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In Jane Eyre love and marriage are important in different ways. In some relationships the two aspects are disconnected and in one they are eventually united

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Introduction

?It is not personal, but mental endowments they have given you: you are formed for labour, not for love...I claim you not for my pleasure, but for my Sovereign?s service.? In the light of St John?s proposal, discuss the importance in Jane Eyre of love and marriage. In Jane Eyre love and marriage are important in different ways. In some relationships the two aspects are disconnected and in one they are eventually united. St John views marriage as a practical arrangement. ?It is not personal? shows that St John views marriage as separate from his emotions and love. This supported when he addresses his claim on her ?for [his] Sovereign?s service.? He feels that marrying Jane is something he has to do, and he is marrying her for the purpose of duty. This links to Victorian morality because marriage was generally viewed as something that was done for a purpose such as marrying for status, money or duty. The society would have frowned upon wild marriages based on love without a valid reason. Apart from St John?s loveless marriage principles, there are elements in the novel where love outweighs marriage, but eventually equalises which is reflected in Rochester and Jane?s relationship. There is also a passionate at first marriage which then becomes incomplete and loveless and this is shown through Bertha and Rochester?s marriage. ...read more.

Middle

Jane and Rochester are kindred spirits ?I feel akin to him? there is a deeper connection immediately between the two which provides the basis of their love. On top of this the passion between the two of them is immense. ?Come to the fire.? When Rochester says this, it is an indication that he wants Jane to be closer and attracted to him.? He represents the ?fire? and the passion which Jane?s life until then had been lacking. Rochester?s status is only due to experience but they are intellectually equal. Mr Rochester is used to giving orders and Jane receiving them. An important point however is Rochester?s constant portrayal of leaning on Jane. This evens out the social superiority he has over her, because each time he leans on her, and their relationship develops, Jane grows in social status. The next stage of their relationship is when Rochester proclaims his love for Jane and proposes.? I summon you as my wife.? This proposal can be compared to St John?s because even though both of them have the commanding tone, Rochester wants Jane for himself, not for duty. The verb ?summon? could indicate that that Rochester believes that being his wife is Jane?s destiny. Even though Jane accepts, she has doubts. These are amplified when she finds out about Bertha Mason. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also shown when Jane says ?I experienced a strange feeling as the key grated in the lock.? This brings back memories of being locked in the red room for Jane. The verb ?grated? suggests it was something Jane was used to; a familiar sound. It also suggests that Jane knows what it was like to be under such restriction; there was no means of escape, and it finally shows that it was something which annoyed and upset Jane, which evoked similar but stronger feelings for Bertha. Jane has experienced a small sample of what Bertha experiences. So therefore Jane and Bertha share similarities and therefore Bertha can be seen as Jane?s antagonist. Bertha and Rochester?s relationship is one which has no love, and one where marriage is portrayed as inconvenient. Their marriage is not what a marriage should be. It can be said that their relationship lacks both love and a true marriage. In conclusion, love and marriage is important in Jane Eyre. St. John and Jane?s relationship is one where there is no love but one where marriage is still seen as a possibility for a purpose. Jane and Rochester?s relationship is one where the love and passion override a successful marriage but eventually the two are united equally. Finally, Bertha and Rochester?s relationship is one where there is some passion at first but it quickly dies and all that it is left is a hateful , empty marriage which offers a contrast to Jane and Rochester?s relationship. ...read more.

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