The following sample essay on Why Is Jane Afraid Of The Red Room discusses it in detail, offering basic facts and pros and cons associated with it. To read the essay’s introduction, body and conclusion, scroll down.
Charlotte Bronte conveys Jane’s experience of the red room as very intense, she writes in such a way, that it makes the reader identify with Jane and feel her isolation and sadness alongside her, and intense anger towards Mrs Reed. ‘why was I always suffering, always browbeaten, always accused, forever condemned’, Mrs Reed’s spitefulness towards Jane and ignorance towards her own children’s malevolent mannerisms, frustrates the reader, ght forward, narrative language to emphasise Jane’s hatred and fear for himand compels them to feel involved in the novel and wanting to participate in the actions taking place.
Bronte makes sure Jane’s fear of Master Reed is also well recognised by the reader, as when Jane is narrating her opinions of John Reed, ‘every nerve I had feared him, and every morsel of flesh on my bones shrank when he came near’ she uses strai.
Jane begins her story as an orphan raised by a wealthy and cultivated family; tension is created by the steady build-up of Jane’s anger whilst she is being berated by her aunt. This tension and its source are apparent in the novel from its very first chapter, when Jane is tormented and punished by John Reed and his hateful mother.
As a penniless orphan forced to live on the unwilling charity of others, she is a second- class citizen, in some ways below even the servants ‘you are less than a servant, for you do nothing for your keep’, who certainly have no obligation to treat her respectfully.
Her banishment to the red-room illustrates her inferior position with regard to the rest of her privileged household. In the early chapters, Bronte has one main task: to establish the young Jane’s character in the minds of her readers. She achieves this through Jane’s confrontations with John and Mrs.
Reed, in which Jane’s good-hearted determination and integrity manifest themselves. Bronte’s meticulous description of the red room enhances the readers perception of Jane’s suffering at Gateshead, By describing all the aspects in a religious and gothic styled detail, it enhances the eerie and frightening emotions Jane is experiencing at the time of her distress. Jane Eyre draws a great deal of its stylistic inspiration from the gothic novels that were in vogue during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
These books used elements of supernatural horror, remote, desolate landscapes, and crumbling ruins to create a sense of psychological suspense, mystery, and horror. While Jane Eyre is certainly not a horror novel, the way Bronte touches upon this genre whilst still keeping in line with real life and reality writing enhances any slightly eerie aspects of the novel. Jane is terrified of the red room for two main reasons, the first reason is the supernatural and ghostly legend that encases it, ‘Mr Reed had been dead for 9 years, and it was in this chamber he breathed his last’.
And the second reason is the di? cor furnishings, and overall appearance of the room. She feels most intimidated by the large furnishings and the colour of the room, she describes it as ‘chill… silent…. solemn’ and for anybody, young or old to be incarcerated in such a room would be truly terrifying. The colours described in the room, deep mahogany, stately reds; beige and other dark shades are typical of a truly regal stately chamber, but they are also characteristic of the gothic period that Bronte is writing in.
Jane feels both physically and mentally overpowered in the red room, the sheer size of the space and furniture is so much bigger than her, it just makes her feel smaller than she already is. As her time in the red room draws on, her fear and anxiety levels dramatically increase, and she becomes spiritually overpowered. As she passes the mirror, her sub-conscious mind plays tricks on her because of her physical state, and she thinks she sees the spirit of her dead uncle. This must be frightening for her, or any child, to be locked up in a room, at such a young naive age.
The intensity of Jane’s terror is portrayed in her reaction to seeing the ‘herald of some coming vision from another world’ by means of her talking to the reader as if she truly believes that there is a ghost haunting the outside lands… In the way Bronte describes the furniture, the bed is illustrated as a tabernacle, which is used for sacrifice in church, this is symbolical of Jane’s attitude towards the situation, she feels like she has been put to the slaughter by her aunt.
The fear that Mrs reed is inflicting on this poor child is determined to have some long term psychological effect on her, she is told that ‘God might strike her dead in the midst of one of her tantrums’ the intensity of Mrs Reeds admonishment is shown to the reader by the harshness of her words to a child that is so young, she is deliberately trying to invoke fear into the heart of Jane as a punishment for her ‘wickedness’ she wants Jane to suffer as much as possible in that room and knows just how to make her do so.
She seems to take pleasure in Jane’s discomfort, because she is a wicked person, with an unsympathetic heart. The ordeal of being tied to the chair was terrifying for Jane, she pleaded not the be restrained ‘Don’t take them off’ I cried ‘ I will not stir’ and she physically clamped herself to the ottoman she was designated to. Although she was feeling intense anger towards Mrs reed at this time for her error of justice, she still feels obligated to obey her and feel scared of her, even in a state of mind that would allow her to physically and mentally fight back.
Showing this type of behaviour indicates that she has probably been restrained by Mrs reed before. Towards the end of the red room scene, Jane’s torment becomes unbearable, and seeing the phantom in the garden brings it all to a head. She physically breaks down and screams. She describes the ordeal as she was ‘oppressed, suffocated, and endurance broke down’ when miss abbot and Bessie come to the door, Bessie does show some compassion ‘miss Eyre, are you ill? but miss abbot, who is more like Mrs Reed reprimands Jane once again for making a noise, it is after this scalding, that Jane physically collapses and the chapter closes. Charlotte Bronte very successfully conveyed a sense of intensity all throughout the chapter. She managed to keep the reader in a state of suspense and sustained the level of action and passion right through the tale of Jane’s incarceration.