Jane Eyre - Power and Manipulation

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“Jane’s relationship with Rochester in the early part of the novel is based not on love but control, manipulation and secrecy. She does well to escape”

On Jane’s first meeting with Rochester, he immediately asserts his control without Jane even realising, his whole presence suggests that he has a powerful awe about him. He broke the medieval trance that Jane was in, “The man, the human being, broke the spell at once” she was expecting a Gytrash, a mystical creature that lies in wait of lonely travellers to lead them astray, a metaphor for Mr Rochester, he may not be a gytrash but he is a mystical man that attempts to lead Jane into a world of secrecy and manipulates her feelings for him.

Charlotte Bronte describes Rochester for the first time as being “middle height and considerable breadth of chest”, he has a well built figure which makes him appear strong and authoritative.

Rochester plays a game with Jane on their first meeting; he does not unveil who he is when Jane indicated that she has come from Thornfield Hall, instead he quizzes her about what she knows of him ands what her position is within the house, she openly tells him that she is the governess. He then spends two minutes analysing her while he is sat and Jane is stood before him. This is a trait of power, she allows him to scrutinise her and judge her without hesitation, two minutes is a long time to be dissected by a man she has never met before.

Jane has no fear of Mr Rochester, therefore continues to try and help him, however she does express that “Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will”. This shows that although he is asserting power over her, she is not threatened by him nor is he flustered by him.

Up to this point in the book, we have learnt that Jane has had no interaction with men, the only men she has known have been her uncle Mr Reed and Mr Brocklehurst who is the head of Lowood and he showed

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