she still has her standards. This means that she will not marry him so long as he remains married. Such an arrangement would not only be illegal, but also downright immoral.

If there's one thing we know about our eponymous heroine, it's that she has a strong set of moral values. Whatever the situation, no matter how difficult, she sticks to her principles with absolute conviction. And her initial refusal to stay with Mr. Rochester is a prime example of this. After the existence of Rochester's first wife, Bertha , is revealed, Rochester begs Jane to stay with him...

(The entire section contains 340 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on