Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre as a moralistic tale for woman’s independence. Brontë crippled Rochester to set a path for Jane’s independence. Rochester was both physically and in status stronger than Jane was. With his strength and allotted stubbornness as it was he was not a character that could allow much develop or independence in Jane/ women. He wanted to control her like he tried to do with the rest of his life. The one part of his life that he could not control and manipulate, Bertha, whom also served as a token for his powerless past under the his father and brother, he locked up in a room never to be seen or heard in public. Rochester shows obvious signs of these controlling intents for Jane and Jane’s only chance for loosening his grip and the debt that she might have suffered from through marriage was the possibility of acquiring a fortune small enough to challenge her dependency.
“It would, indeed, be a relief,” I thought, “if I had ever so small an independency; I never can bear being dressed like a doll by Mr. Rochester, or sitting like a second Danae with the golden shower falling daily round me. I will write to Madeira the moment I get home, and tell my uncle John I am going to be married, and to whom: if I had but a prospect of one day bringing Mr. Rochester an accession of fortune, I could better endure to be kept by him now.”(Brontë 284)
Brontë’s solution to the unequal balance on the scale between Rochester and Jane is to put him in such a decrepit state that any woman could handle him.
“Which are none, sir, to me. I love you better now, when I can really be useful to you, than I did in your state of proud independence, when you disdained every part but that of the giver and protector.”(Brontë 475)
Now being with Rochester is solely a matter of choice. Brontë hints that women can regain their own independence only through the sharing of power in men. A woman cannot gain power unless a man loses some of his power. As Brontë implies that the only way for a woman to hold her own is through the weakening of men, I don’t agree with her message. Regardless, the fact that the didactic standpoint in Jane Eyre is meant to be one of women empowerment holds true to its purpose.
Works CitedBrontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Carleton Publishers. 1963. Print.