Monologue for Aunt Reed on her deathbed

Published: 2021-07-01 06:11:49
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How dare she turn up? This is my house. My house! She just appears as though nothing had happened. Out of pity perhaps. Maybe out of guilt. The return to Gateshead Hall can only be out of pity. It is the only logical reason. Why else would she return to me? She is mocking me. I cannot stand for this. I must get rid of her. I cannot let Jane see me like this. I am weak and she is strong. Yet I am still the ruler of this house. I ought to send her to the Red Room. She has not contacted me for several years and turns up as I am lying on my deathbed.
It is a mockery. She wants to see me die and suffer. I do not feel guilty for what I did to her when she was younger and why should I? I should only feel guilty for the death of my beloved son John. Maybe I should call for Eliza or Georgiana to remove my husband's niece from the premises. I want nothing to do with Jane. And surely she is only here to confirm my death and try to stake a claim in the Gateshead Hall! Jane Eyre is a money grabber. She only wants the inheritance. But I will leave it all to Eliza and Georgiana.
Jane Eyre is devious. She can barely remember my face and features. She wants to see a familiar figure but she is not welcome here. It is a happy feature that time quells the longings of vengeance and hushes the promptings of rage and aversion. She had left me in bitterness and hatred, and she came back to her now with no other emotion other than pity for her great sufferings, and a strong yearning to forget and forgive all injuries - to be reconciled and clasp hands in amity. My stern eyes can not be taken of that cunning woman, Jane Eyre.

I closely watch her movements as she tries to engage in conversation with me. I want nothing to do with it. She must hate me after I used to lock her in the Red Room which she is terrified of. Then maybe she has come to pay her respects to me and just to see me one last time, before I have gone away to a better place, where we rich and religious people go. At least I can finally clear my conscience of Jane Eyre. I took my hand away, and, made my face turn rather from Jane; I made a remark that the night was warm.
Again I went to regard Jane so icily, I felt at once that my opinion of Jane - my feeling towards her - were unchanged and unchangeable. I know by my stony eye - opaque to tenderness, indissoluble to tears - that I am resolved to consider Jane bad to the last; because to believe Jane good would give me no generous pleasure: only a sense of mortification. I had to think that Jane had a dreadful life away from Gateshead and that we are the best thing that has ever happened to her. Jane has only returned to see me swallow my pride and take a step back.
She may have come to see Eliza and Georgiana but that is far from the truth. There is more to it. She is hiding something. She is not telling us what she wants. She has not told us where she has been these past several years but she only wants to know about us. I must keep Eliza and Georgiana away from Jane. Poison, she is. That rat has returned for herself. She is trying to keep her conscience clean, but is far from it. Her violent behaviour made her seem as though she is an animal. We do not tolerate animals in this household.
She belongs under a rock. I have such a passionate hatred for Jane Eyre. Although this is now perhaps the time to forgive and forget as these are my last few moments with her. I shall engage in conversation with her for one last time before I leave this world and enter the next for I am surely going to Heaven as I have never sinned and am the model citizen. I opened my mouth. The dry crust around my mouth crumbled and dropped to the floor, my voice was crackly, my breathing thin and my mouth extremely dry for I could barely swallow my own saliva.
My crackly voice came out, and there was a pin drop silence across Gateshead. Jane is trying to listen and etched closer towards me. Saliva crawled out of my mouth, almost as if it had more life than me. Jane screeched the chair across the wooden floor. I went to lash out at her, an uncontrollable fit. Eliza came into the room to control me. She pinned me down and forced water down my throat. Georgiana entered the room and stood on the side of my bed. She looked disgusted with me. Eliza had a firm look in her eye.
She was upset with Georgiana. They began screaming at each other. They could not even look each other in the eye. How could I leave my family like this? They will be frowned upon by God and they will separate themselves from each other. My time is to surely be up within the next few days. If it is not the feud between my own daughters, Eliza and Georgiana, that killed me, it would be the fact that my husband's favourite niece was sitting beside me, acting all innocent, not actually caring if I die or not.
I had to get Eliza, Georgiana and Jane away from me. It is torture. The squabbling is driving me mad. The lamp faded as did the life within me. I am getting weaker. The flame is slowly dying out. I decided to drown out the sound of the women and began to think of John. Oh, if he is here right now, it would make me feel much better. He is the light in my life. The fabric of the family. And how this family has collapsed without him. I am now leaving this all behind. I shall meet my husband and begin my new life.

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