An Air of Secrecy in the Novel "Jane Eyre". Express how secrecy drives the plot of the novel Jane Eyre.

Essay by BinaryPenguin_101High School, 11th gradeB+, September 2007

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Secrets in Jane Eyre


"Often in literature, a character's success in achieving goals is tied with keeping a secret and divulging it only at the right moment, if at all." In Charlotte Bronte's novel, Jane Eyre,Edward Rochester keeps a crucial secret from society: his marriage to Bertha Mason. Rochester continues the air of deception because he deems it necessary in order to court Jane. Jane becomes aware of the truth on the day of her wedding to Rochester. She is devastated and decides to leave him. As a result of Rochester's secret and its revelation the plot significantly changes. In the novel, it was not the secret that was imperative to the plot but the consequences of the secret that affected the plot. Jane's absence positively affects Rochester's character, better preparing him to enter into an honest, healthy relationship with Jane. These changes are apparent when he humbles himself and pleads for Jane to return to him, valiantly comes to the rescue of the hidden woman he detests and allows his role of master to be altered.

"You never felt jealousy, did you, Miss Eyre? Of course not: I need not ask you; because you never felt love. You have both sentiments yet to experience: your soul sleeps; the shock is yet to be given which shall waken it. You think all existence lapses in as quiet a flow as that in which your youth has hitherto slid away." (Chapter 15) In this passage, Rochester treats Jane as a child devoid of real emotion and wise thought process; as if she is inferior to him. Jane does not believe she should be subjected to this treatment. Jane's absence is necessary for Rochester to fully comprehend Jane's worth and prove his sincere devotion to her in everyday life. A...