Introducing…MR RODCHESTER!!!

We pick up where we left off, with Jane informally meeting Mr. Rodchester for the first time. The day after their first meeting, Mr. Rodchester invites Jane and her charge Adele for tea. Throughout the tea, Jane describes Mr. Rodchester as cold and distant, uninterested in any conversation with her. However, when Jane mentions her drawings, Rodchester seems charmed and asks to see them with genuine interest. After the tea, Jane speaks with Mrs. Fairfax, telling her about Mr. Rodchester’s peculiar behavior. Mrs. Fairfax explains that Mr. Rodchester is  somewhat peculiar due to his being the family outcast as a child. This is the first connection that Bronte makes between Jane and Rodchester. By introducing the idea of Rodchester as an outcast, she makes a reference to Jane’s ostracization as a child. Although raised in the presence of his parents unlike Jane, who is an orphan, Bronte makes it clear that there are similarities between the characters of Rodchester and Jane that could carry on throughout the story.It is also revealed by Mrs. Fairfax that Rodchester inherited Thornfield from his brother, the original owner who died 9 years previously.

Jane sees little of Rodchester over the next few days at Thornfield. The two finally come face to face again when Rodchester sends for Jane after dinner one day. While the two sit in the study, Rodchester gives Adele her gift and has an unusually long chat with Jane. When he abruptly asks Jane whether she finds him handsome or not, she immediately replies with a flustered “no”. Rodchester reacts poorly, and Jane deduces that he is slightly drunk (how can you be ‘slightly’ drunk? It’s a yes or no thing). Rodchester then makes the conversation even more uncomfortable by telling Jane that he sees their relationship as more than just that between servant and master. This is the first sign that Rodchester may be developing feelings for Jane.The conversation then, thankfully, turns to a discussion about morals and the concepts of sin, forgiveness and redemption. Adele begins to bring up her mother, however, Rodchester shoots her down and later tells Jane that he will tell her more about Adele’s mother another day.

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