Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jane Eyre Blog Post #2

            Jane and Mr. Rochester switch their position in dominancy by the end of the book. Mr. Rochester loses everything in the fire and become a “sightless block.” The traumatizing event causes Mr. Rochester to lose his sight and a hand. His home and his wealth are destroyed in the process. He loses everything with “old John and his wife: he would have none else.” (418) Jane on the other hand gained friends and the money to become independent. In a sense, Jane and Mr. Rochester’s position has switched that allow Jane to have control. However Mr. Rochester still tries to exhibit his control on her to some degree. In the end, the two never reaches equality.


            Jane seems to be more in control of her choices in the final chapters of the book. Only a year earlier in the book, she had no where to go and was stuck with Mr. Rochester. Only when she was able to make the difficult choice of leaving him she gains control of her life. Similar to the events in “A Doll’s House,” by Henrik Ibsen, the wife, Nora, gains control in the end by leaving and becoming independent. In that year, she gains a new home, new friends, and money to support herself. Coming back to Mr. Rochester, she has control over her own life as she is finally able to make her own choice about following temptation. When she first comes in, Jane seems to set the rules and show control. When Mr. Rochester asks questions she explains that he “shall not get it out of [her] to-night. (427) Jane also talks about how she met people hundreds of times better than him, showing she has options and is not afraid to move on. She gain some control but Mr. Rochester is still able to manipulate and call her pet names.


            Mr. Rochester still exhibit some control over Jane. Mr. Rochester constantly uses pet names like “my sky-lark.” (428) He often refers to her as “my Jane” and “my darling” (428) as if she is completely in his possession. The use of “my” shows that he still believes that he is the superior one in the relationship. His actions as well such as when he “broke out suddenly while clasping me in his arms,” (428) show how he possesses Jane. He does not drop into her arms but rather bring her into his arms. He also grasps her when asking questions. Mr. Rochester “retained [her] by a firmer grasp than ever” (430). When Mr. Rochester uses his arms and hands to hold her down, it gives an image of Jane being tied down and restricted. In his mind he believes Jane is his as he loudly states that “[he] thought [his] little Jane was all [his].”(432) The questions he asks seems like demands for information as well. As he grasps her not giving her a choice to ignore his requests, he states if she would “be pleased just to answer a question or two.” (430) The statement gives an illusion of free choice. Earlier in the conversation, she had the ability to turn down his questions and answer it when Jane wanted to. Mr. Rochester did not give her a chance to escape, even if the question sounds like he is giving her free choice. He barrages her with questions to see where “his Jane” has done while she was away. The way he demands for the answers is almost like a parent demanding answers from a child. Mr. Rochester even manipulates Jane’s actions by causing her to feel pity while trying to be considerate. He beats down on himself saying “’I am not better than the old lightning-struck chestnut-tree in Thornfield orchard.’” (433) Jane feels pity for him and causes her to vow to take care of him.


            The relationship between Mr. Rochester and Jane still gives Mr. Rochester control. It is never truly equal. Mr. Rochester uses his pet names and the word “my” to show his possession of Jane. Meanwhile he grasps her and contains her almost like he Jane is truly his. Using manipulation, he is able to make Jane feel pity for him and cause her to watch over him. Jane does not show the resiliently she once showed when she was younger. Jane is calmer and chose to settle down to serve Mr. Rochester. In this sense, the relationship is not equal. 

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