What is the function of the setting in Jane Eyre?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Setting in Jane Eyre acts as pathetic fallacy. That is, the weather and surroundings reflect Jane's and sometimes other characters' emotional states. In Bronte's dark Romantic novel, the environment is ripe for brooding, conflicts, isolation, and self-examination.

  • Gateshead Hall

Jane is extremely restricted in the home of her dead uncle. His wife detests her, derogating the child constantly and restricting her. Consequently, Jane hides herself behind "scarlet drapery" in the recess of a window seat. Nevertheless, her cousin John harasses her and Jane yells when he draws blood from pulling her hair so severely. She is then thrown into the Red Room, the room in which her Uncle John has died. Terrified, Jane looks into a mirror in the room where 

all looked colder and darker in that visionary hollow than in reality;and the strange little figure there gazing at me ...had the effect of a real spirit...like one of the tiny phantoms, half fairy, half imp.

I was a discord in Gateshead Hall; I was...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 965 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team