What happened to Jane in the Red Room

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Jane Eyre is a notable literary work by Charlotte Brontë. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Jane Eyre.


What happened to Jane in the Red Room?


The Red Room is a small, windowless chamber at Gateshead, the home of the wealthy Reed family. Jane is locked away in the Red Room by her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed, as a form of punishment when she stands up to her bullying cousin, John. Jane’s aunt and cousins despise and treat her as an unwanted burden. This room is used to isolate and emotionally torment her. In the Red Room, Jane sees her dead Uncle Reed’s ghost. It becomes a place of fear and psychological distress for young Jane.

Ghostly Situation in the Red Room: When Jane is locked in the room, she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She is shocked by her meager presence.

All looked colder and darker in that visionary hollow than in reality: … the strange little figure there gazing at me, with a white face and arms specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all else was still, had the effect of a real spirit

Jane begins to reflect on the events that have led her to such a state. She remembers her kind Uncle Reed bringing her to Gateshead after her parent’s death, and she recalls his dying command that his wife promises to raise Jane as one of her own.

Appearance of Ghost: In the Red Room, suddenly, Jane is struck with the thought that her Uncle Reed’s ghost is in the room. She imagines that he has come to take revenge on his wife for breaking her promise. Jane cries out in terror.

Sympathy of Bessie: In the Red Room, Jane suddenly cries out; Bessie and Abbot come running and ask what is the matter. Bessie seems sympathetic when Jane tells her that she thought she saw a ghost. She lets Jane hold her hand – but Abbot thinks that Jane is just trying to release her from her imprisonment. 

Cruelty of Mrs. Reed: After listening to the noise, Mrs. Reed comes to see what happens in the Red Room. She is mad that the servants did not obey her orders to leave Jane alone, and, like Abbot, she thinks that Jane’s being manipulative. She punishes Jane back into the Red Room, and as she leaves, Jane faints.

The Red Room is a powerful symbol of the abuse and neglect that Jane experiences throughout her early life. Her time in the Red Room foreshadows her struggles for independence and self-worth, which become central themes in the novel as she grows older and faces various challenges.