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Fire motif in Jane Eyre

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Fire motif in Jane Eyre
In most novels a motif represents one thing, in Jane Eyre the motif of fire changes as Jane gets older, more mature and meets new people. In the beginning of the novel fire represents comfort to Jane. This changes to passion as Jane gets older and meets Mr. Rochester,
When Jane is young fire represents comfort even in places she does not like or feel comfortable like Gateshead or lowood. During her time at gateshead jane was sent to the red room from time to time as punishment. Jane was very afraid of the red room because it was the room her uncle had died in and she believed it was haunted. Jane feels very uncomfortable in the red room and does not like to have to stay their. This is because of the lack of fire, Jane points this out when she says “This room was chill, because it seldom had a fire”(14). Fire represents a feeling of comfort to jane and the red rooms lack of fire makes her uncomfortable and scared, so much so that she passes out. Jane feels “oppressed”(16), “suffocated”(16)when she is the red room and says she has her “endurance broken down”. When jane goes away to lowood the students are treated very poorly but when jane can find fire she immediately becomes more comfortable. Every sunday at lowood jane and the other students have to walk in the cold and snow to get to church. Jane does not like this because she is not very religious and says it is “torture”(57). Jane is very uncomfortable outside and says “How we longed for the light and heat of a blazing fire”(58) Jane is outside in the cold and she is wishing to be inside by a fire. Even in the terrible conditions at lowood where jane says “the supply of food was distressing”(57) and “Our clothing was insufficient to protect us from the severe cold”(57) Jane finds comfort near a fire. Jane does not like lowood but she feels comfortable there if she is by a fire. Janes favorite teacher at lowood is Miss Temple, as they start to talk more jane tells her about gateshead and her experiences their.

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