Jane Eyre Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


Jane Eyre: Novel Summary: Chapters 15-16

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Chapter 15: One afternoon when they happen to meet while walking, Rochester does tell Jane more of Adele.  He says that she is the daughter of a French opera-dancer that he was in love with and whom he supplied with a hotel and money etc.  When he saw her with another man making fun of him, he took all he had given away from her.  She gave birth to a child she said was his, but he does not believe that Adele is really his child.  Nevertheless, when he heard that her mother had abandoned her, Rochester took Adele in.  After this discussion it seems to Jane that Rochester is happier to be with her, and now always has a word or a smile for her.  Jane now says that she does not find him ugly any longer. 
That night Jane hardly slept thinking about Rochester and worrying that he may leave soon and be gone for a while.  Just then Jane thinks she hears something brush against her door and walk down the hallway.  She also hears a demonic laugh and someone walking up the third story staircase. Jane dresses hurriedly to go to talk to Mrs. Fairfax.  When she enters the hall she sees a candle burning just outside her room, and she sees smoke coming from Rochester's room.  When she enters his room she sees his bed on fire and tries to wake him.  She throws the water from his basin onto the bed and runs to her room to get hers. Rochester wakes up with all of the water, and the fire is put out.  Rochester tells Jane not to move or to call anyone, and goes to the staircase up to the third story.  When he returns he asks Jane what she saw and heard, and implies that it was Grace Poole who set fire to his bed.  When Jane goes to go back to bed, Mr. Rochester seems to want to have more interaction with her, and he holds her hands and tells her that he knew she would do him good in some way.
Chapter 16: The next day Jane is anxious to talk to Mr. Rochester about the night before.  She is quite surprised when she sees Grace Poole in Rochester's room with another servant mending curtains.  Jane questions Grace about what happened there the night before, putting her to a test, and Grace tells her that the master left a candle burning and it caught fire to his bed.  Jane cannot believe that Grace is still there, and wonders what power she has over Rochester that he did not make her leave.  That night Jane is sure Rochester will call for her, but when Mrs. Fairfax calls her to tea, she learns that Rochester had left for a journey that morning and will be gone a week or more.  Mrs. Fairfax tells her that when these fine, fashionable people get together, they do not like to soon part company.  Mrs. Fairfax then tells Jane about Miss Ingram, a beautiful, single woman that Rochester may have a fancy for.  She says that it is not likely that Rochester will think of marrying her though, as he is almost forty, and Miss Ingram is but twenty-five. 
When Jane is at last alone and thinking of all that Mrs. Fairfax had told her, she thinks that she had been a fool to think that she had been a favorite of Mr. Rochester's.  The next day she makes two drawings, one of herself with all her faults, and one of a beautiful woman as Mrs. Fairfax had described Miss Ingram.  She decides that whenever she feels that Mr. Rochester may be taking a fancy to her, she will take out these pictures and compare them.


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