My favourite part in the book is chapter 23. In this chapter Mr Rochester proposes to Jane. I like it because it is probably the most descriptive and varying chapter in the book. A lot happens and the beginning is not explained, and the language that is used is most captivating. A lot of the loose ends in the previous chapters are tied up and things start to be explained.
At this point in the book summer is at its fullest. Most of the story so far has been written in the winter but because the day is so beautiful it starts to set the scene as a pleasant one. It makes you feel happy and starts to set the atmosphere of the chapter to one with good endings and ideas.
At the beginning Jane tries to avoid Rochester. She tries to avoid being watched by Mr Rochester. This builds up suspense and tension because you are not sure why she is hiding from Mr Rochester and makes you wonder what will happen if they do encounter each other. There are lots of reasons she could be hiding from Mr Rochester. It is obvious that she wants to be on her own to think and enjoy the garden. “And this antique garden as attractive.” She sees the garden as a place to react and a space in which to finally enjoy Thornfeild Hall.
She describes the garden as “Eden-like”. In fact all through this chapter the idea of Eden is portrayed through out the chapter. The sweet smells, the feelings of content, and the ideas that they are joined under the rib.
She was trying to avoid confrontation with Rochester because she was confused about her feelings for him and worried that if she did see him she would break into tears because of the sheer desperation on the fact she cannot have him. In fact when they do talk she does start to “sob convulsively”. She knows that he wishes to be married but does not want to leave him so she tries to avoid him in a desperate effort for a longer stay at Thornfeild.
She does not want to talk about Miss Ingram again. Jane is subconsciously jealous of her. Miss Ingram is very pretty were as Jane is “plain and obscure thing”. She also does not want to have one of the manly talks Rochester tried to make her have. Previously in the book Jane has realised that she loves him and if he talks about Miss Ingram she might get hurt or embarrassed again.
Before they approach the shrubbery she smell his cigar smoke clogging up “the sweet perfume of the flowers.” Which is strange because the smell of flowers are overwhelming. The smell of a cigar is bitter and horrid. Which could mean that things are not completely wonderful. She quickly “flees”. When she finds him following her she enters the shrubbery to stay hidden she believes he will not follow. This made me wonder why she was so scared of being found.
Mr Rochester is always aware of her presence. He follows her round the garden. This is a very romantic idea which can make you idolise the idea that where ever she is Rochester can sense her. As she tries to slip away he very calmly and softly tells her to “come and look at this fellow.” Which is a quick divert and grab of attention. What he is telling her to look at is a moth. Moths can symbolise change into beauty, maybe Brontï¿½ is saying Jane will change in to something more beautiful. As he said those words he did not turn his head to look at her or give any indication that he had noticed her. She had made no noise and was surprised at his voice. Maybe he was also aware that she did not want to talk so he cornered her. This particular event captured my attention.
When they start talking Mr Rochester starts it off by being mean and hurtful telling her that she has to leave since he is to be married to Miss Ingram. This makes the atmosphere very tense and makes you feel sorry for Jane because how ever plain she is you want her to get her shining prince. He tells her that she has to advertise for a new post somewhere else. He says she can stay in Ireland and gives her the most obviously made up name, “Mrs O’Gall of Bitternutt Lodge” the names suggest unpleasant things with Bitternutt and O’Gall.
Mr Rochester then completely changes tact and says “And your will shall be your destiny, I offer you my heart, my hand, and a share of all my possessions.” He asks this about seven times. She at first disbelieves him she says that he loves Miss Ingram not her. She does not believe him because he had only a few seconds before had been excruciatingly mean to her.
To believe him she has to see his face to see what it says. To see if he is in earnest when he asks the foreboding question. She believes that she knows him so well that she can tell he is lying by the way he looks. She asks that he “turn to the moonlight.”
Later in the night a storm appears and splits the tree in which they where sitting under in two. I think this symbolises that something will come in between them. But when trees are thunder struck the base and roots are kept intact which I think means that even though they split up they will still love each other deep down. And stunted trees can grow again so they may get back together.