Symbolism In Jane Eyre

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In chapter nineteen of Jane Eyre, Jane encounters the strange gypsy women that has shown up at Thornfield for the night. After having an unusual conversation, Jane recognizes the gypsy to be Mr. Rochester and gets on to him for attempting to trick her. After getting over the initial surprise, she tells Rochester of Mr. Mason’s arrival. While the chapter seems simple and rather comprehensible, there is much more thought going into it to enable the audience to get a better picture of Jane’s character as a whole; it also illustrates some of the work’s themes and symbols. Chapter nineteen certainly has much more going on than what the reader might think. Throughout the chapter, many allusions to memorable fairy tales take place. Rochester dresses up as an aged women, donned in a red cloak. Posing as the gypsy, he’s cunning and deceitful to Jane in order to get what…show more content…
While the gypsy is evaluating Jane, proclaiming her to be cold, sick, and silly, she is staring into the fire (Brontё 228). Next, the gypsy stirs the fire in order to illuminate Jane’s face (Brontё 229). When asked to kneel, Jane states, “Don’t keep me long; the fire scorches me (Brontё 232).” It is the fire that reveals the gypsy’s hand to actually be Rochester (Brontё 234). There certainly a lot of flames in this chapter, and it could possibly mean a few things. The repeated use of fire could possibly be a foreshadowment of Thornfield being burnt to the ground. Fire is often seen as dangerous, wild, and deadly; which is a good summary of Bertha Mason’s character. It could also be a clue to her character. On the flip side, fire also stands for passion. In this sense, the fire could represent the future passion Jane and Rochester will feel for each other. Whichever it is, it is clear that fire will make a reappearance as a major element in Jane Eyre as a
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