Two weeks after Jane returns to Thornfield, Rochester finds her in the garden and tells her that his plans to marry Blanche are decided. He tells Jane that he has found a governess job for her in Ireland. Jane, upset, says that Ireland is too far away. Jane explains how much she loves Thornfield. Rochester requests that she stay. But Jane fiercely declares her independence and equality, and rebukes him for choosing a loveless marriage.
Jane stands up to Rochester for prioritizing social concerns ahead of his feelings. Jane's passionate response comes in part from her thwarted feelings for Rochester, but also because he seems to think he can send her away, or keep her near, as he wishes.
Rochester confesses that he has no plans to marry Blanche. He was only trying to make Jane jealous. He passionately asks Jane to marry him. Jane at first thinks Rochester is teasing her, but he convinces her. Jane, overwhelmed with emotion, agrees to marry him.
Rochester loves Jane, but even in proposing to her he distorted the truth to make it seem like he was marrying Blanche. He still has not fully revealed himself or his secrets to Jane.
The weather suddenly changes into a downpour, and the couple rushes inside, where Rochester kisses Jane. Later that night, lightning splits the chestnut tree where they had sat when Rochester proposed.
The storm represents divine disapproval of the marriage. Rochester's secrets will split up their marriage, just as lightning split the tree.