This—this is [wicked]

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 27) | Genius

Quotation: “I do,” extricating myself from restraint rapidly and completely.

“Oh, Jane, this is bitter! This—this is wicked. It would not be wicked to love me.”

Context: Jane decided to go one way in the world, and to let Mr. R go another, despite how much he had said he love her and tortured by his mad wife.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand "wicked" here. Does it mean "causing distress" as M-W dictionary suggests?

3. b : causing or likely to cause harm, distress, or trouble <a wicked storm>
 
  • Irelia20150604

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I'm just confused and I have said the reason: a unmarried girl refused a married man's courtship. He said the refusal was wicked. But it is morally good for such a girl to refuse such a man. So I wonder if "wicked" has another meaning.

    Not that I don't want to accept this meaning, but that I need to be convinced. ;)
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've just read a few lines either side of this quote, and I interpret as: “Oh, Jane, this is bitter! This—this is terrible. It would not be wrong to love me.”

    Others may have other ideas.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Quotation:
    Jane: “I do,” extricating myself from restraint rapidly and completely.
    Mr R: “Oh, Jane, this is bitter! This—this is wicked (cruel, hurtful, and done with a bad intent). It would not be wicked (immoral; wrong; a bad thing) to love me.”

    Mr R is using the rhetorical device of "equivocation" -> he uses the word wicked in one sense, and then uses wicked in another sense.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I agree with PaulQ about Rochester's use of equivocation here.

    Rochester knows he is in the wrong, but he is trying to convince Jane otherwise. He tells her that it is wicked (cruel, therefore morally wrong) of her to refuse him.
     
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