Patriarchal Character In Jane Eyre

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“It seems to me that you might create any sort of character in a novel and there would be at least one person just like him.” -Natsume Sōseki. In Jane Eyre, this is clearly depicted through two important characters. By reading into Brontë’s writing style and looking at the characters’ internal actions, it can be determined that Bertha is the human manifestation of Edward Rochester’s evil personality. Her traits and actions correlate to the dark side of Rochester, and it is clear that she reflects his past. Knowing this, one can truly understand the reasons and meanings behind Rochester’s actions throughout the text. Edward Rochester is a highly controversial person in Jane Eyre. Some agree that he is the psychotic enemy of Jane, and should…show more content…
Having an exceptionally dark past greatly influences the way Rochester thinks and makes decisions. There are signs in the narrative that prove he simply desires to escape his old life, such as when Bertha is first introduced. He says (in referring to Bertha and then to Jane), “Such is the sole conjugal embrace I am ever to know-such are the endearments which are to solace my leisure hours! And this is what I wished to have.” (Brontë, 298). Rochester cleared only wanted a wife that would be sufficient in the Victorian sense. Chen Chih-Ping noted that “Rochester further highlights the differences between Bertha and Jane in physical features to dehumanize Bertha.”(Chih-Ping, 21). Since he did not get what he desired in a partner, a double personality emerged as a defense mechanism to his manic and confused…show more content…
“The fire caused by Bertha, his "collection," symbolically burns away Rochester 's colonial wealth and destroys his power as a male host and gazer.” (Chen Chih-Ping, 18). Bertha dies via suicide, and Rochester’s evil personality is also killed. Since he performs one of the most virtuous things a person can do (sacrificing themselves for another), his sinfulness is taken away. Afterwards, Jane and him can live a happy life; because she knows that he has been fully encompassed by the righteous part of his personality, and is no longer tortured by his other
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