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Jane Eyre | Chapter 37 | Summary

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Summary

Jane arrives at Ferndean, deep in the woods, at dusk. Rochester is living a solitary life, attended by two servants. Jane interacts with one of the servants and arranges to surprise Rochester. He seems subdued and resigned when she first sees him, but when he realizes she is there, he's delighted: "I cannot be so blest, after all my misery; it is a dream." Jane states her intention to "stay with him" and tells him about inheriting her uncle's fortune. Rochester thinks his injuries will prevent Jane from wanting to marry him; she has to reassure him. They dine together. He says he missed her more than he cared about his physical condition: "Yes: for her restoration I longed, far more than for that of my lost sight." A day later, as Jane narrates her experiences since their separation, Rochester assures Jane that he never could have made her his mistress; he wanted their relationship to be one of equality and respect. He compares himself to the chestnut tree and proposes to Jane again. They decide to marry in three days.

Rochester tells Jane that religion has become more important to him and he's begun to pray, in his own way. On the past Monday night, he says, he asked God to take him from this life to a world where he might reunite with Jane. He stood by the window, with the moon shining in, and suddenly shouted, "Jane! Jane! Jane!" He thought he heard her voice reply: "I am coming: wait for me."

Analysis

Until now each event that has seemed to have a supernatural aspect has turned out to have a rational explanation. For example, the light Jane saw in the red-room was from a lantern someone was carrying outside; the shrieks from Thornfield's third floor were produced by Bertha; the vampire-like figure wearing Jane's wedding veil was Bertha as well. However, there is no rational explanation for how Jane and Rochester could have heard each other's voices calling across the many miles that separated them. This telepathic experience seems to convey that the lovers are fated to be together; it shows the strength of their bond. The chapter ends with the pair reflecting on this. Jane says, "The coincidence is too awful ... to be communicated." Rochester faithfully praises "my Maker."

Interestingly, Rochester's reaction to Jane's appearance is that it "must be a dream." When reality is so wonderful, it can only be unreal, a dream.

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