Posted by Denise on September 29, 1997 at 16:58:12:
In response to Rochester's treatment of Jane, written by Mary on September 29, 1997 at 15:30:52
] It has been at least 20 years since I first read JE, but my recollections of the story when I first picked up the book for this reading were of Rochester as a romantic hero. It was hard to feel much sympathy for him on this reading, until Chapter 27 where he explains his story to Jane.
] I got the distinct impression that she expected whatever treatment she received from anyone. It shows the strength of her character and her capacity to love that she was able to look beyond his treatment of her to the man inside.
I find it interesting that because Mr. Rochester is not handsome, is stern and rough that Jane is not fearful, just a bit shy. That if he had been handsome, she would not have continued to seek to give him aid. Her feeling on a handsome man - " I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met these qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me, and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that is bright but antipathetic." She felt at ease with Rochester, I feel, because she felt that he was equal with her. Even at this first meeting, she sensed this and verbalized it under the horse chestnut when their love is declared. I see Jane as someone who has become content with who she is and what her abilities are.
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