Week 7: How Do You Feel About Marriage Age Gaps?
(I’m running out of artwork. Might have to move onto watercolor paintings soon )
Another week, another illustration. This time, I’m illustrating the scene where Rochester proposes to Jane — but first, let me catch you up on the plot thus far.
You Know That Feeling When Your Crush Starts Talking to a Girl Who (You Think) Is Way Prettier and Hotter and Funnier Than You and It Just Totally Tanks Your Self-Confidence?
Not speaking from experience in any way, I’m purely speculating on Jane’s feelings here.
So Jane’s been working at Thornfield Hall for a while, and she and Rochester develop feelings for one another. At some point, Rochester decides to host a weeks-long party with a bunch of his rich friends and noblewomen acquaintances. Amongst the noblewomen is Blanche Ingram, the epitome of a 19th-century pick-me girl, a super hot and classically beautiful lady who’s very interested in marrying Rochester.
Jane, seeing that there’s some chemistry between Rochester and Blanche, gives herself a harsh dose of reality by reminding herself of the impossibility of a relationship between an old money upper-class Englishman and a nameless governess like her.
Rochester Would Absolutely Thrive as a YouTuber in the 21st Century
One evening, as she’s brooding in the garden, Rochester pranks her in pretty a despicable way. He tells Jane he’s planning to marry Blanche and suggests that Jane leave Thornfield and live somewhere else, being his secret side chick. Jane rejects his horrible plan and asserts her independence from him — that even though she may love him, she respects herself and would never partake in such a plot.
Rochester then goes “Just kidding! I was actually just messing with you and Blanche Ingram actually sucks. Now will you marry me Jane?” (Slightly paraphrasing, but that’s really the gist of it). The whole thing reeks like the setup of a YouTube video titled “Telling My Crush I’m Marrying Another Girl (SECRET PROPOSAL PRANK!!!!).” Like, ew.
But Jane does agree, then they hug and kiss. And that’s the part I illustrated.
(So this is actually an incomplete version. I didn’t finish in time his week because I got food poisoning but I’ll update this with the final image soon.)
There’s a huge power disparity between Rochester and Jane in this scene. Rochester has the money, and the name, and pays Jane’s salary. Plus, he’s much older than Jane. You can see this in their expressions above: Rochester looks affectionate, but Jane is DEFINITELY way more naïve and into it than him.
Dubious stuff aside, I set the scene to have very romantic vibes. Jane and Rochester both have genuine feelings for each other, and they’re the couple the readers are supposed to be rooting for.
I think this is going to be my favorite piece out of all the ones I do. It was really fun lining the characters and painting all the shrubbery.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for sticking around, and see you next time!
Sources & References:
- Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Signet Classics, 1962.