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GCSE

Jane Eyre

Question

Explore Mr Rochester’s character development and the way he changes in ‘Jane Eyre’.

2 years ago

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Eldred Stiedemann


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Mr Rochester is first introduced by Brontë as a miserable, strange man, who seems intent on making those around him feel unwelcome, intimidated or uncomfortable. We see this when he falls off his horse and in his cryptic and sour conversation with Jane in front of the fire later that night. We eventually learn that he is this way due to his unfortunate family background which has eroded his trust in others and has made him bitter at the world. However, he begins to value Jane for her intellect, honesty, and strong principles, and because of her influence and encouragement, he begins to re-evaluate his view of the world. He starts to learn that the world is not against him and that his mindset can change to allow more happiness into his life. This change does not come easily and he makes poor decisions along the way, such as deceiving Jane when he dresses as the fortune teller, tricking Jane into thinking he is sending her to Ireland moments before he proposes, and continuing to lie about Bertha. He is used in various ways to present ideas about deception. Rochester deceives as his family deceived him. He also experiences a severe knock to his development after the fire and Bertha's death. However, we see in the final chapter that despite his poor decisions and dishonesty, Rochester eventually learns to be better thanks to his equal and loving relationship with Jane. Brontë rewards the character by returning his eyesight, symbolising his new view on the world. She might also be suggesting that an equal partnership has the ability to better both people involved.

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