In most novels a motif represents one thing, in Jane Rye 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 Gathered or Elwood. During her time at gathered lane 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 as 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 she Is the red room and says she has her “endurance broken down”. When Jane goes away to Elwood the students are treated very poorly but when Jane can find fire she immediately becomes more comfortable.
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Every Sunday at Elwood 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 Jane is outside in the cold and she is wishing to be inside by a fire. Even in the terrible conditions at Elwood where Jane says “the supply of food was distressing”(57) and “Our clothing was insufficient to protect us from the severe Jane finds comfort near a fire. Jane does not like Elwood but she feels enforceable there if she is by a fire.
Jane favorite teacher at Elwood is Miss Temple, as they start to talk more Jane tells her about gathered and her experiences their. When Jane tells the story she tells it with much less “gall”(68) and “wormwood”(68) than she usually would because of “Helene warnings against indulgent and resentment”(68). This is a big step for Jane because she is finally letting go of all her hate and resentment for Mrs.. Reed. When Jane tells the story to Miss Temple she begins to feel more and more comfortable around her because it seems like she understands her.
She says “She kissed me, and I keeping at her side (where I was well content to stands(68) Jane is very comfortable around Miss Temple and does not want to leave her side. Later in this scene she goes on to say “The refreshing meal, The brilliant fire”. The fire in this scene shows how comfortable she feels around Miss Elwood. No matter where Jane is she feels comfortable and at home with a fire. Jane did not grow up in a good home or go to a school that she liked but any time at these places that she was by a fire she was content and comfortable. When Jane gets older and meets Mr..
Rochester fire begins to represent passion. Jane Is very passionate for Mr.. Rochester and she falls In love with him very quickly, fire begins to appear more often In scenes with Mr.. Rochester. The first time Jane meets Mr.. Rochester at threefold she walks In to the room and points out the wax candles”(1 13) and the “Light and heat of a superb flee”(1 13) This quote shows how passionate Jane is she walks into a room with Mr.. Rochester and immediately points When Mr.. Rochester is in the room Jane always points out how magnificent or superb he fire is because she is very passionate for him.
It seems that when Jane first meets Mr.. Rochester he is always near fire like when he asks Jane to come talk to him about pleasure and the right to command in chapter 14. She points out the fire first when she says “Mr.. Rochester, proceeding from the depths of an immense easy chair at the fire side” later on Jane describes the setting where her and Mr.. Rochester are talking and says “the dining room: the luster, which had been lit for dinner, filled the room with a festival breath of light; the large fire was all red”.
Before their conversation really starts Jane adds “he had been looking two minutes at the fire”. This is the first time Jane and Mr.. Rochester really get to talk and there’s a lot of fire. In the next chapter Jane says “and was Mr.. Rochester ugly in my eyes? No reader…… Made his face the object I liked to see best…… His presence in a room more cheering than the brightest fire” Jane says here that she finds him attractive and that she likes to be around him while making another reference to fire. Jane passion towards Mr.. Rochester is shown through all the fire around when Mr..
Rochester is in the room. The events later in the novel add to the argument that fire represents passion. One of these events is when Mr.. Rochester’s bead catches on fire and Jane has to save him. Jane is woken up in the middle of the night by a “vague murmur” that later becomes a”demonic laugh” when Jane goes out to check all that is left is a burning candle. Jane sees smoke and goes to check what is happening when she gets in to Mr.. Rochester’s room she sees that the bed has been set on fire. Jane wakes up Mr.. Rochester and saves his life. Immediately after this Mr.. Rochester goes up to the attic and tells Jane not to follow him. At this time in the book Jane thinks it was grace pool who started the fire but you later learn that It was Bertha who was outside Jane door and who set Mr.. Rochester’s bed on fire. This really shows Jane passion towards Mr.. Rochester she had to save him from a fire, in most novels it is men saving women from fires but in Jane rye the role is reversed and Jane saves Mr.. Rochester. The second big example of fire in the novel is when Bertha burns Threefold down.
Bertha goes to Jane room and sets it on fire, this represents Jane passion for Mr.. Rochester and Bertha anger over Mr.. Rochester’s love for Jane. After Bertha burns threefold down she Jumps off the rooftop her death making it legal and morally k with Jane to marry Mr.. Rochester. This is very important because it shows Jane overwhelming passion and love for Mr.. Rochester. Even when Jane runs away and is living with SST. John she can’t stop thinking about Mr.. Rochester. SST. John asks her to marry him and she says no because she can’t love anyone but Mr.. Rochester.
Jane is a very passionate person and the fire in the second half of the book really shows her passion towards Mr.. Rochester. When Jane is young she finds comfort in fire no matter where she is. When she grows up and moves to Threefold fire represents her passion. Their are many examples in this book of fire representing Jane passion, the most important being Bertha two acts of arson in Threefold. When ever Mr.. Rochester is in a scene Jane quickly points out any fire and how grand or magnificent it is. All of the evidence above proves fires representation of passion.