In chapter twenty-five, Jane seems to suffer from another mental breakdown as she waits for Mr. Rochester to return to Thornshead from his business the night before their wedding. The imagery is very telling of Jane’s inner struggle with self-identity and how to relate to the coming change.
As Jane goes out into the weather, she seeks the walnut tree that is split down the middle. The tree is dead, but still in one piece at the base. This imagery plays well on the context of Jane’s inner feelings. She feels dead inside and without hope of a fruitful future. She seems torn asunder like the tree, unsure of whom she will become. The thought of Mrs. Rochester is as dead to her as the past versions of herself that seem to change with each setting.
In contrast, Jane gathers apples fell by the strong winds. She separates the good ones and places them in the storehouse. Jane wishes to gather all of her best memories and keep them safely stored. The others are wishfully tossed out.
Then, there is the blood moon. Could the author be hinting at the moment to come when Jane loses her virginity? It is a fleeting moment and well placed in the context of the unchanging wind, bending the trees without relief. She sees the wedding dress like a wraith in the closet. The idea that she refuses to label her trunks for their transfer to London affirms her disbelief of happiness.
“…I would wait to be assured she had come into the world alive, before I assigned to her all that property.” Property could also be symbolic of her commitment within her own character.
The madness of her impatience drives her out into the weather. The same can be said of her personality. She is driven into the madness of disbelief and uncertainty of her world as real or imagined. When she meets Mr. Rochester on the road, she seems overly gushing with the welcomed reception.
The following conversation between Jane and Rochester almost seems authentic. The description in my mind’s eye finds the exorbitant feelings of happiness a bit higher than I could imagine after a fiancé finds his bride-to-be on the road in the middle of a storm.
I am not sure of Mr. Rochester’s reaction to her story of the ‘vampire.’ Is he genuinely alarmed at the possibility of an encounter with the undead creature? He tells her to sleep with Adele and lock the door from the inside. But yet, he dismisses her descriptions with a believable version of her half-dream as the presence of Ms. Poole.
When will she wake up? Who will she wake up as?