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Flashcards in JE: Gender Deck (2)
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Rochester and Fairytales:
“A tall steed, and on its back a rider”

“Man and horse were down”


a) Rochester is Knight-like, appearing as the embodiment of the typical fairytale masculine traits of bravery and chivalry.
b) Almost immediately comedically subverted, with the roles being reversed:
- She then plays the saviour role, being proactive in a typically masculine way.
- Rochester immediately rejects this, and does so until the end, eg. by asserting his power through imperatives and demands in the proposal scene: “I summon you…come hither”.
-> BUT! is only until the classic fairytale gender roles
(Cinderella-esque) are reversed at the end that their
relationship is finally possible while still allowing Jane
to self-actualise.
-> This is despite these stories, and the images and
ideas contained in them, being continually referenced
and fantasised about throughout the novel.

- While it begins as an undeniably male-dominated relationship, with Rochester’s arrogant control over her identity (“you are intensely ignorant”)…
- … a deeper connection is clearly being formed, unlike any of Rochester’s previous relationships: …
- … one in which he is able to open up, feeling he can be honest with Jane, using her almost as a way to purify his soul - his conversation with her about Adele’s mother is philosophical and confessional in nature.


The Red Room:
1) “It was in this chamber he breathed his last”


a. Represents loss of the one family who cared.
b. Sense of gothic patriarchal haunting:
- Significant, as Zoe Brenan argues the RED Room represents menstruation - Jane’s development into womanhood.
- Therefore, there is a supernatural masculine force/influencing force over a universally female experience.
-> Even suggested by the heavy, intimidating,
‘masculine’ furniture: “massive pillars of mahogany”