Jane Eyre Chapter 37 Summary

Instructor: Lauren Boivin

Lauren has taught English at the university level and has a master's degree in literature.

This lesson provides an overview of chapter 37 of Jane Eyre. In this chapter, Jane finally finds Mr. Rochester and the two are reunited. Does a happy ending await them after so much hardship?

Ferndean Manor House

The inn keeper wasn't kidding in the previous chapter when he told Jane that Ferndean Manor is secluded. In her determination to find Mr. Rochester, Jane travels through thick forest to reach this remote hunting lodge. She travels as far as she can in a chaise, which is a small, two-wheeled carriage drawn by horse. The last mile she covers on foot. Jane describes Ferndean as 'a building of considerable antiquity, moderate size, and no architectural pretensions.' It sounds like it is far from a five-star accommodation!

Chaise

Jane's First Glimpse of Mr. Rochester

After trudging through the trees, Jane finally reaches Ferndean and sees Mr. Rochester outside. She observes that he is still tall, strong, and strapping despite the loss of his left hand and his recent blindness. Her heart breaks to see his strong frame so restricted, thinking he looks like 'a wronged and fettered beast.' Jane watches as Mr. Rochester refuses help from his servant and struggles to find his own way outside. Unsuccessful, he soon gives up and goes back inside alone.

Instead of revealing herself at once to Mr. Rochester, Jane goes inside unobserved and makes arrangements for herself with Mary, the housekeeper. After securing a place to stay for the night, Jane offers to bring Mr. Rochester the water and candles he has asked for. She does this without announcing her presence and it takes Mr. Rochester a little while to figure out that she is not Mary due to his blindness. The result is quite charming. 'Is it Jane?' Mr. Rochester asks, 'What is it? This is her shape--this is her size--' Jane answers, 'And this is her voice...she is all here.'

A Joyful Reunion

Jane and Mr. Rochester immediately pick up their characteristic banter, with Jane commenting, 'I see you are being metamorphosed into a lion, or something of that sort' upon observing his uncut hair. The two share a meal and some light conversation. Jane also tells Mr. Rochester of her newfound financial independence, but she coquettishly refuses to divulge details about how she has spent her time away until the next day. Each makes tentative expressions of the love that still exists between them, and Jane skips away up the stairs to sleep, laughing mischievously.

Full Disclosure

The next day, Jane does tell Mr. Rochester all as she promised. He asks with a lover's jealousy where she has been and with whom. In telling him of her struggles with hunger and penury, she softens the details for him, but still he is anguished by her suffering. Jane tells Mr. Rochester of her rescue from homelessness and her subsequent employment as a schoolmistress. In telling of Mary, Diana, and St. John, she delights in teasing Mr. Rochester a little about St. John and his proposal of marriage, but she eventually admits that she loves and has always loved Mr. Rochester and no other.

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