On the eve of her wedding, she is all prepared. Jane decides to go for
a walk in the gardens and she approaches the blackened ruin of the horse-chestnut tree. In the sky is a blood-red moon, and Jane hears a melancholy wail.
Her intended husband is away, and she is restless for his return. She
decides to walk out and meet Rochester on his return. Rochester helps her onto his horse and they return to Thornfield.
Rochester can see that Jane is upset and he asks her what is wrong.
She tells him that she had a strange dream. She was wandering along a
winding road carrying a feeble child who was crying.
She was trying to catch Rochester, but he just kept getting further away. In her haste, Jane dropped the child and then awoke. Jane then noticed a dark form in her bedroom. It was a tall woman with dark hair wearing a white garment. She had Jane’s veil over her own head. When the figure looked into the mirror, Jane could see a ghastly face. It reminded her of a vampire. Jane asks Rochester who the woman was, and he surmises that it was probably Grace Poole.
Rochester promises that he will explain about Grace Poole a year and a day
after their marriage.
The romantic theme that has been developing is now immersed in Gothic
images. There is a recurrence of the dream where Jane carries a child, which symbolizes her security and happiness.
The child is dropped, and Rochester disappears in the dream. This provides the reader with a heavy hint as to what is to happen.
Again, the image of the ruined tree, a blood-red moon and the distant
wailing, are all typical ill omens, and although Jane doesn’t know it, she has come face-to-face with Mrs. Rochester, although it is not absolutely clear whether this was a physical meeting or still part of Jane’s
Bront' makes the connection between Bertha and a vampire. Bertha is
sucking the life out of Rochester, and he grasps at some form of happiness with marriage to Jane.
We also learn that the woman, after wearing the veil tore it in half, but
again these events are blamed on Grace Poole.
Although Jane has had a religious upbringing, and she is concerned not to
give herself to Rochester before they are married, deep down in her heart she would do anything for this man, and as she says in the closing paragraph of Chapter 24, he has come between her and God – she has made
him an idol.
In Chapter 25, there is another dream where Jane sees Thornfield in ruins –
yet another glimpse of what lies ahead.