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What is being coveyed by the "red room" where Jane is kept as a child and...

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lhaycock | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 5, 2008 at 7:57 PM via web

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What is being coveyed by the "red room" where Jane is kept as a child and what emotions does she experience while there? 

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted March 5, 2008 at 9:10 PM (Answer #1)

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The "red room" in which Jane is held a virtual prisoner at Gateshead Hall is red for a reason. Red is symbolic of anger, but also of passion, and of blood as well. Jane is being blamed for feeling passionately, she is angry at her unjust treatment, and the blood can be interpreted both as her becoming a woman and the boiling of her blood in anger.

When dragged by Miss Abbott and Bessie to the "red room," Jane describes the room in chilling detail:

The red-room was a spare chamber, very seldom slept in...A bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany hung with curtains of deep red damask...blinds always drawn down...the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth....This room was chill because it seldom had a fire; it was silent because remote.

For a very good study of the significance of the red room, see if your library has a copy of "Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century Imagination," by Sarah Gilbert and Susan Gubar.

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debmctrn | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 16, 2008 at 10:13 AM (Answer #2)

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I agree that the red symbolizes passion.  As a child Jane is passionate but through these experiences she learns to keep her passions very hidden and controlled.

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