Commentary “The Red Room”
“This room was chill, because it seldom had a fire; it was silent, because remote from the nursery and kitchens; solemn, because it was known to be so seldom entered.”This statement perfectly sums up the general atmosphere of the red room in which Jane is locked. Because she stands up to John Reed her cousin, her aunt excludes her in the red room which is far fromeverything.
We can wonder how the red room is described , and how this passage in the red room reveals Jane’s fate and self-esteem.
First, the description of the red room is very detailed andfollows a progression from the general to the peculiar.
The red room is described as a “spare chamber” “very seldom slept in” (l.1). It is far from everything even if it is a huge room that could beoccupied by someone, but is not. A reverent silence reigns in the room and it creates a heavy atmosphere. But this silence eases Jane’s contemplation of the room. She sits silent and stares ateverything, she gets up once but goes back to her stool (l.46).
What’s more, the fact that the room is excluded is not enough, Jane is locked up in the room by Bessie and Miss Abbot so as to be sure thatshe will not go away. The room becomes a prison for Jane, but a prison where she is safe (l.37) because she is protected against John’s harassment.
What’s more, the room is luxurious. It is one of the“largest and stateliest chambers” in the house (l.4). There is a four-poster bed with large red damask curtains and made of mahogany. These two materials are precious and connotes wealth. It is allthe more strange that Mrs. Reed decides to lock Jane there.
In spite of the way it is used, the room is described by warm colours like red (l.6,9), crimson (l.9), fawn (l.10), pink (l.10). Theatmosphere is somehow warmed up by these colours. They can remind us of those of a theater, they enhance the solemnity of the room and the veneration Mrs. Reed wows to this place.
We also learn that...
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