Imagery and Symbolism in Jane Eyre

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The Red-Room is a symbol of death, as it was Jane’s Uncle Reed’s room, and where he died. Because of this symbol we understand Jane’s hysteria when her Aunt Reed, locked her in there. The Red-Room could be interpreted as a womb, because the inside of the room is red, Jane’s Aunt Reed could be forcing Jane back there waiting for her to be ‘reborn’ with a new attitude (one that suits Mrs Reed). Alternatively some may think of the Red-Room as an indescribable trauma of suffering for Jane as she loses consciousness because she can’t deal with it, and she doesn’t verbalise what the problem is (possibly her uncle’s ghost). Fire is another symbol present in Jane Eyre, both caused by Bertha, first when she sets fire to Rochester’s bed and second when she burns down Thornfield by setting fire to what was Jane’s bedroom. Bertha first setting fire to Rochester’s bed could be just be a reminder for the burning passion that they once had, or it could be a warning that she isn’t just going to let him get away with doing to Jane what he do to her. Jane is the one to extinguish the flames set ironically only to set new one of the metaphorical kind. The second fire Bertha sets in Jane’s old bedroom, which ends up burning down Thornfield, this shows Berthas objection to Jane’s sexual interests in Rochester. The fire Bertha sets could also represent her using power of sexuality to destroy Rochester’s home. The splintered chestnut tree shows resemblance of Jane and Rochester, the fact that just after they choose to unite the tree is struck by lightning foreshadows what will happen to them in the future. Jane is forced to leave Rochester due to her own desire to avoid temptation. However the roots are found to still be intact which shows that they will eventually reunite. In Jane Eyre the moon is a metaphor for change. The moon is either described or looked at when something

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