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Julianna Truslow’s Formal Blog Post on Jane Eyre Excerpts

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” nor do I mean to torment you with the hideous associations and recollections of Thornfield-Hall — this accursed place — this tent of Achan — this insolent vault, offering the ghastliness of living death to the light of the open sky — this narrow stone hell, with its one real fiend, worse than a legion of such as we imagine. Jane, you shall not stay here, nor will I. I was wrong ever to bring you to Thornfield-Hall, knowing as I did how it was haunted. I charged them to conceal from you, before I ever saw you, all knowledge of the curse of the place; merely because I feared Adèle never would have a governess to stay if she knew with what inmate she was housed, and my plans would not permit me to remove the maniac elsewhere — though I possess an old house, Ferndean Manor, even more retired and hidden than this, where I could have lodged her safely enough, had not a scruple about the unhealthiness of the situation, in the heart of a wood, made my conscience recoil from the arrangement. Probably those damp walls would soon have eased me of her charge: but to each villain his own vice; and mine is not a tendency to indirect assassination, even of what I most hate.”  –Mr. Rochester, Vol. II Chapter VII

Hate the Personality, Not the Madness

Mr. Rochester uses many dark words to describe Thornfield-Hall.  He continually paints for Jane a depiction of evil over the house.  However, Jane and the reader are able to realize where his insults are truly pointed.  Due to the types of insults Mr. Rochester uses, it makes it obvious he is not insulting the house, but rather his wife.

In the passage, “nor do I mean to torment you with the hideous associations and recollections of Thornfield-Hall — this accursed place — this tent of Achan — this insolent vault, offering the ghastliness of living death to the light of the open sky — this narrow stone hell, with its one real fiend, worse than a legion of such as we imagine”, Mr. Rochester insults his first wife at every moment he can manage.  The ways in which he does this makes the reader know that he hates her because he was tricked into a marriage with someone truly evil.  It’s interesting that the tent of Achan is mentioned, because that bible story has to do with a man keeping money for himself and is later stoned to death.  Mr. Rochester seems to feel that he is equal to Achan on some level because he ended up where he is due to his family’s greed.  He also refers to his wife as a “fiend, worse than a legion”.  He obviously feels that she has some sort of ties to hell, but since Mr. Rochester has some form of disability himself, he does not connect disability to hell, just his wife.

As much as Mr. Rochester seems to hate his wife, disability is not the reason for this hatred.  His wife, Bertha Mason, actually is a horrible person and tries to harm all around her.  Her actions are a result of her disposition.  She can be related to Richard in Richard III.  Much like Richard, Bertha Mason uses her disability as an excuse for the actions she takes.  She is clearly capable of keeping her composure, as seen when Mr. Rochester and her have their first meetings.  If she was the same level of cruel then, she would not have been allowed in public.

Mr. Rochester despises Bertha because of who she is, a woman filled with loathing for any and all around her.  Bertha does not care for anyone in life, merely for revenge, much like Richard. Therefore, Mr. Rochester does not hate her because of her madness; rather the madness is a catalyst for his hatred.

Written by Julianna Truslow

September 19th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

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