The Settings of Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, demonstrates a sense of gothic style and atmosphere throughout the novel. The settings, in which Jane finds herself, vary considerably from one physical location to another. Bronte carefully arranges the story’s settings to parallel with Eyre’s circumstances. Bronte uses Gateshead, Lowood, and Thornfield to establish the gothic settings of the locations. As Jane grows older and her hopes and dreams change, the settings she finds herself in are perfectly attuned to her state of mind. However, her circumstances are always defined by the walls around her.
As a young girl, Eyre is essentially trapped in Gateshead. This sprawling house is almost her whole world. The “gates” at Gateshead keep her from establishing her dreams in the world. Her evil Aunt Reed remains the heiress of the estate, in which Eyre is only there on charitable accounts. One of the greatest gothic chambers in Gateshead is the red room. Unfairly, Eyre was locked inside for punishment, by Aunt Reed, for her “passionate behavior” toward her cousin. The red room was like stepping into another world with it’s “massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask, stood out like a tabernacle in the centre; the two large windows with their blinds always drawn down.” The setting of Eyre’s prison symbolizes her inner desire to break free of the life with the Reeds. Finally, Eyre persuasively convinces Aunt Reed to let her leave and go to school. The setting of Eyre’s new life at Lowood School for girls will teach her valuable lessons and morals.
Lowood School is a nineteenth century institution school for girls that are orphans. The plain and desolate setting of the charitable institution develops Eyre’s fiery attitude to a humble character. The setting of Christianity is the foundation of the school that sets Eyre into a direction of forgiveness and trusting in God with the help of her friends (Helen Burns and Miss Temple). The...