Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the morning, Jane is surprised that the servants believe that the previous night's fire started when Rochester accidentally fell asleep with a lit candle next to his bed, and that he woke just in time to extinguish the flames. Jane is astonished when Grace Poole—who seems nothing like a nervous criminal—confirms the story. When Jane asks about the laughter, Grace assures Jane that she imagined it, but that she should probably keep her bedroom door locked anyway.
Jane realizes that Rochester has lied on purpose, and is keeping her in the dark about all of the "supernatural" events taking place at Thornfield. Blaming Jane's imagination plays on the stereotype that are flighty and over-imaginative.
Themes
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Judgment Theme Icon
The Spiritual and the Supernatural Theme Icon
To Jane's dismay, Rochester soon leaves for a nearby estate to join a party of aristocrats, including the beautiful Blanche Ingram. Jane chastises herself for thinking she ever had a chance with Rochester. She draws two pictures—a homely self-portrait and a romantic image of Blanche—to remind her of their respective social positions, and to cure herself of any expectation that she might win Rochester's love.
Jane believes Rochester will be forced to marry someone in his social class, regardless of his feelings. The two styles of the portraits reinforce the unbridgeable gap that Jane senses between herself and the upper class. Her her despair reveals her growing feelings for Rochester.
Themes
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Judgment Theme Icon