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Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre Volume 3, Chapter 11 Summary

  • Jane goes to Ferndean to find Rochester. When she comes up to the house, she sees him coming out, and watches him for a long time without letting him know she’s there. He looks like "some wronged and fettered wild beast or bird, dangerous to approach in his sullen woe" – in other words, he’s really let himself go.
  • Jane goes into the house and talks to the servants, John and Mary. She arranges to bring a tray in to Rochester in Mary’s place.
  • When Jane enters the parlor, the dog, Pilot recognizes her. Rochester realizes something is up and demands to know what’s going on, but he doesn’t know it’s Jane yet.
  • Rochester reaches out, trying to touch her, and she takes his hand in hers. When he feels her fingers, he clasps her to him and figures out who she is based on her shape. Sexy, eh?
  • Rochester can hardly believe that it’s really Jane, but when she tells him about her inheritance he decides this is reality – he would never imagine something boring about wills and money.
  • Jane offers to be Rochester’s nurse or housekeeper, convinced that he will immediately ask her to marry him again, but he doesn’t.
  • Jane insists that Rochester eat supper, which he usually doesn’t. They eat and talk together, but Jane won’t tell him yet where she was or what she was doing. Rochester’s still worried that she’s a spirit or ghost or hallucination. Jane combs his hair, which he’s allowed to get a bit wild.
  • Jane heads to bed without answering any of Rochester’s questions. She decides to tease him for a while and let him think she fell in love with someone else in order to distract him from his depression.
  • In the morning, Jane comes down to breakfast, and then takes Rochester outside so they can stroll in the wood and meadows.
  • They sit down in a dry place and Rochester asks Jane to tell him where she’s been and what’s happened to her. She tells the story, but doesn’t emphasize how hungry she got during the first three days.
  • When Jane tells Rochester about Moor House, he cross-examines her about St. John Rivers. Jane answers with the truth, but very sparingly, and he becomes convinced that she’s in love with St. John.
  • When Jane finally reveals that she has no feelings for St. John – and that St. John was only interested in her because she’d be a good missionary’s wife – Rochester is ecstatic. He laments his blindness and lost hand, but asks Jane to marry him anyway. She accepts gladly.
  • Rochester is worried that Jane will find it unpleasant to wait on him and deal with his blindness, but she says she’s even more happy to be his wife now, when she can be really useful to him.
  • As they walk back to the house for dinner, Rochester tells Jane that he understands why she had to leave him, and that he feels remorse and repentance for his behavior in the past.
  • Rochester also tells Jane that, four days before, between eleven and twelve at night, he called her name three times frantically – and he heard her respond. He thinks that perhaps they met in spirit.
  • Jane doesn’t tell Rochester that she heard him call her name and responded to him while she was sitting, miles away, with St. John. She doesn’t want him to get obsessed with the supernatural.

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