Volume 1, Chapter 12

Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 12

Jane meets Rochester as he falls from his horseJane settles into the routine of Thornfield Hall, but is still troubled by feelings of restlessness. While she is walking to the post office one day, she is alarmed by a large dog accompanying a man on horseback. The horse slips on the icy ground and Jane helps its rider, who has sprained his ankle, to remount. When she returns to Thornfield, she discovers that she has met Mr Rochester.

Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 12

par parenthèse: (French) By way of an aside.

Anybody may blame me who likes … necessary for their sex another of the passages in which the always thoughtful and restless Jane reviews her situation and the possibilities open to her as an intelligent and self-respecting young woman, but one without any support from a family or any established position in the world, either financially or socially. See Charlotte Brontë and childhood and Themes and significant ideas: Education; Class, wealth and power and Gender and the role of women

a North-of-England spirit called a ‘Gytrash' A Gytrash is a dialect word for a ghost, but in folk-tales in Lancashire and elsewhere in the north of England it is particularly associated with a large dog, whose appearance was supposed to foretell a death or some other dire event.

‘Like heath … whirls away': A quotation from one of the Sacred Songs (1815 and 1824) by the Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779-1852). Many of his poems became very popular songs.

‘too easy chair' Alexander Pope (1688-1744), The Dunciad (1728-43) 4: 343.

Investigating Volume 1, Chapter 12
  • Consider the passage from ‘Anybody may blame me who likes … necessary for their sex' See Themes and significant ideas: Gender and the role of women.
  • In what ways are the circumstances of Jane's first encounter with Rochester characteristic of the atmosphere of the novel?
    • What kind of issues does it raise for Jane's present situation?
    • What kind of issues does it raise for the novel as a whole?
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