Jane Eyre. Prompt.
“I explained to her that I had no parents. She inquired how long they had been dead; then how old I was, what was my name, ether I could read, write and sew a little” (Brontë36).
“for one thing I have no father or mother, brothers or sisters… I might have some poor, low relations called Eyre, but she knew nothing about them” (Brontë37).
Jane begins her story as an orphan who is raised in a wealthy family and her ambiguous social class motivates much of the internal tension and conflict throughout the novel. Jane’s father was a poor clergyman, while her mother was a middle class woman. As a couple they were both situated in two distinct social classes. This social ambiguity is their legacy to Jane as she occupies a undefined social position. Her malleable class status allows Jane to easily drift among the upper, middle and lower classes of Victorian England. Her mysterious family ties helps add to the overall obscure and mystical tone employed in Jane Eyre.
The red room is a spare room that is all red. Mr. Reed died here, and when Jane is locked inside she sees a “ ghost”. The color red, death, cold, darkness, and a ghost all emphasize the supernatural elements present in the novel.
“ I shuddered at the thought of Grace Poole bursting out upon me. I must keep my post, however, I must watch this ghastly countenance– these blue, still lips forbidden to unclose– these eyes now shut, now opening…” (Bronte 198)
Significance- Jane is watching Mr. Mason while Mr. Rochester went to fetch a surgeon. She is in terror thinking Grace Poole is a madwoman and will attack her, not knowing, that it is really Mr. Rochester’s wife, Bertha. It all creates a feeling of suspense.
“Mental terrors, sir! I wish I could believe them to be only such: I wish it more now than ever; since even you cannot explain to me mystery of that awful visitant.” (Bronte 270)—Jane’s thoughts
“And since I cannot do it, Jane, it must have been unreal.” (Bronte 270)—Mr. Rochester’s response
These two quotes are significant because Mr. Rochester tries to make Jane feel like she is losing her mind and Bertha Ripping the veil was just a dream; which in reality it actually took place. It struck ultimate fear into Jane’s heart and she could not wait to tell him about the dream. Although, he knew exactly who had done it, which was Bertha, he was still trying to keep her a secret at this time.