emotions — both joyful and sad. By creating an emotional see-saw from the encounters between Jane and Rochester, the novelist indicates that these intense emotions define true love. Bront ’s emphasis on the importance of passion in a good relationship adheres to some of the doctrines of the Evangelical religion, which dominated the Victorian age. This branch of Protestantism stressed imagination, intensity and emotion prompted by the “necessity of emotional comprehension of one’s own innate depravity and Christ’s redeeming sacrifice”( “Evangelical Protestantism”). Under this influence, emotions became a proper subject for the arts (”Emotionalist Moral Philosophy,”). Jane’s initial reaction to the interest of a man indicates the level of passion (and thus of true love) she is experiencing.
When St. John asks Jane to marry him, she replies calmly and thinks: “But as his wife–at his side always, and always restrained, and always checked–forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low, to compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry, though the imprisoned flame consumed vital after vital–this would be unendurable” (359). Clearly St. John does not meet Bront ’s standards for true love, since Jane’s passion would dwindle and die if she married him. When Rochester first shows indications of affection to Jane, the reaction is quite different. Not only does Jane’s passion consume her, but Rochester similarly intense emotion. “‘I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not (again he stopped) did not (he proceeded…
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