Jane Eyre starts out, as any reasonable novel would start out, by introducing us to our characters and our setting. Gateshead, the setting, is a dreary mansion owned by the widow Mrs. Reed. Because the day is so gloomy at Gateshead, the inhabitants are stuck inside to occupy themselves. One specific occupant, our main character-Jane Eyre-is spending her time hiding behind the curtains of the library  drowning her sorrows in the pages of a book. Can’t really blame her. This is where her evil family comes in. Her cousin, John, comes in and yells at her for reading the book in the first place. Because Jane is an orphan and at the house out of the charity of Mrs. Reed (John’s mother), he believes that Jane has no right to read the books that he owns. I don’t like John very much. He’s ugly and a bully. Anyway, John then gets violent and chucks the book at Jane’s head. Naturally, Jane fights back and, just as Jane is about to whoop John, two servants come to the rescue. Well, kinda…they drag Jane and John away to *dun dun dunnnnnn* Mrs. Reed. So Mrs. Reed is basically the evil stepmother of the Jane Eyre story. Something crawled up her butt and died a long time ago. She blames Jane for the tussle and has the servants drag Jane away and lock her in the red room as punishment. Let’s talk about the red room, shall we? Basically, the red room (which sounds like redrum if you say it really fast. The shining reference anyone?) is the room in which Mrs. Reed’s husband, Jane’s uncle, passed away. Locked away in there, Jane spends her time thinking and feeling sorry for herself. In her distress, she thinks she sees a ghostly figure in the mirror and she is then reminded of the fact that, while on his deathbed (the same bed she’s sitting on….#awksandkindacreepy) her uncle made his last command to his wife: for her to treat Jane as one of her own. Which she clearly is not doing. Jane then starts to freak out and panic, believing the spirit of her uncle to be returning to avenge her. I don’t know why she’s freaking out, its not like he’s going to hurt her. But anyway, Jane freaks out and passes out cold. When she wakes up, she ‘s in bed and the doctor is there. She and the doctor have a nice long chat and he presents Jane with the idea of attending school to get away from the treatment of her aunt. Jane considers this. Very. very. hesitantly.  (at this point I was shaking the book and shouting “TAKE THE OFFER!! YOU’LL GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND AWAY FROM YOUR AUNT YOU STUPID BIMBO!!!!”). In the end, Jane takes my advice and agrees to go to the school. You’re welcome.  Jane and her aunt go to visit the school Jane is supposed to attend, which is called Lowood. There they meet the principal/headmaster/dean/owner of Lowood, Mr. Brocklehurst. Another character for me to hate. He’s a real jerk, to be blunt. He almost immediately goes off at Jane about religion. Mr. Brocklehurst is basically really really religious, and not the good kind. Jane’s aunt all to readily leaves and Jane is all alone at Lowood. Oops.


One thought on “Redrum

  1. Very entertaining summary! And you references to the Shining demonstrates how gothic fiction has evolved in the modern era–to all out psychotic horror! Yes, Jane has an Evil stepmother or aunt and of course her cousins abuse her–abuse of the orphan child permeates English literature! (right up to Harry Potter). Mr. Brocklehurst is a religious hypocrite, though I wonder if you are correct that despite all of the issues, Jane may have been better off at Lowood…

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