Rochester's insane Creole wife from Jamaica who is locked away on the third floor of Thornfield. Bertha is portrayed less as a human being than as a Gothic monster or a vampire. Because of her Creole or mixed race parentage, Bertha reveals Victorian prejudices about other ethnicities. She represents Rochester's monstrous secrets.
The Jane Eyre quotes below are all either spoken by Bertha Mason or refer to Bertha Mason. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Jane Eyre published in 2006.).
Chapter 11 Quotes
While I paced softly on, the last sound I expected to hear in so still a region, a laugh, struck my ear. It was a curious laugh; distinct, formal, mirthless. I stopped: the sound ceased, only for an instant; it began again, louder: for at first, though distinct, it was very low. It passed off in a clamorous peal that seemed to wake an echo in every lonely chamber; though it originated but in one, and I could have pointed out the door whence the accents issued.
Chapter 20 Quotes
What crime was this that lived incarnate in this sequestered mansion, and could neither be expelled nor subdued by the owner?—what mystery, that broke out now in fire and now in blood, at the deadest hours of night? What creature was it, that, masked in an ordinary woman's face and shape, uttered the voice, now of a mocking demon, and anon of a carrion-seeking bird of prey?
Chapter 26 Quotes
What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell: it grovelled, seemingly, on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing, and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face.
The timeline below shows where the character Bertha Mason appears in Jane Eyre. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...that Rochester is already married. 15 years ago in Jamaica, Rochester married a Creole woman, Bertha Mason, who still lives in Thornfield. The other stranger turns out to be her brother,... (full context)