The employer of Jane at Thornfield who carries with him a secret he has kept hidden for years. He’s a mysterious but amiable fellow that manages to pique Jane’s interest and love. He treats Jane as something of an equal and is shown to be always running away from something, which we find to be his past and his regrets. His secret marriage to Bertha proves to be his burden and curse, something that eventually costs him his sight and a hand, but the love Jane has for him proves strong and his life is eventually filled with bliss.
‘I knew my traveler, with his broad and jetty eyebrows, his square forehead, made squarer by the horizontal sweep of his black hair. I recognized his decisive nose, more remarkable for character than beauty’
‘I knew there would be pleasure in meeting my master again, even though broken by the fear that he was so soon to cease to be my master, and by the knowledge that I was nothing to him; but there was ever in Mr. Rochester (so, at least, I thought) such a wealth of the power of communicating happiness’
‘To women who please me only by their faces, I am the very devil when I find out they have neither souls nor hearts…but to the clear eye and eloquent tongue, to the soul made of fire, and the character that bends but does not break—at once supple and stable, tractable and consistent—I am every tender and true’
‘I envy you your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot of contamination must be an exquisite treasure-an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?’
‘You – you strange – you almost unearthly thing! I love as my own flesh. You – poor and obscure, and small and plain, as you are – I entreat to accept me as a husband’