Decorative Initial R B. Martin points out that setting in the Thornfield section differs from "the two preceding ones because it is made at once more personal and more symbolic. 'Great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor' [Chap. 11], says Mrs. Fairfax in the first mention of Rochester in the novel. Like a lifeless body, the house without its master has an air of decay" (p. 73). Bronte, who makes "a symbolic identification of house and master," has the house come alive upon Rochester's return.

Martin also points out that Brontë even draws an analogy "between the appearance of the square-faced Rochester and the prospect of the house. Both are impressive to look at but of modest dimensions with little pretension to physical beauty," and Brontë constantly has Jane's feelings about Thornfield prefigure her discoveries about Rochester himself. Consider various aspects of the house and see what foreshadowings they have of its owner.

Other comments on Jane Eyre by R. B. Martin


Martin, Robert B. Charlotte Bronte's Novels: The Accents of Persuasion. NY: Norton, 1966.

Last modified 23 October 2002