Essay about The Importance of Chapter 23 of Jane Eyre
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Explain the importance of Chapter 23 of Jane Eyre with reference to the rest of the novel
Chapter 23 is a very important chapter in Jane Eyre, and it influences what happens later in the novel.
I am going to talk about the language used, the setting created, the mood, the characters, and the themes of the book and the socio-historic content.
Jane Eyre was written in 1847 and published in the same year.
Charlotte Bronte was forced to publish her books under the name of
Currer Bell because women in the 1800’s were deemed as the weaker sex, so Charlotte published Jane Eyre under a man’s name. There were 3 social classes in Charlotte’s lifetime; upper class, the rich people who ran society; middle class, who generally…show more content…
Mr Rochester is already married, it seems, so Jane flees Thornfield Hall. After nearly dying, Jane is taken in by St John Rivers and his sisters who nurses
Jane back to health. Soon Jane receives the news that she is to inherit a large sum of money from a long-lost uncle. Some time after this, Jane receives a telepathic message from Mr Rochester and she sets off back to Thornfield Hall to find him. Jane returns to find
Thornfield in ruins and Rochester a blind cripple. The couple falls in love again and we discover that they marry and have been blessed with a son.
Chapter 23 begins when Jane is walking in the park and she meets
Rochester. He asks Jane if she will be sorry to leave Thornfield. She says that she will, and Rochester tells her that he must give her notice. He tells her that he has found her a position with a Mrs.
Dionysius O'Gall in Ireland. Jane says that she will be sorry to be so far from Thornfield and from Rochester himself. They talk more about
Jane's sorrow at leaving until Rochester swears that she must stay and gathers her to him and kisses her. He then offers her his hand in marriage. Jane is not sure what to think, as she believes he is playing a game with her, but he finally convinces her he is true, and she accepts. Mrs. Fairfax is surprised to see them embrace when they return to the house. During the night lightening had split the chestnut tree they became engaged
"All these relics gave to the third story of Thornfield Hall the aspect of a home of the past: a shrine of memory. I liked the hush, the gloom, the quaintness of these retreats in the day; but I by no means coveted a night’s repose on one of those wide and heavy beds: shut in, some of them, with doors of oak; shaded, others, with wrought old English hangings crusted with thick work, portraying effigies of strange flowers, and stranger birds, and strangest human beings,— all which would have looked strange, indeed, by the pallid gleam of moonlight."
This excerpt captures the gloominess and creepiness of Thornfield and plants in the mind of the reader the idea that the house is held captive by the past and its memories. The strange creatures that are featured on the hangings also create a sense of doom and eeriness.
When Jane returns to Thornfield from a walk, the house creates in her a sense of imprisonment. She says:
"I did not like re-entering Thornfield. To pass its threshold was to return to stagnation; to cross the silent hall, to ascend the darksome staircase, to seek my own lonely little room, and then to meet tranquil Mrs. Fairfax, and spend the long winter evening with her, and her only, was to quell wholly the faint excitement wakened by my walk,—to slip again over my faculties the viewless fetters of an uniform and too still existence; of an existence whose very privileges of security and ease I was becoming incapable of appreciating."
To Jane, Thornfield is a place of loneliness and confinement, and she refers to the invisible fetters, or chains, that she wears within its walls. She does not experience freedom at Thornfield or take advantage of its ease; instead, she feels walled in like a prisoner. This description provides a sense of how Bertha Rochester feels locked on the top floor of Thornfield.
Later, in Chapter 25, Jane Eyre tells Rochester about a dream she has had about Thornfield:
"I dreamt another dream, sir: that Thornfield Hall was a dreary ruin, the retreat of bats and owls. I thought that of all the stately front nothing remained but a shell-like wall, very high and very fragile-looking. I wandered, on a moonlight night, through the grass-grown enclosure within: here I stumbled over a marble hearth, and there over a fallen fragment of cornice."
Jane Eyre has a premonition of the destruction of Thornfield Hall. Though its walls are massive, she imagines it in ruins and only a shell of its former self. This is a foreshadowing of the fire that will destroy Thornfield.