At this period in my life my heart far oftener swelled with thankfulness than sank with dejection. . . . I used to rush into strange dreams at night: dreams many-coloured, agitated, full of the ideal, the stirring, the stormy dreams where, amidst unusual scenes, charged with adventure,with agistating risk and romantic chance, I still again and again met Mr. Rochester, always at some exciting crisis; and then the sense of being in his arms, hearing his voice, meeting his eye, touching his hand and cheek, loving him, being renewed, with all its first force and fire.
n contrast to the portrait of Victorian life created in the "Reality of Victorianism" essay, Jane seems to embody the quintessential Romantic heroine. Her life is characterized by tides of emotion that swell and recede according to the whims of her suitors. Mr. , for example, also veers from the Victorian doctrine of moral rectitude and social responsibility toward a Romantic life fueled by passion. He rather closely resembles the Byronic hero< dark and brooding, with a mind that flares into as many capricious fits as Jane. As this passage illustrates, Jane's world is a rather self-absorbed, picturesque fantasy; an emotionally turbulent climb from abused orphan to refined socialite. Her ascension mimics the perhaps unrealistic rags-to riches cliché. With her inheritance money and newly-risen social standing, Jane focus her energies on the institutions of love and marriage, rather than those of, for example, public health or child labor. Trapped within the confines of the romance plot, Jane is unable to contribute to or even fully recognize the destitute, impoverished Victorian world which exists beyond her own.
Last modified May 1994