I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
– Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre, Chapter 38. Now ten years married to Rochester, this is Jane’s affirmation of their interdependence. She makes the comment in one of the novel’s final passages, where we learn that she has achieved her happily-ever-after ending. It comes through female empowerment, equality and the love she has always desired. She and Rochester are bonded together by love, we are told. After marrying him as an equal and becoming his carer, she has arrived at the ultimate happiness. Jane’s comment contains a Biblical allusion to Genesis 2:22, in which Adam responds when the Lord presents him with Eve: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” This underlines how pure and spiritual the love between Rochester and Jane is. Here is the full passage from which Jane’s quote is taken: “I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest – blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward’s society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character – perfect concord is the result.”