Analysis of Jane Eyre Chapter XXIII
In the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, chapter twenty-three sees a climax of previous events in the form of Mr Rochester proposing matrimony to Jane. This event was built up in previous chapters through Jane’s developing love for him that she kept concealed due to their differing classes and the fact that she was led to believe by Rochester that he was to wed Blanche Ingram. Within the passage, a variety of themes are explored by Brontë regarding Mr Rochester’s proposal to Jane; naturally, the main being love and its many sides. A number of religious elements are implemented through a biblical lexical field and a great deal of imagery in order to convey the love between them. For example when Rochester describes “a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarters of your little frame.” This sentence bears semantic connotations and is reminiscent of the book of Genesis in which God forms Eve from the left rib of Adam in his sleep. This reference conveys that Rochester believes himself to be akin to Jane and that his desire to be with her is justified in the eyes of God. Another reference such as this is made with the use of the phrase “face to face”, a nod to the book of Corinthians. Jane mentions the pair being stood at “God’s feet” and says “equal as we are”. This mention of final judgement shows that Jane believes herself to be on par with Mr Rochester, and the fact that he is not perfect contributes to her love for him. A predominant contextual factor in these phrases is that forthright declarations of feelings and views such as these were frowned upon at the time as women were not permitted to be so opinionated. The noun “water”, paired with the adjective “living“, give it biblical context as a staple of life, suggesting that the pair need one another as well as the fact that Jane cannot bear leaving Rochester for a new...
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