Key Questions Brought Up in Chapter 15 of Jane Eyre

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A passage of interest to me was the ending paragraphs of chapter thirteen. Up until this point the reader could only make general questions about Mr. Rochester's past life, but now there were some unavoidable questions to think about, and some of the questions are answered in this passage. The first question is what is so pitiable about his life. We are then told of some disagreements between him, and his family, but nothing specific. The final question is why is Mr. Rochester so interested in Jane? All of these foreshadow to parts later in the book.

Up until this point of the book Jane, had not had a knowing encounter with Mr. Rochester. She had only talked to him after his accident, and she had no idea of who he was. Now the reader finally meets Mr. Rochester, and can make their first impressions of him, and his peculiarities. Jane's impression was that,"He is very changeful, and abrupt." (Bronte p. 134) Which no doubt the reader will notice as well. Mrs. Fairfax's opinion differs from Jane in that she claims to have gotten used to his habits, and that," if he has peculiarities of temper, allowance should be made." (Bronte, p. 134) This raises the question of why should allowances be made? Does Mrs. Fairfax say that simply because Mr. Rochester is her employer or is she showing sympathy towards him? The answer to this does not come to light for some time, but it fulfills its purpose of occupying the readers mind.

Charlotte Bronte also brings in a little information about Mr. Rochester's past in this segment. We find out that he, and his brother had some disagreements, although none are disclosed, and that he was not on good terms with his father about something. "I believe there were some misunderstandings between them. Mr Rowland Rochester was not quite just to Mr. Edward." (Bronte p. 134) We find later that this is a foreshadowing of a very interesting twist in the novel, but at the time it serves to keep the readers thoughts occupied, and long for...
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