Last night, I finished up Jane Eyre. I was supposed to finish it for class yesterday but I fell asleep trying to read it on Thursday. Oops … but whatever.
After a few months of staying with the Rivers, Jane comes into an inheritance left by her paternal uncle and finds out that the Rivers are her cousins. She’s really happy because she’s never met family members who are nice to her before. When she mentions she wants to split the inheritance between 20,000 pound inheritance evenly between herself and her cousins, her cousin St. John thinks she is impulsive and not thinking things through. She does it anyway.
While her other cousins, Diana and Mary, tend to their posts as governesses, Jane gets to know St. John better, as he is the only one in the house besides the servant, Hannah. He is less cold and distant than he had been. Jane learns that he is in love with Miss Oliver, heiress and daughter of Mr. Oliver, who owns the school. However, he will not act on his feelings because his missionary work is more important than anything to him.
What he does next throws Jane for a loop, and I can’t say I blame her. He asks her to go with him to India as his wife. Apparently Jane would be a good wife for a missionary. Jane tells him that she will go as his assistant, but not his wife. St. John replies that it is God’s will they get married; it wouldn’t be acceptable to go to India without a wife.
I’m sorry, what? How does he know it’s God’s will for them to get married? And what would happen if they went to India without getting married? He doesn’t even love her! He just wants to get married because he thinks it’s what God wants him to do. But I don’t think there’s anything that says “In order to be a missionary, you have to be married”.
In the middle of the night, Jane hears someone call her name. “Jane, Jane, Jane!” Jane recognizes the voice, and she travels back to Thornfield the next day. No, she hadn’t forgotten about Rochester. She still loves him and missed him.
Upon her arrival, Jane finds what was once a nice manor is now in complete ruin, burnt to the ground. It is rumored that Rochester’s wife, Bertha, started the fire in the middle of the night. She jumped from the top of the roof to her death. Rochester himself survived, but he lost his sight and his left hand to the fire because he wanted to make sure all of his servants were out of the house before he got out.
Jane’s departure tore him apart. He hadn’t been the same since; he wallowed in his sadness day in and day out. Now that Jane has returned, he asks her once again to marry him, and they lived happily ever after. I still don’t understand why Jane went back to him when he lied to her, but I guess when you really love someone, you can forgive their mistakes.