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Worksheet. Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre, From Chapter 2

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Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre, From Chapter 2

The red-room was a square chamber, very seldom slept in, I might say never, indeed, unless when a chance influx of visitors at Gateshead Hall rendered it necessary to turn to account all the accommodation it contained: yet it was one of the largest and stateliest chambers in the mansion. A bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask, stood out like a tabernacle in the centre; the two large windows, with their blinds always drawn down, were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery; the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth; the walls were a soft fawn colour with a blush of pink in it; the wardrobe, the toilet-table, the chairs were of darkly polished old mahogany. Out of these deep surrounding shades rose high, and glared white, the piled-up mattresses and pillows of the bed, spread with a snowy Marseilles counterpane. Scarcely less prominent was an ample cushioned easy-chair near the head of the bed, also white, with a footstool before it; and looking, as I thought, like a pale throne.

This room was chill, because it seldom had a fire; it was silent, because remote from the nursery and kitchen; solemn, because it was known to be so seldom entered. The house-maid alone came here on Saturdays, to wipe from the mirrors and the furniture a week’s quiet dust: and Mrs. Reed herself, at far intervals, visited it to review the contents of a certain secret drawer in the wardrobe, where were stored divers parchments, her jewel-casket, and a miniature of her deceased husband; and in those last words lies the secret of the red-room—the spell which kept it so lonely in spite of its grandeur.

Mr. Reed had been dead nine years: it was in this chamber he breathed his last; here he lay in state; hence his coffin was borne by the undertaker’s men; and, since that day, a sense of dreary consecration had guarded it from frequent intrusion.

Define Each Word

  • influx
  • dreary
  • pillar
  • shroud
  • parchment

Write the Correct Word from the Vocabulary

  1. The heavy _________________ of tourists for the summer put a strain on the police department of the beachside resort.
  2. The new science building is supported by three large, concrete _________________.
  3. Janice wrote her letters using a delicate _____________________ that tore easily.
  4. The defense attorneys kept their arguments ______________________ in mystery until the trial began.
  5. Rupert dreaded what he perceived as the ______________________ task of collecting and disposing of the garbage.

Comprehension and Discussion: Answer Each Question in Complete Sentences

  1. Why did Mrs. Reed visit the red-room?
  2. Describe the mood or feeling that the narrator creates about the red-room. How does the narrator create this mood?

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