Relationship between Jane and Rochester in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre

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The relationship between Jane and Rochester, in Jane Eyre is an intriguing, captivating and unconventional one, right from their first meeting. Throughout the novel, Bronte conveys the struggles in which Jane is faced with, in order to have a genuine loving and equal relationship with Rochester, without betraying her own personal beliefs and principles. Also the issues of social class standing, social rules, gender roles and religion in the nineteenth century Victorian culture present as obstacles to Jane in her quest. Jane finds a companion in Rochester who can offer her the love, acceptance and sense of belonging she so yearns for. However Jane must find a way around the issues I have presented, which are a result of Victorian attitudes…show more content…
It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.’ (Page 129 – 130).
Therefore not only does the issue of social classes pose a risk to the level of equality Jane is able to achieve in her relationship with Rochester, but there is also this issue of gender inequality which was apparent during the nineteenth century. Jane struggles with Rochester, as he too believes women to be inferior to men, and therefore attempts to treat her as such, in some ways inadvertently to his defense. For example the way in which he attempts to dress Jane up in fine clothing and jewels after their engagement. Rochester may not realise it, but here he is effectively treating Jane as if she were one of his mistresses by lavishing her with expensive gifts. Jane makes her discomfort at this clear when she tells Rochester that she will not be his ‘English Celine Varens’ (page 311), and will continue working as Adele’s governess, in order to remain financially independent of him; ‘[…]by that I shall earn my board and lodging, and thirty pounds a year besides’ (page 311). Jane does not want to be dressed in finery by Rochester, as she fears that this will jeopardise her independence, and make her inferior to him,which is not in line with her search for equality.
Later Rochester admits to Jane that he did in
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