Jane Eyre

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3/11/13

Jane Eyre Study Guide : Summary and Analysis of Volume III, Chapters 1-6 | GradeSaver

Jane Eyre Summary and Analysis
by Charlotte Bronte

Summary and Analysis of Volume III, C hapters 1-6

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Volume III, Chapters 1-6
Volume III, Chapter 1 Summary: After the revelation of Mr. Rochester’s previous marriage, Jane returns to her bedroom and wrestles over whether or not she should leave Thornfield. When she leaves her room, Mr. Rochester is waiting for her and earnestly asks for her forgiveness. Jane privately grants it to him, but remains silent. Moreover, she does not allow him to kiss her, as he already has a wife. She begins to feel faint, and Mr. Rochester takes her into the library to recover and apologizes for bringing Jane to Thornfield and for concealing his wife from her. He then proposes that they move to the south of France and live together as man and wife. Adèle will be sent off to school and Grace will remain at Thornfield to watch over Bertha. Jane refuses and begins to cry, saying that though she loves him, she will never be more than a mistress as long as Bertha is alive. Mr. Rochester explains the conditions surrounding his union to Bertha in order to explain why he does not consider their marriage to be valid. His father left his entire estate to Mr. Rochester's older brother, Rowland, but did not want to leave his second son completely penniless. He sent Mr. Rochester to Jamaica to marry Bertha Mason, the daughter of an old acquaintance, and thus gain her inheritance of 30,000 pounds. Bertha was beautiful and desirable, and although he spent little time alone with her, Mr. Rochester was overwhelmed by her beauty and promptly agreed to the marriage. Soon after the wedding, Mr. Rochester discovered Bertha's mother was in an insane asylum, while her younger brother was a mute idiot. He also realized that his father and brother had been aware of the hereditary madness in the Mason family but had ignored it for the sake of Bertha Mason’s vast fortune. Over the four years, Mr. Rochester lived with Bertha in Jamaica and watched her grow increasingly insane, perverse, and violent. In the meantime, Mr. Rochester's father and brother died, leaving him with their fortune. Despairing of his life, Mr. Rochester’s contemplated suicide but decided to return to England instead and situated Bertha in the attic cell of Thornfield Manor. Mr. Rochester then traveled the world, searching for a woman to love and being met with disappointment time after time. Finally, he met Jane and instantly knew that she was the one for him. Jane is torn by Mr. Rochester’s confession. She does not want to increase Mr. Rochester’s unhappiness, and she doubts that she will ever find anyone who loves her as much as he does. Yet, she realizes that she will always be unhappy with herself if she decides to stay at Thornfield under these circumstances. She kisses Mr. Rochester www.gradesaver.com/jane-eyre/study-guide/section6/ 1/5

3/11/13

Jane Eyre Study Guide : Summary and Analysis of Volume III, Chapters 1-6 | GradeSaver

on the cheek and leaves him, incensed and desperate, in the room alone. That night, Jane dreams that her mother urges her to resist temptation. When she wakes up, she quickly packs her things and leaves Thornfield, all the while resisting the temptation to express her love to Mr. Rochester and stay. Analysis: Although Jane's departure from Thornfield is her third major exit from a place after Gateshead and Lowood, it is by far her hardest decision. If she stays, she enjoys the love of a man whom she admits that she worships, as well as the luxury that his wealth affords. However, if she stays and becomes his mistress, she feels that she will lose self-respect. As we have seen throughout the novel, Jane’s quest is for self-love and independence as much as it is to attain the love of others. As she puts it to herself, "I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the...
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