Volume 2, Chapter 5 / 20

Synopsis of Volume 2, Chapter 5 / 20

Later that night, the household is awoken by a scream. Rochester pacifies everyone and then calls on Jane to help him. Mason has been attacked and injured, apparently by Grace Poole. Jane looks after Mason while Rochester fetches the doctor, who treats the wounds and then takes Mason to recover at his own house. It is now dawn and Jane and Rochester sit in the garden while he talks to her about a decision he must soon make. Jane assumes that he is thinking about proposing to Blanche Ingram.

Commentary on Volume 2, Chapter 5 / 20

a mere rehearsal of ‘Much Ado about Nothing' Rochester refers to the self-explanatory title of Shakespeare's comedy (1598).

volatile salts Also known as sal volatile or smelling salt: a solution of ammonia in water for reviving people who are shocked or unconscious.

a great cabinet … a dying Christ … the bearded physician, Luke … the devilish face of Judas Charlotte Brontë is describing a cabinet that she saw when she visited the Eyre family at their home in Hathersage in 1845.  About a year later, when she began work on the novel, she borrowed the family name for her heroine.

She sucked the blood: she said she'd drain my heart This links the woman in the attic to the vampire tradition.

the ladies of Carthage In his Confessions (397-8), Augustine (354-430) thought of Carthage as a city of sexual sin.

Investigating Volume 2, Chapter 5 / 20
  • Find out what you can about the tradition of the vampire
    • How is it applicable to this situation?
  • In what ways does this chapter anticipate later events in the novel?
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