The ending of Jane Eyre has been criticized on several levels: its supposed lack of realism; the maiming of Mr. Rochester; Jane’s retreat from the work she had previously longed for, among others. Evaluate the ending of the book. For example, what are some reasons why Mr. Rochester “must” meet the fate he does? Does Jane’s sudden discovery of wealth and family make sense on any level? What do you make of the voice she hears? How do you feel about the retreat to Ferndean? Why does Bronte have Jane focus her last words and thoughts upon St. John? What does this mean?
In your Primary Blog Entry, you should respond to the questions above in a single entry. Your Secondary Blog Entry should respond to two of your colleagues' entries that are especially interesting to you.
Part One Expectations (respond to the prompt above): 200-250 words, 2 quotes from the novel, minimal errors in grammar and usage, thoughtful and thorough writing. Please use the assigned "pen name" given to you in class PLEASE FINISH BY THURSDAY NIGHT!
Part Two Expectations (read everyone's first responses, select two that interest you, and respond to their ideas): 100-150 words EACH, minimal errors in grammar and usage, thoughtful and thorough writing. Please use the assigned "pen name" given to you in class. FINISH BY SUNDAY NIGHT!
3/12/2015 09:00:21 am
After finishing the book I believe that Bronte had decided to make Rochester have what happened to him happen because of his controlling personality. Even though Jane fell in love with him and was eventually willing to marry him, his personality had it so she felt that she was going to end up being dominated in the marriage. I believe Rochester’s blindness and loss of a hand has lost him his controlling personality and need to have mastery over everything. I also believe that the retreat to Ferndean was also an extension of this loss of domination for Rochester and further asserted that now Rochester could not only physically be brought down but now he is also socially more inferior before. This is because before he had a grand manor in which aristocrats would come to visit and was sort of the symbol of his climb to power and wealth and now he’s left to live the rest of his days in this secondary manor located in a “desolate spot” (Bronte 499) which in turn becomes a good thing because it makes it easier for Jane to be comfortable in marrying him. Because he’s lost this ability of domination physically and socially, now it doesn’t clash with Jane’s desire for equality between the two. Also Jane’s sudden discovery of wealth and family make sense to me because we were given this hint in chapter 30 when St. John mentioned that “Uncle John is dead” (Bronte 414) and “That letter had informed us that he bequeathed every penny to the other relation” (Bronte 415). When seeing those two things in the reading I immediately suspected that this Uncle John was in fact John Eyre, Jane’s uncle. This turn of events seems to parallel those in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest with the fact that it had a sort of Deus Ex Machina outcome with Jane and the Rivers. With Jane’s sudden attainment of wealth and strong sense of self and also Rochester’s loss of his superiority they became more fit to be married than they were in their previous positions.
3/14/2015 02:44:43 pm
I like your reference to "The Importance of Being Earnest" and I see the connection there. But regardless of wealth, I think Jane would have gone back to Rochester anyway. After accepting St. John's marriage proposal, the voice in her head makes her realize that she truly wants to be with Rochester. By being with St. John, she cannot be herself and everything has to fit his standards. This lifestyle suffocated her because it was like trying to fit a rectangular block into a cylindrical opening. Whereas if she were to be with Rochester, she would be able to act like herself and speak to each other as if they were equals despite differences in social classes. Yes, I believe the fate both Jane and Rochester received were given to them for a reason, but it was the chemistry between them that kept them from being apart.
3/15/2015 06:38:08 am
I agree with your comment about Rochester receiving those specific injuries to lessen his control. I automatically think of the loss of one’s sight and hand as large losses that undoubtedly affect a person’s confidence which is why I believe Bronte chose those specific hindrances. Also, I see how being forced to move from Thornfield to Ferndean could be an example of a drop in wealth. All of the aspects that made Rochester grandiose have now been lost or burned to the ground. Although I agree that Jane viewed her new source of wealth as a way to equalize their relationship, I thought that it was rather hypocritical to leave in the first place because she didn’t want to change yet come back being the person she always seemed to reject.
3/12/2015 01:04:39 pm
These last chapters of Jane Eyre convinced me to look down upon Jane and her decisions/ways of living. Jane’s character in these chapters brought out the ugly flaws of an individual. Take for example, when Jane was gifted with her Uncle’s fortune, her mindset changed drastically. Before having the money she sided more with the idea of staying away from Mr. Roosevelt because they were “unequal”; however, as soon she receive the wealth, she began tempting herself to go back to Mr. Roosevelt thus resulting in Jane “[looking] with timorous joy towards a stately house” (pg 494).
3/12/2015 04:19:28 pm
I didn't know Jane was in love with Teddy Roosevelt
3/13/2015 12:15:42 am
I didn't think he was alive back then, but I was never good at history.
#read the book
3/13/2015 12:42:13 am
Dude at least sparknotes gets the name right
3/15/2015 10:48:03 am
I don't believe she returned to Mr. Rochester because she had money. I believe she did this because she couldn't fight the want to know what happened to him and if he went back to his old ways of destruction. Also I don't believe she left him because of them being unequal, even though it did influence her a little. The reason she left was because of the secret she kept. She didn't want to be a mistress and do things the wrong way. She wanted to follow the morale path. And I don't believe the money made her think she was powerful considering she split it up, but I do agree with the fact that at the end of the book the power has shifted. Mr. Rochester now has to rely on Jane.
3/15/2015 12:29:09 pm
The money gave her that extra push to return back to Mr. Rochester. Also, I agree about Jane leaving due to her not wanting to be his mistress, but inequality comes in hand. She feared that if she left with him and did become his mistress, then it would secure" their positions; Jane becoming submissive and dependent on Mr. Rochester, while he leads them together (because of his wealth and value in society).
3/15/2015 02:29:06 pm
I agree with your statement. Before they were equal on a spiritual and knowledgeable level despite Mr. Rochester’s wealth. However, it seems as though the only thing they have on equal terms is knowledge. I think Jane is basing the success of a relationship off of the wrong thing. There is no such thing as equality in a relationship because two different ways of thinking will always spark controversy. Instead Jane should develop a relationship based on compromise where both partners can benefit. She seems too much of a feminist at this point on. Her pride over the wealth she INHERITED and the control she has over Mr. Rochester’s life will eventually cause problems in the relationship.
3/15/2015 04:17:52 pm
I think from the beging they had an instant connection, Jane was just afraid to give herself to a man that has had his share of woman , I don't think the money has anything to do with her going back I think she was always gonna go back regardless of the money. I also feel like is they were spiritually equal before why can't it be the same way when she comes back for the second time.
3/12/2015 02:07:47 pm
At the end of the book Rochester becomes blind due to Bertha setting the house on fire. Rochester meets this fate due to Bertha wanting revenge. Rochester deserves this fate for the way he treated Bertha. His fate is basically karma for all the bad stuff he has done in his life. The ending of the book is very surprising. Jane ends up becoming wealthy which helped turn her life around. Her life has been very miserable until she starts to take control of it and do what she wants to do. Jane’s wealth makes sense in the way that good things will eventually come to good people. Jane has been punished and mistreated all of her life, so her gaining family and wealth shows how her life turns around and becomes enjoyable. Jane’s new found wealth helps her in making the decision to go see Rochester. When she hears his voice she becomes confused, but excited, “and it spoke in pain and woe—wildly, eerily, urgently” (Bronte 488). This shows how Jane still loves Rochester. These voices make her think that Rochester is in pain resulting her to have the need to see him. Jane realizes towards the end that she truly loves Rochester, and the fact that she has money makes her feel more comfortable with being married to him because she is now equal to him. She also agrees to marry him because she sees how he still loves her. By Rochester calling out Jane’s name, “I longed for thee Janet”, (Bronte 520) shows how Rochester doesn’t think of her as another mistress and truly loves her.
3/13/2015 06:06:04 am
I really like what you said about how Jane doesn’t see herself as his mistress anymore. Jane has always hated being constricted or imprisoned, a manifestation of this being the red room, and when she saw bertha caged I think this really struck a chord with Jane it put fear of which she already had doubts. Along with this fear of becoming bertha, simply being his mistress would imprison her because Rochester at one point compares keeping a mistress as buying a slave.
3/14/2015 08:36:36 am
I agree with the fact that you said Jane’s wealth helped her see that Rochester was really the right person for her because originally when they were engaged prior to her leaving she was apprehensive because she and Rochester were completely on opposite ends of the scale when it came to wealth and she would’ve had to depend on him if she married him then. By then end of the book when she had money it was able to help her realize that she herself and this journey to discover who she finally was was what made her worthwhile and not the money she received from her Uncle.
3/15/2015 08:42:21 am
I never thought about Jane attaining her wealth as like how good things will eventually come for good people. I totally agree because Jane was poorly mistreated since she was a kid but she still continues to come off as a strong educated woman which I really like. In the last few chapters, we can really see how much Jane and Rochester love each other. I think Rochesters excitement to see her proved how much he loved her. I think ot reassured her that she is making the right choice.
3/15/2015 10:53:34 am
I agree that the ending fits considering all the hardship Jane has gone through. In the real world people struggle and eventually find joy as seen by many celebrities stories. Jane has never belonged or been loved and when she was loved she was betrayed. I believe the tragedy that happened to Mr. Rochester made him realize that love isn't controlling someone. I believe the accident in a way had to happen for Jane and Mr. Rochester to be able to be together. They both changed so they could fit like puzzle pieces. They both had to work on themselves in order to be able to work out together.
3/12/2015 02:23:59 pm
I feel that Mr. Rochester needed to be maimed in order to come to gain a sense of closure from the past and to shed his manipulative ways. Mr. Rochester’s estate in Thornfield had too many negative attachments like the fact that it wasn’t his birth right to be the proprietor, and his “mental” wife Bertha haunting him. I find it interesting that Bertha again chooses fire to kill Mr. Rochester and escape her prison, forcing him to own up to his past instead of hiding her in a room with a drunkard woman as a lookout. I also believe that the loss of his vision and hands weaken the control he has on people and the things around him. He is completely powerless, “helpless indeed—blind and a cripple” (Bronte 499). He is at the mercy of others and there kindness, giving him very little room to control anything nor manipulate anyone.
3/14/2015 02:37:54 pm
I agree, perhaps Mr. Rochester escaped to Ferndean because Thornfield held too many bad memories and will forever haunt him. Would Jane still have gone back to Rochester even if she didn't have as much wealth? I believe the wealth gave her some confidence to go back because she feels as if she is now equal and worthy enough to Rochester, but I think regardless of wealth, she would have gone back to Rochester anyway. When she accepts St. John's marriage proposal, she has this epiphany where she realizes that her heart truly lies with Rochester, and that she did not want to be in a marriage without love. This alludes back to when she criticized Blanche and Rochester's marriage because it was solely political and she knew it wasn't going to last long because it was loveless. Even without wealth, she still has power over Rochester because he is maimed, and he needs her as his "right hand," literally.
3/12/2015 03:35:38 pm
I think that Rochester getting burned and losing his eyesight was well deserved for all the horrible things he had done like keeping Bertha in a room like a cage and considering Jane to be his mistress. It was fate for something negative or bad to happen to Rochester. Not lonely does he lose Jane and Bertha, but Thornfield is burned as well. He basically loses everything. It’s ironic because earlier in the novel, Rochester is seen as the one to have control and be able to get anything, but now he has nothing. I think Jane’s sudden discovery of wealth was surprising and I felt like it was just thrown in there. However, I do think it shows that her wealth and family still did not bring her happiness. She ends up going back to Rochester. I think the voice was a sign that her true love is with Rochester. Living away from Rochester allowed her to develop her sense of self and realize what she really wants in life. You can tell how much Rochester and Jane yearn for each other when they meet once again. “She is all here; her heart, too. God bless you, sir!” (Bronte 505). By the end of the novel, Jane has finally escaped misery and found happiness. Not only is she in a passionate marriage, but an equal one as well. “I hold myself supremely blessed - blessed beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine” (Bronte 525).
3/14/2015 08:02:15 am
I agree with your statement about how Rochester got what he had coming to him. I think this is because of his mistreatment of Bertha and his need to feel dominant over Jane. When Bertha started exhibiting signs of her condition rather than help her, he just locked away which maybe resulted in the condition she was in when we were introduced to her in the book. Also due to the fact that his desire to be dominant was an obstacle for him and Jane to marry and truly be happy. Once he paid for what he did for locking Bertha up (Thornfield being burned down) and lost his need to dominate everything due to his disabilities, fate has Jane hear his cries for her and reunites them.
3/12/2015 04:05:29 pm
I understand the feelings of different individuals who may believe that the ending was entirely too unrealistic. Mr. Rochester having the ability to recover part of his eyesight was definitely the last moment where I believed that everything resolved itself too easily “He eventually recovered the sight of his right eye” (Bronte 526). Also, Bertha killing herself seemed to me a quick way to get rid of her character. I felt as though the author rushed the end to make it fairytale like and cut all of the loose ends. As to why Mr. Rochester must meet the fate he does, I believe it’s mainly to teach him a lesson. Mr. Rochester had to face some type of adversity in order to be reunited with his true love. Bronte seemed to want Rochester to change and the way to do this was to provide him with severe injuries. The lack of his sight obviously made him vulnerable, but also more appreciative in my opinion. I believe that Jane finding wealth does make sense due to all of her hardships. In my opinion, there had to be some reward for all she endured during her youth to this point in time. I believe that Jane hearing voices was her subconscious making her true feelings obvious regarding Mr. Rochester. I was actually somewhat confused as to why Jane commented on St. John in the end of the novel “St. John is unmarried; he never will marry now…” (Bronte 527). My only idea as to why she felt strongly was because this was an aspect of her life or relationship that she couldn’t make right, especially because he was her actual blood. After having dysfunctional relationships with family, I believed that it was hard for her to acknowledge the fact that her opportunity at a “brother” was not fulfilled because she displeased him. She had the chance to make a living family member proud, but knew she could not follow through with his large request.
3/15/2015 08:48:19 am
I agree that the ending was too fairytale for my tastes. As i was reading I thought to myself how unrealistic this is. I think Jane didn't want to be in a relationship with St John because there was no real love. All of a sudden she finds out this is her cousin and it's just weird. I think after being with Rochester, she compares that relationship with the one of St. John. She realizes that the love she has been longing for is with Rochester. I kind of disagree with your last statement. I think it was more like she wouldn't be able to make herself happy if she was with St. John. Those eerie voices of Rochester just instills the idea that Rochester and Jane together is fate.
3/15/2015 12:35:38 pm
Adding on to what you said about the ending having a fairy tale touch to it; it reminded me of Cinderella, but with a twist. Jane, acting as Cinderella, has a hard life and so happens to meet her Prince Charming, Mr. Rochester. Complications occur, but the ultimate result revolved around the female lead having a happy ending.
3/12/2015 04:10:26 pm
After reading the last chapters of Jane Eyre, my conclusion is that Rochester met the fate he did because of the introduction of his character in the very beginning of the story. Bronte introduced Rochester's character as a man who noticed eternal beauty, but did not care much for it. The first conversation he has with Jane is when he asks her if she finds him attractive or not. By making him go blind, Bronte distresses him but does not take much away from his character, ultimately because he never really needed especially in terms of being in love with Jane. She as well who did not see him as physically attractive still found herself slowing falling for him. "Then he stretched his hand out to be led. I took that dear hand, held it a moment to my lips, then let it pass round my shoulder (Bronte 522)."
3/15/2015 12:44:35 pm
I totally agree with your statement and I now realize that Bronte was alluding to Rochester becoming blind all throughout the chapters. Rochester didn’t really seem to care that much about appearance because they didn’t matter to him, and now since he can’t see appearances are meaningless to him. I also agree with how Jane’s wealth and Rochester’s blindness didn’t change them. Jane didn’t need wealth to be happy, all she needed was love. However, the only way for her to accept her love for Rochester was with having wealth because she was scared. Once Jane received her wealth she realized how unimportant it was to her.
3/15/2015 02:45:19 pm
I don’t think that Mr. Rochester deserved what had happened to him. He had been cheated by his father and brother during his earlier years and was misguided into marrying Bertha. Yes locking Bertha up was cruel, but what else could he have done? She has clearly displayed that she is crazy by attempting to kill him and burn his house down numerous times. Mr. Rochester also has a conscience for that is the sole reason why he leaves Thornfield for such long periods of time. His guilt of what was occurring to Bertha was more that he can bare to stay close to all the time. Lastly, Mr. Rochester wit and intellect displays that he is not like every other upper class male. He is capable of loving Jane, who other people of the upper class despises. Even though he is bossy at times, he never goes over the line. Throughout the story I always thought that he was the one that deserved the praises, not Jane. This is because before the disaster, he was willing to risk more than Jane was willing to risk in order to prove his love. That is more respectable than Jane coming back into his life after getting rich.
3/13/2015 05:58:47 am
In these last few chapters Jane goes through an amazing transformation; she inherits wealth, she discovers her family, and she makes some serious decisions about her future. For a character like Jane who’s had nothing her entire life these discoveries impact her a great deal. I believe it’s ultimately these discoveries that allow her to return to Rochester. When she left him Jane felt so inferior, she was if a doll he had come upon, he tried to dress her in frills and make her is, while Jane the subject of his affection saw herself pinned under the weight of all she owed him, he gave her money, status, love, and in her state how was she ever to return it all. She had once wrote that she wanted for “a prospect of one day bringing Mr. Rochester an accession of fortune” (Bronte 312) But now as she has advanced herself and come to realize her own value she allows herself to return to Rochester, to embrace him. And live happily Jane is able to finally be happy throughout everything she’s gone through “I hold myself supremely blessed - blessed beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine” (Bronte 525).
3/15/2015 12:34:16 pm
I like how you compared Jane to doll because it shows how controlling Rochester was toward Jane and how he ultimately just wanted another mistress. This is probably why Jane left. During this time when Jane was without Rochester, she had time to think about herself and really discover who she is. When she inherited the money, she finds her place in society and starts to focus more on her wants. Her new wealth allowed her to become more relaxed and get involved with Rochester because she finally has a safety. If anything were to go wrong while she is with Rochester, she knows she has money and family to fall back on.
3/15/2015 12:44:58 pm
"...I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine”
3/15/2015 01:38:09 pm
I agree with you on that what has happened to Jane in these last few chapters has made an extreme impact on her life. Although receiving wealth thrilled her, it made her realize what was truly important to her. Although Rochester means a great deal, it took Jane leaving him in order to come to terms with the fact that she does not want to be away from him. It reminds me of the quote "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be." Jane was once a fragile person but now has become someone who knows what she wants and has received so much more than she has hoped for.
3/14/2015 02:28:06 pm
Mr. Rochester’s blindness and crippledness has led him to become more dependent on Jane than ever. He had so much power before hand and was able to manipulate people to get what he wanted and keep things under his control, but he has lost all of that power now that he is maimed. And now Jane has that power over him. Jane becomes wealthy and discovers her family after going through hardships of being an orphan. These examples seem to say a lot about “good karma and bad karma.” Because Jane endured a lot of loss and suffering, she deserved a happy ending.
3/15/2015 07:02:45 am
I really liked the way you brought karma into your comment. I think providing Jane with all of the factors of her upbringing that she lacked such as a family, wealth, and control made up for her hardships. Similar to this way, Mr. Rochester was stripped of some of his own characteristics that’s he’s always had and more often than not taken advantage of. I also liked what you said about St. John because I believe that Jane may know that she shouldn’t have returned to Rochester, but selfishly wanted to “fulfill” her wishes. Whereas St. John wanted to be with his true love, but selflessly chose to serve God through his work in India.
3/15/2015 01:46:29 pm
I like how you interpreted Rochester's blindness to dependency. I didn't look at it from that perspective at first but now I think you're right. At first he was a man who was always on the go and knew what he wanted. He never had to answer to anybody and made sure to keep some things private to himself.
3/15/2015 04:26:35 pm
I agree Jane has become more independent and becoming a stronger woman and she for sure wanted a happy ending even though that might have seen out of reach for her. I always thought that , that voice was her exposing her undeniable feelings towards Rochester. Jane does honor st.johns choice but I thnk she might have been more scared of his decisions because that's how she lost her parents!
3/15/2015 02:01:05 pm
The ending of the novel was very hypocritical of Jane Eyre as far as her timing to marry Mr. Rochester. Throughout the novel Jane has always reflected herself as being uninfluenced by social status towards her love for Mr. Rochester. However, she chooses to go back to Mr. Rochester after she received the 20,000 pounds in inheritance. This discredits all that she once stood for because the money that she now possess places her in the same class as Mr. Rochester, which is the only reason she feels as she is an equal. In chapter 34 Jane states, “I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest—blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life”. From this quote it seems to me as if it takes Mr. Rochester’s loss of all his possessions and Jane’s acquirement of wealth for her to see them on equal terms. Like the Reeds, who she despises, her social status makes her feel as if she is more advanced and privileged. In a sense, she did not even advance herself; instead she inherited the money like many of the upper class people in her society. Jane’s love would have been more real if she had married Mr. Rochester earlier before all of the disasters.
3/15/2015 03:48:06 pm
I believe Brontë wrote the ending of the book like this for the purpose of balancing the characters; adjusting them to be equals of each other so that they would be able to come together and have a happy ending. Rochester needs to be injured in the fire so that he is physically disabled, and Jane needs to find wealth and family so that she can rise socially, therefore making them both equals. Rochester also sustains his injuries as a sort of punishment for deceiving Jane and locking his estranged wife up for so many years, leading to her insanity. When Rochester hears Jane in the room for the first time since she left, he said, “I cannot see, but I must feel, or my heat will stop” (Brontë 504), which just shows his helplessness at this point, having become disfigured and lost his love until now.
3/15/2015 04:45:34 pm
So in the end Jane gets the guy and the money but is she really satisfied? Well first lets talk about how she becomes wealthy from her uncle and then all of a sudden gets these cousins , although it's nice to see that Jane is getting a happy ending or what it seems to be like , but why now? Where from? all questions that are never really answered ! But then Jane hears rochesters voice after the proposal from st.john , which was her way of telling her
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