In what chapter of Jane Eyre does Jane say...?

...she doesn't wish to be the english version of Rochester's French mistress. if you can could you provide the exact quote and page number. thank you!

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is one of my favourite characters of all time. The passages you are looking for are in Chapters XXVII and XXXI. Please read more below for your English 10 paper on Jane Eyre.

    Language of Fiction: Essays in Criticism and Verbal Analysis of the English Novel

    By David Lodge

    Page 151

    “. . . When he is prevented from marrying Jane, he tries to persuade her to run away with him – to southern Europe: ‘You shall go to a place I have in the south of France: a white-walled villa on the shores of the Mediterranean’ (XXVII). Jane refuses and, later in the novel, when she is vindicating this decision to herself, makes an explicit connection between climate and the loss or preservation of moral integrity:

    ‘Which is better? – To have surrendered to temptation; listened to passion; made no painful effort – no struggle; – but to have sunk down in the silken snare; fallen asleep on the flowers covering it; wakened in a southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have been now living in France, Mr. Rochester’s mistress…. Whether it is better, I ask, to be a slave in a fool’s paradise at Marseilles – fevered with delusive bliss one hour – suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next – or be a village-schoolmistress, free and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England?’ (XXXI)”

    “Because of her love for Rochester, Jane faces a dangerous paradox when he asks her to come away with him after their wedding is pre-empted. Jane is caught between her love for Rochester and her equally strong desire to maintain her independence. When she refuses to join him, Rochester accuses Jane of having tried to marry him for his wealth and social position: ‘you don’t love me, then? It was only my station, and the rank of my wife, that you valued? Now that you think me disqualified to become your husband, you recoil from my touch’ (319). Rochester thus speaks Jane’s own worst fears – that the attempted marriage to Rochester could be construed as her surrender to dependency and mistresshood. Jane hardly needs the reminder; as Maurianne Adams notes, ‘the sudden emergence of Bertha Mason Rochester from her attic hideaway confirms and verifies what Jane had already feared, that as Rochester’s wife she would be but his mistress, a kept woman, without any independent social status’ (138). [14] Rochester attempts to counter Jane’s uneasiness by asserting that there will be no impurity in their setting up house together: ‘Never fear that I wish to lure you into error – to make you my mistress. Why do you shake your head? (320). Remembering Céline, Rochester uses an extremely narrow definition of mistresshood, asserting that if there is love rather than a purely financial arrangement, Jane will not be his mistress. But Jane understands differently: ‘If I lived with you as you desire,’ she informs him, ‘I should then be your mistress – to say otherwise is sophistical – is false’ (320). The repetition of the word ‘mistress,’ and Rochester’s destination in France, must remind Jane of Rochester’s corrupt cash-based liaison with Céline Varens. Jane contends that if she were to accompany Rochester, their relationship would be marked by economic dependency and sexual exchange. Her self-definition as a governess or as an economic agent would then be subsumed under a definition that is purely relative to Rochester: she would be his mistress. Brontë thus shows how concepts of subjectivity and selfhood are tied up with the economic and sexual choices of middle-class Victorian women.”

    The complete text of Jane Eyre is in the link below.

    Click on the link, then on your tool bar go to Edit > Find on this Page…

    Then type the word France in the search box and click on the Next and Previous buttons to jump down to the highlighted word in the text.

  • 8 years ago

    I haven't looked it up, but I would guess it's right after their wedding is called off, when Rochester wants Jane to come away with him even though they're not married.

    (BTW, there are many different editions of Jane Eyre, so the page numbers would not be the same in yours and mine.)

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