Our heroine has reached the end of her journey and returns transformed. This stage is about the ascension of the new mother. The heroine is changed and so the world is changed. She can now start a new life, establish a new family or community.
Jane Eyre Returns with the Elixir
Jane returns to Thornfield to find it burnt to the ground. She wanders around the blackened ruins, distraught. Mrs Fairfax turns up and tells her what happened. Bertha escaped and set the house on fire. Mr Rochester saved everyone then went back inside for his wife, but she jumped from the roof. She tells Jane she needn’t have run away, she could have come to stay with her.
Jane finds Rochester sitting under the tree where he proposed to her. He has been blinded in the fire and looks dishevelled and defeated. Jane takes his hand and he recognises her. He feels her face in disbelief. She tells him she has come back to him. He thinks it’s a dream and she tells him to awaken.
So Jane’s future is secured. With the death of Bertha, she is free to meet with Rochester as an equal, and her fortune will certainly help. The film ends rather abruptly and is ambiguous. We don’t get the reassurance of the book, telling us of their marriage and subsequent children, or that Rochester regains some of his sight. All that is left hanging and we are left wandering, like Rochester, whether this is just a dream.
What happens next is up to us to decide.
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Image: Focus Features