Topic: Family, Life & ExperiencesMarriage

Last updated: December 13, 2019

Marsh End Running away from Thornfield, Jane inhabits the house of her cousins, the house is situated right between nature and society, at Marsh End. The name suggests the end of her search. She describes the house in the following way:”They loved their sequestered home. I, too, in the grey, small, antique structure, with its low roof, its latticed casements, its mouldering walls, its avenue of aged firs – all grown aslant under the stress of mountain winds; its garden, dark with yew and holly – and where no flowers but of the hardiest species would bloom – found a charm both potent and permanent … I saw the fascination of the locality. I felt the consecration of its loneliness: my eye feasted on the outline of swell and sweep – on the wild colouring communicated to ridge and dell, by moss, by heath-bell, by flower-sprinkled turf, by brilliant bracken, and mellow granite crag. These details were just to me what they were to them – so many pure and sweet sources of pleasure. The strong blast and the soft breeze; the rough and the halcyon day; the hours of sunrise and sunset; the moonlight and the clouded night, developed for me, in these regions, the same attraction as for them – wound round my faculties the same spell that entranced theirs”. Through this description she manifests her love and admiration for this place, which became a soul place for her.

Here Jane is given what she craved since childhood-a family, a home. Being exhausted and half starved, River’s Family nursed her back to health. Their support had an important role in Jane’s recovery. At Moor’s house some of her wishes came true, she finally found a family she develops further her educational identity by studying together with her cousins Diana and Mary. Her wanting to work and be independent of the help and benevolence of the Rivers family proves her desire to be autonomous and hard-working member of society. Her cousin St John Rivers helps her to start a small charity school which gives her professional self-confidence. At Mars End she also receives great sum of money in form of an inheritance from her uncle.The only advantage Jane sees in this sudden wealth is just the autonomy that money bring. Jane appreciates much more the discovery of her newly relatives than the discovery of this fortune, because here her relationships are notably different from her relations with Reed’s family at Gateshead. She is more than happy to be able to share this inheritance of twenty thousand pounds with her cousins.

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“the independence, the affluence which was mine, might be theirs too . . . It would please and benefit me to have five thousand pounds; it would torment and oppress me to have twenty thousand . . .” (Brontë 1992, 341–342). At Moor’s she found not just a place of wealth but a place of refuge and peace as well.

John Rivers seeks more frequently Jane’s attention and proposes her to become his wife and to accompany him as a missionary in India. Jane clearly rejects his proposal, because John Rivers sees Jane just as a tool for his mission. She is educated, hardworking, she fits just perfect for the role of missionary’s wife. He states that his proposal is not for his own sake that Jane is needed but for God’s. Jane would agree to accompany him as his friend or sister, but not as his wife. She fears and refuses the loveless marriage with her cousin. She can’t receive from him the bridal ring and to endure all forms of love, knowing that her spirit will be absent there.She fears also the idea of cold and loveless sexual intercourse. She refuses to abandon her ideal of love for the higher purposes of her cousin’s expedition. His cheerless ideas about love and his domineering masculinity offenses Jane’s notion of love and her identity. His proposal neglects her personal aspirations. She foresees that in India she would be under his daily repression. Of course, she is able to see that his proposal would give her a respectable social position, an advantageous setting where she might think about her sentiments and visions. However, Jane stays loyal to her feelings. She can not go over herself and obey this loveless conventionalism. Her refusal represents the last needed affirmation of her own identity and honesty.

Mr John Rivers totally refuses Jane’s suggestion of being to him a ‘sister’ and insists on their marriage: “I . . . do not want a sister: a sister might any day be taken from me. I want a wife: the sole helpmeet I can influence efficiently in life, and retain absolutely till death” (Brontë 1992, 359). Obviously, his possessive manner violates Jane’s autonomy. After the struggle that took place between Jane and Mr John Rivers, she is ready to move on. She still think about Mr Rochester and decides to visit him. Her inheritance during her stay at Marsh End offers her financial independence so she is not inferior to Mr Rochester anymore. She is ready to reunite with him. Jane returns to Mr Rochester.


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