Ironically, the love potion that Antoinette gives her husband sends him into the arms of another woman, Amelie. A concoction brewed in the Caribbean and instilled with foreign wisdom, the potion is not compatible with Rochester's system. When he becomes violently ill, it is as though he is purging himself of any desire or compassion towards Antoinette. Indeed, he begins to hate her even more. Treating her like a corpse, he covers her with a sheet as she sleeps. He seems to enact her "first death" as described by Antoinette in an earlier conversation, when she says, "There are always two deaths, the real one and the one people know about." Rochester appears to adhere to this formula by figuratively "killing" Antoinette.

Rochester's encounter with Amelie begins benignly, with Amelie playing a maternal role. Just as Aunt Cora nursed Antoinette back to health from her childhood fever, Amelie appears, at first, as a kind of missing mother. Rochester recalls, "she cut some of the food up and sat beside me and fed me as if I were a child." However, he perverts the transaction by sleeping with and then paying the girl. Money taints Amelie and Rochester's relationship as much as it does Rochester and Antoinette's (he married Antoinette for her money). Whereas Amelie takes Rochester's money and leaves to find other rich men in Rio, Antoinette cedes to her husband all legal rights to her inheritance, becoming his financial captive. Money frees Amelie from Rochester, but it entraps Antoinette.

Antoinette's absence from Granbois leaves Rochester alone with servants who become increasingly hostile and cold. However, in England later, we see that Rochester will be the one to leave his spouse for long stretches of time at his own estate—a reversal of roles. Another later reversal involves the confinement of Antoinette. At Granbois, Antoinette shuts herself in her room, using furniture to block the door and keep her husband out. In England, she later is locked inside a room rather than actively locking others out.

As the fight escalates between the couple, Antoinette moves dangerously close to incarnating her mother's madwoman image. Just as Annette had threatened to kill Mr. Mason, so Antoinette threatens Rochester's life with a broken bottle, becoming frenzied and unruly. Rochester watches in horror as Amelie and Antoinette fight, noting, "Amelie, whose teeth were bared, seemed to be trying to bite." Antoinette fulfills Amelie's violent intentions when she sinks her teeth into Rochester's arm, satisfying the stereotypical image of the wild Caribbean woman.