Rhetorical Questions In Jane Eyre

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The passage above reveals part of Jane and Mr. Rochester’s argument, where Rochester attempts to convince Jane to stay in Thornfield and become his wife; however, Jane feels it is necessary to leave since Rochester is still married and does not want to be treated as an inferior to Rochester. Brontë expresses that women and men are inherently equal through Jane’s statement with a critical tone and rhetorical questions; this theme further echoed throughout the novel. At this point in the novel, Jane was reluctant to leave Rochester, but was upset and felt it was inappropriate to marry a married man, no matter what state Rochester’s wife was in. Thus, throughout the excerpt Jane is critical and condemning how Rochester views her. She is not an emotionless being who wants to leave him, instead she feels obliged to do so because she does not want to become a mistress. Even though she has a harsh tone, there is a degree of sympathy in her assertion. She privately forgives Rochester and is tempted to stay, but ultimately sneaks away from Thornfield to start again. Brontë’s use of tone establishes Jane’s attitude and principle that men and women are equals, unlike what society had determined. At the end of the novel, Rochester…show more content…
The questions “Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton? ... Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?” force the reader to consider Jane’s place and her. It is not just Rochester’s decision, it is also hers. Rhetorical questions serve as a thought provoking literary device that emphasize a point to the reader. Brontë uses these questions to effectively convince her audience that Jane and Rochester should be considered equals, as opposed to a patriarchal
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