Significantly within chapter 23, Bronte uses nature to illustrate the relationship between Rochester and Jane; addressing the passionate turmoil Jane experiences. Nature appears to imitate these feelings, ‘a band of Italian days had come from the South, like a flock of glorious passenger birds, and lighted to rest on the cliffs of Albion’. This is something recognised by Jane when she is in the presence of Rochester, whom uncovers a sense of adoration and comfort within her. Bronte uses a simile to emphasise the feelings Rochester ignites within Jane. The birds are constantly used metaphorically to characterise the main protagonist, as she is close to deviating from the norms of patriarchal standards and ‘flying’ into the arms of Byronic hero Mr Rochester (and indeed trouble). The underlying passion between these two unconventional lovers is communicated through atmospheric devices and pathetic fallacy as she describes the skies above: “burning with the light of red jewel and furnace flame at one point”. This connotes to the tumultuous sense of desire reprimanding both characters as they are burdened by their own social positions. Sensual pleasures are frequently communicated in this chapter as Jane regresses to the blossoming nature of her relationship. As a first person narrator, Jane’s sensual experiences will mirror and illustrate her underlying desires and strong sense of infatuation within, as she attempts to appropriately and truthfully convey this integral experience she has within the garden of Thornfield.
Essentially, when exploring how Bronte foreshadows later events within the novel, Jane touches on the concept of underlying remorse or agitation: ‘I trode on an edging of turf that the crackle of a pebbly grave’, there is morbid reference here, which connotes to Rochester’s burdensome secret. Language such as ‘pebbly’ glamorises the concept of death, which is essentially what Jane does when describing Thornfield Mansion earlier on. The moth itself, used to represent death or antiquity, is a creature of great mystery, possessing a sense of elegance alongside darkness. Being in the same family as a butterfly, it deviates from that conventional sense of beauty; yet is captivating nonetheless. This reflects the characteristics of Mr Rochester, who is described by Jane in a similar light earlier on in Chapter 17. She says he is: ‘not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me: (his features) they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me’.
Fundamentally, foreshadowing the turmoil and emotional tumult expected from such an unorthodox relationship, the storm and Chestnut tree have significant effect when exploring the concept of nature. The language within Rochester’s deep confession of adoration towards Jane is almost hyperbolic. Bronte’s authorial intent is to clearly illustrate the passion encouraged within this particular scene in her life; Rochester’s effusive tone supports this manifesto: ‘Will I not guard, and cherish, and solace her?’ Arguably, though romantic, this is hyperbolic because it exaggerates the Romantic style of Rochester’s amorous language. The storm itself, is almost personified as destructive beast, interfering with the quiet; unprecedented nature below. ‘Loud as the wind blew, near and deep as the thunder crashed, fierce and frequent as the lightning gleamed’. Lexical choices such as; Loud, deep and fierce (within the same semantic field) connote to Jane’s feelings: they are unorthodox and obtuse! The half-split horse-chestnut tree, whereby the two lovers addressed their tumultuous feelings is arguably the most allusive provided imagery. It had been, ‘struck by lightning in the night, and half of it split away’. It takes tremendous strength to break the flow of nature, and this is exactly what Rochester and Jane are doing. They are breaking away from their own patriarchal systems