Losing Mr. Rochester
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Losing Mr. Rochester

The darker side of Jane Eyre

248
Losing Mr. Rochester
Fanpop

The first time I read "Jane Eyre", I thought it was a love story. I was convinced that the brooding, gruff Mr. Rochester genuinely loved the serious, studious Jane. Sure, he pretends to love another woman, and “orders” Jane to talk to him whenever he feels like it. But he also calls Jane an angel and his better half. He says he can’t live without her. Mostly, I was convinced that by the end of the book, he had changed.

However, as I have read the book more, and especially talked to people at Wellesley, I realize that what Mr. Rochester is doing exactly fits the patterns of emotional abuse.

When Jane finds that Mr. Rochester’s first wife is suffering from mental illness and has literally been kept in the attic for many years, she understandably wants to leave him. He alternately tries the tactics of threatening to hurt Jane and saying that he will never be able to live without her. He claims that Jane should still be with him because his first marriage essentially doesn’t count, and he makes it clear how much he hates Bertha, his first wife. She is cast as a “fiend” and “that thing,” when in reality Mr. Rochester’s behavior may have contributed to the way she is.

When Jane finally does leave, she feels guilty and worries Mr. Rochester genuinely might hurt himself. This is under no circumstance how she should feel.

After months away from Mr. Rochester, Jane determines she still loves him and must go to him.

This is partially because another man has aggressively insisted that Jane marry him and go on a religious mission with him.

When Jane finds Mr. Rochester, he is blind and has lost a hand due to a fire set by Bertha, during which she (conveniently for the plot) has died.

Jane claims to be happy in her new, lawful marriage, but I have come to doubt this supposed happiness. It is helpful that Mr. Rochester does not have power over Jane in the way he once had, but I don’t feel he should be forgiven just because he’s blind, or because he supposedly tried to save Bertha from dying by “calling her name.”

This does not mean that I dislike the book. I think it’s a stylistic masterpiece with an interesting lead character, beautifully crafted metaphors, and powerful emotional expression.

I think that even and especially in today’s world, it is important to recognize that abusers use many tools of manipulation, and that Jane is not “weak” or alone in believing one of them. Charlotte Bronte was by no stretch anti-feminist, and the man her heroine falls for highlights that abusive behaviors are sometimes passed off as “romantic” or “caring too much.”

A more mature reading of "Jane Eyre" has led me to lose my sympathy for Mr. Rochester.

But by losing Mr. Rochester, I have found Jane, and Bertha as well.

Someday, I hope all women like them “lose” their Mr. Rochesters.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

"Schitt's Creek" has quickly become an absolute fan favorite in the US and Canada and their seven wins at the Emmy Awards last night proves just that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

The Steelers Are Honoring Antwon Rose Jr., A Victim Of Police Brutality, For The 2020 Season

The Pittsburgh Steelers have united by wearing the name of a victim of police brutality, Antwon Rose Jr., for the 2020 NFL season.

54

NFL players are permitted to wear decals on their helmets this season in honor of victims of systemic racism. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to unite and all wear the same name on their helmets this season: Antwon Rose Jr.

Keep Reading... Show less

Just when we thought 2020 couldn't get any more unpredictable, we find out that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at 87 of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Regardless of where you might stand politically, you can't deny that the was a very honorable woman, who has accomplished a lot in her lifetime. Writing majority opinions for many cases such as United States v. Virginia, and Olmstead v. L.C., she has paved the way for many women, showing that no matter what obstacles stand in your way, you can achieve your goals.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Coronavirus, The Arizona State Legislature, And The 2020 Election

The Arizona State Legislature might shift its majority in the House and Senate come 2021.

265

Arizona State Senator Martín Quezada spoke today on legislative changes that may occur in 2021 due to the possibility of Arizona becoming a bipartisan state.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 27 People What Positive Things Happened To Them Despite The Pandemic, And Their Answers Are Inspiring

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King Jr.

160
https://unsplash.com/photos/DWaC44FUV5o

Let's be real: COVID SUCKS! So many events have been ruined and not being able to see friends and families really blows. But, I reached out to people and asked if anyone had anything positive happen for them despite the pandemic and I got so many answers!!! Here are a few that were shared with me!

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

RBG Just Passed Away, And Trump Is Already Jumping At The Chance To Replace Her

I think it's a worse time than ever to put another conservative on the Supreme Court.

178

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, otherwise known as RBG, sadly passed away Friday, September 18 after a battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. This woman was tough, no doubts about that. This was her fifth — yes, you read that correctly — bout with cancer over the span of two decades.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

New Netflix Film 'i’m thinking of ending things' Baffles And Intrigues

The new Charlie Kaufman flick leaves viewers stunned, but with many questions.

129
Netflix

Missing good horror after Midsommar's release? New film "i'm thinking of ending things" will hold you over until the next Ari Aster film.

Keep Reading... Show less
Paramount Pictures

From the iconic one-liners to the Plastics themselves, "Mean Girls" has gained a cult following of millions of fans.

Since its birth 16 years ago, the movie has expanded into a whole empire consisting of a sequel, pop vinyls, and even a Broadway musical.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

What 'Grey's Anatomy' Character You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Are you ambitious like Cristina? Devoted like April? Find out below!

1640
ABC

Scroll through to find out which character from the famous medical drama suits you best.

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments