View Full Version : Quick stupid question..

11-02-2009, 01:04 PM
What is Rochester's job? I know he is master of Thornfield, however, does he have a job? Is he like Darcy in Pride and Prejudice who just gets a revenue from his investments?

I would appreciate any insight.

11-02-2009, 02:58 PM
'Stupid questios do not exist, only stupid answers,' colleague once said, although there are always slightly ignoran ones ;).

Nono, seriously. One cannot gain knowledge without asking.

Rochester did not have a job, although he would maybe have looked at a possible honorable job such as lawyer or so, to gain an income in order to be able to support a family, being a second son.

The system was like this: eldest son inherits everything, second and third (and which ever number of) sons that follow get nothing. They are reduced to the Church, or other professions that are honorable such as lawyer, the army, trade (slightly less favoured), everything that gave you an adequate income to be able to support a family in the way that lived up to your name (the eldest Rowland Rochester could not be seen with a pauper brother, or one that was a shoemaker to say something). Or, if the son did not want or could not do an honorable job (because of intelligence issues) then he needed to marry well. That was, I daresay, Rochester's case. Although at some point he talks of being at college (something like Oxford I suspect), so it could mean that he was pushed into training as a lawyer or maybe even priesthood.

Girls inherited upon marriage: their fotune was a share of the inheritance the eldest son would inherit when the father died. You can imagine how rich Bertha's father was if he gave his daughter a 30,000 pound dowry. the equivalent of more than 1,000,000 dollars now.

Rochester's money (as he inherits it after father and brother have died), is for a part the passives of the house and grounds (the money that all that is worth), but also includes the passives of the family jewels in the strong box in London, and probably a whole load of cash. That cash could be invested on the stock market or invested in private businesses (even in the colonies as Jamaica f.e.). Some landowners plaid bank and gave people loans with interest.

Income from grounds also contributed. That was the rents the farmers paid the owner of the land. Some landowners had whole villages that paid him yearly rent.

Beside farms paying rent, we cannot forget that the grounds always also had their own farm on which the landowner lived (got his food from). Any excess (fruit, eggs, milk...) would probably also be sold.

Is that an adequate answer to your question?

11-02-2009, 04:33 PM
Yes, more than adequate thank you. So do you think you could call Rochester upper class as I want to compare him to Gaskel's Mr Thornton who's a self made man when talking about the different class systems in the Victorian period.

11-02-2009, 06:59 PM
Definitely upper class, of an old family (the pub in the nearby village is called The Rocheser Arms and the graveyard is full of family graves).

I'd say he was very rich as he could abandon his estate and move into Europe and spend money as he liked. That is quite expensive. Other than that, after CÚline, he had a lot less (obviously exceeding his income a great deal by giving her a house of her own), as he said he almost ruined himself on her.

I would even say he is of better class as Mr Thornton is a self-made man and that is despicable. He is in trade which is of inferior nature to family wealth... It is a litttle peculiar, but there you go.

07-04-2010, 12:16 PM
I really don't know!
I've read recently a book called 'Rochester', written by J.L. Niemann, which is narrated by Rochester himself (oh, yes, my dear, it's a very erotic book), where you can see there Rochester meeting with some tenants and bankers! So he has indeed some affairs! :)