Friday, May 15, 2009

Blog Response: Rochester's Blindness

Following the fire at Thornfield, Rochester is very much reduced to the status of invalid. Beyond merely suffering emotionally and psychologically at the loss of Jane, his home, and Bertha, Rochester’s pain is compounded by physical ailments. His newfound blindness and amputation moored Rochester to Ferndean hospital, granting him very little mobility beyond his chair. Jane’s return to Rochester’s life notes a shift in their relationship, where there appears to be greater inter-reliance between them, rather than being characterized by Rochester’s sole domination of Jane.

Although cynical to consider, Rochester’s treatment of Jane shifts dramatically following his accident, revealing greater levels of dependence whereupon. Prior to it, Rochester dictated and influenced all Jane’s decisions, subtlely prodding her to bend to his will. Even in his initial marriage proposal he noted, “Little scpetic, you shall be convinced” (253). This concession on the part of Rochester serves to exemplify his domineering nature- that Jane never seemed to find disagreeable. This overbearing even authoritarian nature was all but effaced following the accident, where Rochester in his second attempt at marriage notes, “A poor blind man, whom you will have to lead about by the hand?” (433), after Jane initially agrees. In stark contrast to his first attempt, rather than using his influence to convince Jane, Rochester appears shrunken, seemingly attempting to convince her not to marry him. At this juncture in her life, Jane has also achieved a greater level of independence and self-worth outside the realm of love and marriage, through her trials with the Riverses. During that period, Jane accrued a great deal of personal wealth and rejected another marriage proposal, which if accepted, would have solidified her position as inferior. From such, one could argue that the equality produced from the marriage to Rochester was a result of Jane’s growing independence, produced while away from Thornfield. Although I find this in some respects true, Jane’s subordination to St. John during her stay with the Riverses suggests her inability to separate a desire for personal independence from a male influence. It appears then that the scruples of Jane were not quite as effective in creating an equalizing gradient than Rochester’s accident- Rochester had to be degraded in order for the two to become equal. Jane herself even concedes in the last chapter, “Mr. Rochester continued to be blind the first two years of our union: perhaps it was that circumstance that drew us so very near…” (439).

After so long refusing to be bound to the doldrums and repetitions of a domestic life, Jane ultimately agrees to the marriage and by the last chapter, the two are wed. Although Jane speaks with rapture of the decision, her comments speak little of personal happiness outside of Rochester. She notes, “I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and white what I love best on earth…we are ever together” (439). Although content, it would be impossible to say that Jane was fulfilled. Hearkening back to her early time at Thornwood, Jane noted, “the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes…” and continued on to say, “it is narrow-minded…to say that they [women] ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stocking, to playing o the piano and embroidering bags” (116; 117). In ultimately marrying Rochester, rather than being fulfilled, Jane unconsciously molds herself to this domestic ideal.

In reiterating the fate of St. John in the final chapter, the readers are reminded of the entirely dominating figure he represented to Jane, in his modes of control and influence. Although her marriage to Rochester contrasts with her idealism and personal values, a marriage to St. John (reminded again in the last chapter) would have produced complete and total subordination. The continued use of St. John as the foil to Rochester merely conveys Rochester as the lesser of two evils.

37 comments:

紅包 said...

命運,就是自己行為的結果。 ....................................................

毛衣 said...

Govern your thoughts when alone, and your tongue when in company...................................................

chat said...

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國男皓云 said...

GOOD........................................

郭君 said...

唯有穿鞋的人,才知道鞋的哪一處擠腳......................................................

PorshaCoghlan梁子珠 said...

快樂的微笑是保持生命康健的唯一藥石,它的價值千萬,卻不要花費一文錢..............................

裕以 said...

要保持更新呦,加油!!!期待你的新文章!!!..................................................

雅茹WillyA_Mellinger0724 said...

外表往往與事實本身不符,世人卻容易被表面裝飾所欺騙了 ..................................................

JeanBrian8544 said...

友情像一棵樹木,要慢慢的栽培,才能成長真的友誼,要經過困難考驗,才可友誼永固..............................

LeeO_Capetillo淑屏 said...

大家隨便說,說什麽都好,就是請不要惦惦.............................................

韋于倫成 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。.........................

志文 said...

看到你的好文章真是開心 加油囉~ ........................................

TamMcfee0鄭 said...

錢,給你帶來歡愉的日子,但不給你帶來和平與幸福..................................................

廖淑凡 said...

Constant dripping wears away the stone. 滴水穿石!加油!..................................................

fenfen said...

不要小看自己,因為自己有限的可能......................................................

友辰友辰 said...

Make yourself necessary to someone...................................................................

逸群 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」......................................................................

瑞尹 said...

Poverty tries friends.....................................................................

皇銘 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

宥妃宥妃 said...

教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考............................................................

懿綺懿綺 said...

After a storm comes a calm...................................................................

云依恩HFH謝鄭JTR安 said...

肯定與支持你!!!加油囉~..................................................................

懿綺懿綺 said...

Drive carefully. It is not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.............................................................

林柏毅林柏毅 said...

要保持更新呦,加油!!!期待你的新文章!!!..................................................................

雅俊芬凱陳許 said...

新手上路哦~請大家多支持(・ˍ・*) ............................................................

玉苓玉苓 said...

認真的看完~~幫你推一下............................................................

曾戴山柔曾戴山柔 said...

不要去想沒拿到的東西,多想想自己手裡所擁有的..................................................

正洪玲正洪玲正洪玲 said...

Offence is the best defence...................................................

麗王王珠 said...

Learn wisdom by the follies of others.............................................................

家唐銘 said...

時間就是塑造生命的材料。

高黃吉軍向婷 said...

More haste, less speed..................................................................

偉曹琬 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。............................................................

淑君韓淑君韓淑君韓 said...

不要去想沒拿到的東西,多想想自己手裡所擁有的..................................................

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

Quality is better than quantity...................................................................

至馬馬馬馬玄馬馬馬馬 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .