Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Final Blog Post for Jane Eyre

Although Rochester loses his sight and a hand in the fire at Thornfield, his disability still doesn’t allow equality to exist between him and Jane. The maiming of Rochester serves to give reason for Rochester to be humbled to a point that allows Jane to return and pursue a relationship with him. Although this is the case, Rochester’s humbling is still doesn’t prevent him from holding some sort of dominance over Jane. In fact, his new unassuming nature in itself is a form of dominance because it appeals to Jane’s emotions therefore dominating her thoughts and convincing her to remain with Rochester. Also gender relations are a recurring theme of the novel and ultimately Jane is still a woman and since male dominance and patriarchal home structure is a prevalent system in the novel, no matter how much wealthier Jane is she still is subject to established and inevitable feminine inequity. Although Jane has reached a position of superiority within her relationship with Rochester this position seems superficial because she remains reduced to a role of subservience. She retains her role as Rochester’s servant in the sense that now she must wait on and assist him perhaps even more than she did prior to his accident. Finally the idea of dependence it important to mention as it has now becomes an even more apparent feature of Jane and Rochester’s relationship. Rochester has become almost entirely dependent on Jane so it is natural that one could refute the idea of Jane’s continual subordinate role by arguing that Jane could abandon the needy Rochester, but it is deeper than that. His hold on her emotions appears to overpower any physical dependency. Jane too, in a way, is dependent on Rochester for love and is bound to him by this. It is important to reiterate that Rochester has definitely lost some of his dominance and is humbled by his recent disability, but the loss it not enough to equalize his and Jane’s respective roles.

In the final chapter of the novel the reader learns from Jane and Rochester’s marriage that a specific change of circumstances is needed to allow people to reach full personal fulfillment. Furthermore, both characters, despite whatever sort of dominance disparity there may be, do seem to have reached a point of fulfillment through marriage. This is so because both Jane and Rochester have never truly fit in to society and by being together they have each found security in the fact that they now have a group, namely a family, to fit into. Both desired to express themselves individually while in a relationship and now they can do so.

Charlotte Bronte chooses to end the novel with the letter from St. John which is interesting because the novel is serves as Jane’s personal confessional story, so to end with a piece about St. John deemphasizes her role and directs the reader’s attention to another character. This may employed in order to emphasize that Jane is now complete and content. It gives the reader the idea that Jane is now satisfied and her story is over, she is no longer the focus of the reader’s attention. Also, closing the novel by mentioning St. John allows the reader to see that Jane believes she made the right decision by leaving, not marrying St. John and not accompanying him on his missionary work in India. In the reference to St. John the reader learns that St. John is satisfied with the outcome of his religious duties and therefore indirectly approves the suggestion that Jane and the idea of marriage were necessary to leave behind in order to fulfill God’s mission for St. John. In other words, ending with the reference to St. John shows an alternative to marriage: successful individualism. The reference juxtaposes singular existence and married life, and makes the statement that both paths can end in content and satisfaction.

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