The words in these introductory pages connected themselves with the succeeding vignettes, and gave significance to the rock standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray; to the broken boat stranded on a desolate coast; to the cold and ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking.

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 1. As Jane reads a book on birds, the author makes striking use of pathetic fallacy, with the images of the natural world accurately mirroring Jane’s own feelings and emotions. Jane is the rock standing alone in the swollen sea, the broken boat on a desolate coast, the ghastly moon peering at a sinking wreck. Each is a metaphorical symbol of her desolation at Gateshead, where she is isolated and unloved. The moon appears as a metaphor throughout the novel, presiding over the different situations Jane finds herself in. The rock here also symbolizes Jane’s strength and her resistance to the abuse she suffers at the hands of the Reeds.