Through the separate portrayals of the environment we may gain an insight into each character and also realise the irreparable gap between the couple and their perceptions. To Rochester this environment, which is such a source of delight and comfort to his wife, is alien and incomprehensible. She delightedly offers him spring water but he is suspicious and uneasy at his surroundings (p.60). It all seems shabby and sad "sad leaning coconut palms ... uneven row of white washed huts"(p.55) "sombre people in a sombre place" (p.58). He cannot understand their language or their culture and eyes it with contempt as he speaks of Caro, " a gaudy old creature" (p.56). He is confused and ashamed by the little boys howling tears when he smiles at him (p.56). He has an awkward introduction as Hilda giggles at him and he feels Amelie is sly and "malignant perhaps" (p.55). He sees the Jamaican landscape as threatening and menacing; the "hostile forest" and "alien moon" all unnerve his initially confident imperialist voice as English codes order are overtaken. Even the book "Life and letters of... ." has been eaten away symbolising the erosion of English systems in the colonies. He cannot find solace, vibrancy or beauty in the environment only gaudiness and excess:

"... too much blue, too much purple, too much green. The flowers too red; the mountain too high" (p.59)

Further, he refuses to be swallowed up or oppressed by the "intoxicating freshness"(p.61). His new eyes on the place perhaps give the reader a more vivid description.

Antoinette is inextricably linked to the environment that Rochester finds so overwhelming. Her offer of love all encompassing is perceived by him in the same way he views the landscape: "too much". His rejection of the environment therefore signifies a rejection of Antoinette.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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