The red-room is the abandoned chamber in Gateshead Hall where Mr. Reed, Jane’s uncle, died nine years prior to the start of the novel. The red-room has a foreboding, frightening atmosphere that terrifies Jane when Mrs. Reed locks her inside as punishment. In addition to its connection with death and garish red decor, the room is cold and silent, heightening Jane’s terror. Her terror climaxes when she imagines Uncle Reed’s ghost in the room, and she fears that he has appeared to take revenge on Mrs. Reed for her poor treatment of Jane.
After a typhus outbreak kills many Lowood students, members of the public demand an inquiry into how the infection spread so rapidly. This investigation brings the school’s deplorable conditions to light. Wealthy benefactors find a new group of overseers to replace Mr. Brocklehurst and run the school. Although Mr. Brocklehurst remains treasurer of the school because of his wealth and connections, he no longer has the power to dictate the conditions of Lowood, and the school transforms into an upright institution.
Adèle is Mr. Rochester’s ward and the daughter of Céline Varens. Céline was Rochester’s mistress during his time in France, but Rochester cut her off after discovering Céline cheating with another man. Céline claims Adèle is his daughter, but the truth of his paternity remains ambiguous. Rochester doesn’t believe Adèle is his, and Jane emphasizes that Adèle bears no resemblance to Rochester. Nevertheless, Rochester agrees to take responsibility for the girl regardless of her parentage.
Jane leaves Thornfield Hall so she can avoid the temptation of becoming Rochester’s mistress. Throughout her conversation with Rochester after their aborted wedding, Jane struggles with the fact that she still loves Rochester. When she avoids Rochester’s kiss, Jane admits that it is because he has a wife, Bertha Mason, and Jane feels guilty about loving a married man. After the conversation, Jane has a vision of her mother encouraging her to flee temptation, so she follows her moral conscience and sneaks out.
Jane declines St. John’s offer to go to India as his wife because she does not want to marry him. Although she fears the possibility of dying in India as a missionary, her greater fear is the loveless life guaranteed by marriage to St. John. Jane notes that his exacting and overly practical nature would suffocate her, and the reality that they do not love each other makes the thought of marriage intolerable.
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