Jane Eyre Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


Jane Eyre: Novel Summary: Chapters 25-26

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Chapter 25: The night before the wedding Jane feels anxious that Mr. Rochester is still away on his errands, and when the time of his supposed return far passes, she runs out into the wind and rain to meet him.  She comes upon him riding home, and he takes her on the horse back to the house.  They eat supper, and Jane tells Rochester why she is so anxious.  The night before she dreamt that she was in the wind and rain caring for a crying infant and chasing Rochester who was riding away.  Jane then tells of another dream where she saw Thornfield Hall as a dreary ruin.  She tells him that when she awoke from this dream she saw a candle in her room and someone at her portmanteau looking at her garments.  She says that she did not recognize the person, and that it was a woman with a discolored and savage face, who put on her wedding veil and then took it off and ripped it in two.  She then came over and looked closely at Jane before leaving the room. 
Rochester says that he is sure she imagined it, but she says that the next morning she saw the veil ripped in two.  He says that it must have been a half dream, where someone she knew entered her room, but that she dreamt the part about what kind of creature it was.  He then asks her to sleep with Adele in the nursery that night and to have more pleasant dreams.  Jane, however, does not sleep at all, and rises early in the morning to prepare for her wedding.
Chapter 26: As they walk to the church the next morning, Jane sees two strangers enter it.  During the ceremony, when the clergyman asks them if either have any reason why they cannot be wed, one of the strangers steps forward and says that Mr. Rochester is already married.  He states that he was married to Bertha Antoinetta Mason in the West Indies.  Then Mason himself comes out of the shadows and confirms that it is true and that he is Bertha's brother and that his sister is alive and at Thornfield.  Rochester says that it is true, but that Bertha is mad, and he takes them all to Thornfield.  They go to the third story and there they see Grace Poole and another figure that may or may not be human.  It acts like a wild animal, and it attacks Rochester when it sees him.  He finally gets control over her and ties her up.  He tells them all that this is his wife and asks if they could they blame him for trying to have another wife in Jane, telling them to compare the two. 
The men say that Jane is cleared of all blame, and that her uncle will be glad to hear of it.  They tell her that her uncle was working with Mason when he received her letter that talked of her upcoming marriage.  He told Mason about it, and he related Rochester's story.  Jane's uncle begged Mason to travel and stop the wedding, and he himself fell so ill they are not sure whether he will survive or not.  The men leave, and Jane goes to her room to think.  She realizes that she must leave Thornfield and is dismayed.


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