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The Red Room In Jane Eyre Essay

1093 words - 4 pages

Hung Harris PhamEnglish 111Prof. AmsterFinal PaperThe Red-room in Jane EyreIt is not rare to encounter effective and incisive uses of space within nineteenth century literature. The famous novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is one of the finest examples of a fictional work with profuse uses of space in the period. The red-room in which the little Jane Eyre is locked as a punishment for her panicky defense of herself against her cousin John Reed is the first noteworthy use of space in the novel. Not only does it signify to the reader it is a Gothic novel they are reading but the room serves as a symbol for a number of meanings as well.Charlotte Brontë introduces the room - "one of the largest and stateliest chambers in the mansion" - to her readers with a Gothic painted picture (13). One would need to make little effort to understand why this room is called "the red-room." Inside the room are various nuances of the red color and of some other hot colors. It has "a bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask," which stood out "like a tabernacle
in the centre" (13). Aside from a table at the food of the bed "covered with a crimson cloth," the toilet-table and chairs are made of "darkly polished old mahogany" (13). More interestingly, the room is also carpeted in red. In addition, "the two large windows, with their blinds always drawn
down, were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery," and "the walls were a soft fawn colour with a blush
of pink in it" (13). That Jane's uncle Reed spent the last minutes of his life in the room, along with the fact that the place is chilly, remote, quiet, and seldom entered, adds up to its internal atmospheric horror and mystery: "a sense of dreary
consecration had guarded it from frequent intrusion" (14).Apart from all the red colors were the piled-up mattresses and pillows of
the bed, which "rose high," "glared white," and being "spread with a snowy Marseilles counterpane" (13). Scarcely less
prominent was an ample cushioned easy-chair near the head of the
bed, also white" (13). The little existence of white in this hell-resembled red place may be a metaphor for the being of the little Jane Eyre under the cruel treatment of her aunt and her cousins at Gateshead. It may, as well, be a metaphor for what happens within her mind as the innocent part of it, like that of any other ten year old child, is facing her increasing irritation, nervousness, and terror inside the room.No sooner has she moved across the looking glass than she pays attention to a "strange little figure" gazing at her "with a white face and arms
specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all
else was still," as well as "the depth it revealed" (14). Perceiving herself in the mirror to be a spirit "half fairy" and "half imp," she saw a combination of perceptions in which the former is how she perceives herself to be,...

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