Chapters 27 and 28
It is nearly the end of the day before Jane emerges from her room, but she
is already resolved to leave Thornfield where she has been so happy. She fears that if she remains, she will be tempted to become Rochester’s mistress.
Rochester explains the circumstances behind the wedding – how he was tricked
into marrying Bertha who was already showing signs of madness.
He tried to end the marriage legally, but failed, so he brought his wife back from Jamaica to be housed in Thornfield, under the care of Grace Poole. He goes on to confess to Jane that he had spent most of his time in Europe and had had three mistresses.
The next day, Jane leaves Thornfield with all the money she has, and her
After two days of travel, she arrives at Whitcross district, hungry and
exhausted. She wanders the streets for a few days trying to seek employment.
Starved and exhausted, she ends up at the house of the family Rivers, a
brother and two sisters called St. John, Mary and Diana. They also have a servant called Hannah.
Although Jane is shocked at the revelation that Rochester is already
married, she is not broken. As we have seen she has great fortitude and is a survivor, and although her love for Rochester is ailing, it can be revived although she does not see this.
It is Rochester who is broken by these events – his last chance of happiness
has been snatched away from him. Not only is he broken spiritually, he will also be broken physically.
Briefly, Jane’s love for God had been eclipsed by the passion she felt for
Rochester. She now returns to God and hopes he will aid her.
Bront' provides a graphic description of the days Jane spent as a homeless
person. She makes a commentary on the plight of the homeless at this time, and if it were not for St. John Rivers, through Christian charity bringing her in from the rain, she might have met an untimely death.