Jane Eyre Welles Paper

Published: 2021-09-10 10:25:09
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Category: Jane Eyre

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Both ‘The Red Room’ by H G Wells and ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, were written in the nineteenth century. The main focus in the short story by H G Wells is the ‘red room’, while the red room in ‘Jane Eyre’ is part of a novel.
Charlotte Bronte’s story is about an orphaned ten-year-old child called ‘Jane Eyre’, who is living with her Aunt Reed at ‘Gateshead Hall’. She is excluded from the family in the household and it becomes obvious to the reader that they don’t approve of her or like her at all. Jane herself is aware of this, as she says ‘I was a discord in Gateshead Hall’. She has a very bad relationship with the family; especially Master John, who bullies her in the opening chapter of the book. Jane is an outcast to every privilege in the house, and her Aunt is very cold and aloof towards her. When Master John provokes her and throws a book at her in the first chapter, she retaliates and is forced into the ‘Red Room’, by her Aunt, who immediately defends her son.
Significance Of The Red Room In Jane Eyre
‘The Red Room’ by H G Wells, is a short story about a nameless visitor to Lorraine Castle. The person, who is assumed to be a man, is volunteering to enter ‘The Red Room’ for the night, in order to prove or disprove the existence of a ghost or supernatural force in the room. This is different to Jane, who is forced to enter the room. He talks to three elderly people before entering the room, and they explain to him the mystery of the room, helping to create tension between them. They obviously fear the room, and they explain to the man many times that he is entering the room at his ‘own choosing’.
Both stories are written in the first person narrative, which allows the characters to describe their feelings in detail; especially when inside the ‘Red Room’. ‘Jane Eyre’ is also an eponymous story. The reader is given a brief description of Jane’s life, and we find that she is a ten-year-old orphaned child living with her Aunt. The opening chapter describes the way Jane is lost in her own little world, looking at pictures and reading books, which portrays her as an imaginative child, full of happiness. Jane’s intelligence is also underlined here and her capacity for reasoning analysis in her account of Cousin John is noticed. But another side of her personality is shown as well, when she looses her temper with Master John, and calls him a ‘Wicked and cruel boy!’ She has obviously had enough of being bullied by the family, and her feelings towards them are underlined here. She says that ‘other feelings’ were succeeding her, which again shows us that she felt hatred towards the family and the surroundings.
The man in the ‘Red Room’ on the other hand is a mystery to the reader, as no information at all is given about him. This is different to ‘Jane Eyre’, where we get to know the character well. He is portrayed as a very calm but somewhat impertinent character, as he tells the elderly people at the start that it would take a ‘very tangible ghost’ to frighten him. This is a very pompous tone, which immediately gives the reader the impression that he is very confident in his actions. He is reminded several times by the ‘man with the withered arm’ that it is his ‘own choosing’, to enter the room, but he is still very confident, which contrasts against Jane’s reaction to entering the room.
There is no mystery surrounding the characters in the opening chapters of ‘Jane Eyre’, as they are all relatives or familiar to Jane. I feel that this helps to familiarise the characters to the reader and underlines Jane’s troubled background. Master John is portrayed as a frightful young boy, and Jane says that there were ‘moments when I was bewildered by the terror he inspired’. Bessie and Miss Abbot are also described as being very stern with Jane, which again underlines the unfairness shown towards Jane.
The other characters in ‘The Red Room’ are portrayed as being very old, as they are described according to their appearance, for instance, the ‘man with a withered arm’ and ‘the man with a shade’. They are also portrayed as being both wise and perceptive, as shown in the phrase ‘Many things to see, when one’s still but eight-and-twenty’. A sense of unfamiliarity is conveyed by the mystery of the characters in the ‘Red Room’, which is a contrast to the sense of accustomed behaviour between the family in ‘Jane Eyre’.
The opening atmosphere in ‘Jane Eyre’ is described as being very dark, as it is raining with clouds so ‘sombre’. This immediately, portrays the large house as being gloomy and the weather is used by Charlotte Bronte, to reflect Jane’s feelings at the time.
Lorraine Castle in the ‘Red Room’ is also a very big and old place, showing similarities to Gateshead Hall. The man with ‘the withered arm’ describes the ‘spiral staircase’ and the ‘long passage’ in the castle, which gives the reader an image of an old, neglected building. This is different to Gateshead Hall in ‘Jane Eyre’, which is described as being quite warm and comfortable.
When Jane is taken to the ‘Red Room’ it says that she ‘resisted all the way’, which shows the reader that she hated the room and was terrified of it. She is being taken to the room against her own will and she says that a ‘moment’s mutiny’ is the reason for this, which implies that she feels the family is against her. She also refers to herself as a ‘rebel slave’, which again shows that she is a captive, not a volunteer to the ‘Red Room’. During the build up to the room, the author tries to make the reader feel pity for Jane. Bronte creates pathos towards Jane in a number of different ways. Her use of adjectives such as ‘wicked’ and ‘rebel slave’ help to create this sense of pathos. The servants’ attitude towards her is also used to reinforce this as they call her a ‘wicked child’. This is very extreme and emotive language, considering that Jane is only a ten-year-old child. Details of Jane’s background are also used to create pathos, as we are told how her Uncle had died in the room.
The build up to the room in H G Wells’ short story is also used to create tension. Descriptions like ‘chilly’, ‘dusty’ and ‘shadows’ convey the darkness in the castle, while the man’s loss of confidence as he ‘stopped for a moment’, helps to give the castle a mysterious aura.
Jane is ‘beside herself’ going into the room but the man in ‘The Red Room’ is sceptical, but is willing to enter the room. The author also makes no attempt in making the reader feel sorry for the man in ‘The Red Room’, while every effort is made for the reader is made to feel sorry for Jane.
There is a very detailed description of the ‘Red Room’ in ‘Jane Eyre’. A sense of imprisonment is created when they ‘lock’ the door, which immediately has an effect on Jane. An image of a prison cell is again created when the room is called a ‘spare chamber’. The feeling of neglect is also conveyed as she describes the room as ‘very seldom slept in’. ‘Red’ is emphasised by the author in the description, also the repetitive use of ‘red’ in the ‘deep red’ curtains, ‘red’ carpet and the ‘crimson cloth’ also links to the red described in the room.
I think that the colour ‘Red’ is emphasised by the author, for many different reasons. Red is a very deep and rich colour, which immediately conveys the dark, mysterious surroundings within the room. Red is also associated with blood, which holds a strong religious connection, and could also be linked to the death of her Uncle.
Large and dark furniture are brought to our attention by the author; with ‘massive pillars of mahogany’ and ‘chairs of darkly polished…’ The word ‘white’ is juxtaposed against the darkness in the room, while there is a certain element of irony in the fireplace, as it again contrasts with the gloomy and cold atmosphere in the room. Death is also represented in the room with the reference to the ‘undertaker’s men’ being a link to the death of her Uncle. There is a religious connection as she says that there is a ‘sense of dreary consecration’. When land is consecrated, it is made holy; therefore the death of her Uncle is emphasised by this connection.
The ‘Red Room’ in Wells’ story is also conveyed as being very dark and gloomy. It is described as being a ‘large and sombre’ room, with ‘shadowy window bays’. These descriptions are similar to the ‘Red Room’ in ‘Jane Eyre’, as it, was also very large and gloomy. H G Wells’ use of metaphors help to convey the darkness in the room, for example, ‘My candle was a little tongue of light in its vastness’ which tries to convey the room swallowing the light, and ‘an ocean of mystery’ which describes the vastness of the mystery surrounding the room.
Both Jane and the man, start to lose confidence as they spend more time imprisoned in the room. Even Jane’s own reflection is starting to scare her. It reminds her of Bessie’s old stories and she feels that ‘Superstition was with her’. There are ‘two big mirrors’ in ‘The Red Room’ also, which underlines similarities in both rooms. As Jane is left alone, she thinks about how she was treated, and she is distressed to realise that she is a total outcast. As time goes on in the room, she recalls that she is in the same room that her Uncle Reed had died and gets very distraught. This causes her to fear his ghost and this again conveys her powerful sense of imagination.
The man also becomes very distraught as time goes by. In a similar way to ‘Jane Eyre’, a young Duke had also died in the ‘Red Room’ in Lorraine Castle, but the man tries not to think about this, unlike Jane. Instead the man occupies himself by talking and lighting candles. When the flames start to disappear, the man’s imagination gets the better of him, and like Jane he starts to panic. The concentration of verbs are very intense while the man panics as the author uses verbs like ‘stumbled’, ‘fell’, ‘snatched’, ‘swung’ and ‘thrust’, to emphasise the excitement in the room.
Jane has a ‘species of fit’ towards the end, which is very similar to the man who gets knocked unconscious after falling and striking his head. The rooms drive both to panic as their imaginations get the better of them.
The man explains to the old people at the end that it is ‘fear’ that haunts the room. This means that the room causes the imagination to get the better of you; this is also true in the red room in ‘Jane Eyre’. I consider fear, to be an important theme in both stories. Both Jane Eyre and the man are driven to insanity by the constant sense of fear in the rooms. Both authors emphasise the fact that apprehension and dismay alone, causes fear in the rooms.
H G Wells chose the title ‘The Red Room’ for his short story because the room is the main focus of the story. The story is based on the red room and its mystery, which is finally explained by a mysterious young man who witnessed the fear inside the room. ‘The Red Room’ is also chosen as a title, because of the symbolic meanings of the colour. ‘Red’ is symbolic of blood, which contains a religious connection. This can be associated with death or supernatural forces which immediately reflects the feeling of fear inside the room.

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