In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the weather sometimes works in reverse. It generally contrasts the moods of the characters. For example, a warm and beautiful spring is the backdrop to all the typhoid and consumption in Lowood. Sometimes the contrast indicates a plot twist or mood change.
In Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, good weather is Bronte’s tool to predict positive events or moods, and bad weather is her tool to set the tone for negative events or moods. This technique is used throughout the novel, alerting the reader to the atmosphere to come.
The setting can also show the darkness and despair of the character’s emotions. Jane is looking for a place to stay, is turned away and has to stay outside in the weather. She cries in pain, feels despair and rejection. The attitude reflects that it’s “such a wild night”.
It’s a cold, wet November afternoon when the novel begins in Gateshead, home of Jane Eyre’s relatives, the Reeds. Jane and the Reed children Eliza, John and Georgiana are seated in the drawing room.
The mood of the novel is mostly sad and depressing. Jane must overcome one adversity after another. Since the novel is told in the first person, everything is colored by Jane’s dark perspective. As the novel begins, Jane shows a certain courage and the mood brightens accordingly.
Brontë uses rain as a symbol in Jane Eyre to act as an indicator of transformation and emotional wellbeing as far as Jane and Rochester are concerned.
Bertha sneaks past a drunk Grace Poole and sets Rochester’s bed on fire in the middle of the night.
Jane Eyre is set in five locations: Gateshead Hall, Lowood School, Thornfield Hall, Moor House and Ferndean. Each setting represents a different phase in Jane’s life.
The red room can be seen as a symbol of what Jane must overcome in her struggle to find freedom, happiness and a sense of belonging. Jane’s banishment and imprisonment only becomes clear in the Red Room.
The real Jane Eyre was a member of a Moravian settlement, a Protestant Episcopalian movement, and lived practically as a nun for a time before marrying a surgeon.
Opening the window symbolizes Jane opening her eyes to what the world has to offer beyond her distorted gaze. Jane longs to return to the predictable window and courtship to put her years at Lowood behind her. That gives her ideas. Jane begins a new journey alone as a governess.
Throughout the novel, Brontë uses animal imagery to describe the untameable and the uncivilized. Right at the beginning of the story, John Reed calls Jane a rat and the servants call her a crazy cat. Mr. Rochester often likens her to a bird when she refuses to be contained by him and his ways.
Mrs. Reed’s children Eliza, John and Georgiana sit with her in the drawing room. Jane is not allowed to join the family because Mrs. Reed thinks Jane is unpleasant company.
A lot of Jane Eyre’s images are obvious – the chestnut tree, the somber landscapes, the red room that’s like hell. But two images are so ubiquitous that they serve as the foundation for the entire novel: fire and water – and their extremes, the flames of lust and the ice of indifference.