From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"In The Poetics of Space Gaston Bachelard speaks of “the rationality of the roof” as opposed to “the irrationality of the cellar.” In the attic, he notes, “the day’s experiences can always efface the fears of the night,” while the cellar “becomes buried madness, walled-in tragedy” (pp. 18-20). Thornfield’s attic is, however, in his sense both cellar and attic, the imprisoning lumber-room of the past and the watch-tower from which new prospects are sighted, just as in Jane’s mind mad “restlessness” coexists with “harmonious” reason."--The Madwoman in the Attic (1979) by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar
An attic or loft is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building (also called garret or sky parlor). As attics fill the space between the ceiling of the top floor of a building and the slanted roof, they are known for being awkwardly shaped spaces with exposed rafters and difficult-to-reach corners.
From the practice of decorating the top storey of building façades in the Attic architectural style.