Jane Eyre | Summary, Characters, Analysis, & Facts | Britannica

Jane Eyre (1847) is Charlotte Bronte‘s most well-known novel. It is the story of the heroine’s attraction to the mysterious and elusive Rochester. Rochester and her quest to achieve her independence.

Although it is considered an feminist work but it also falls into the genre of gothic novels because of that nagging aspect of Rochester’s insane wife hidden within an attic. With the brief outline of the plot that follows Jane Eyre that is provided, readers will gain a thorough understanding of the novel that helped make Charlotte Bronte famous.

Jane is a girl with a modest background and appearance, seeks for affection and a sense of belonging while still maintaining her individuality. The book caused quite a bit of controversy at the time of its publication that was caused by critics and by the general public believing the author “Currer Bell” (the author’s pseudonym, which is not clear) was female.

However, the novel was a hit immediately and secured for Charlotte an enviable spot in the world of literature at her day and the generations to come.

Make sure to read this fantastic late 19th century review of Jane Eyre by Mary A. Ward to gain a deeper understanding of the classic novel. The plot summary below is a snippet of an article published inside The McClure’s Publishing Syndicate authored by T L. Hood, an early 20th century English professor of Harvard University:

Plot summary of Jane Eyre

From the moment she was born, Jane Eyre was left in the cold embrace of the charity system. Her aunt Mrs. Reed of Gateshead Hall, wealthy and indifferent, sheltered her orphaned Jane for a decade, where Jane was subject to such a ferocious hatred that she was thrilled to be taken away for Lowood School, a semi-charitable school for girls.

Life at Lowood School

The life was tough at Lowood School was no picnic for Jane. The headmaster of the school the late Mr. Brocklehurst, was cruel and untruthful. He kept his children in the state indigence, preaching sacrifice while making a lifestyle of comfort for himself and his family through the tuition of students.

Lowood School was said to be modeled on the school Charlotte along with her sister attended. There, two of her older sisters developed illnesses that took them to death before reaching adolescence. Jane’s best friend Helen Burns, who dies from consumption, is believed to be influenced by her sister Maria.

When the school is given over to an ethical set of administrators Jane’s situation improves. She remains in Lowood during six years of her time as a pupil, and then for two more years as teacher.

In search of the mystery Mr. Rochester

Looking for a change, Jane quit her job to become the governess for Adela Varens Adela Varens, the ward of Mr. Edward Rochester, at Thornfield Manor. The place was hers, and she was delighted with her surroundings: The grand old house, the peaceful library; her small chamber and the garden, with its massive chestnut tree; and also the vast meadow, with its plethora of thorny trees that were knotty.

In the event that Rochester had been. Rochester had been a beautiful, hero-like young man, Jane could never have been at ease with him. He was, however, a sombre and moody person, with a an elongated brow, a slender jawline and square mouth however when he was in his presence the simple, little governess was somehow at peace. The character of his was not hers to comprehend.

He. Rochester confided to her that Adela Varens wasn’t his daughter, but rather the daughter of an Parisian dancer who had fooled him and abandoned the child. He told her a lot about the bizarre shadow that hung over his most happy moment, or of his obvious love for Jane and his refusal to reveal some private grief, she could create nothing.

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Strange things have been happening within the manor

Then came the most enigmatic incidents to Thornfield. In the night of one particular evening, Jane found the door of Mr. Rochester’s bedroom open and his bed was on the fire. Jane was able, with a lot of effort to put out the flames and get him out of the stupor in which the smoke had swept him. He suggested that she not speak about the incident.

Then the same day, a later, a Mr. Mason from Spanish Town in Jamaica arrived at Thornfield when Ms. Rochester was entertaining a large crowd. In the evening, Jane was awakened by the sound of a scream for assistance. As she entered the room, all the people were excited.

He was Mr. Rochester, candle in hand, was climbing the staircase to the 3rd floor. “A servant has had a nightmare,” he declared and led the guests to go back to their rooms.

In the night, Jane was obliged to take care of Ms. Mason, who lay in an unoccupied bed on the third floor, suffering from a severe injury to the shoulder and arm. Based on a few hints, Jane gathered that a woman had slashed the injuries. A doctor was called, and by the time morning came it was discovered that Mr. Rochester had spirited the wounded man off in a vehicle and had the doctor oversee the man.

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Jane Eyre: A Late 19th-Century Analyisis
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Jane could be an heir

Jane is unexpectedly summoned to Gateshead to visit her aunt Mrs. Reed, who lays dying. Mrs. Reed gives her a letter from John Eyre, in Madeira and requesting to have his niece Jane be able to communicate with him. He could be able to adopt Jane, the letter said his intentions, since he was unmarried and had no children. The letter was sent three years ago. Mrs. Reed had never attempted to hand it over to Jane because she was averse to Jane too much to offer any assistance in helping her climb the ladder to success.

A wedding ceremony that has been thwarted

After Jane returned to Thornfield and meets with Thornfield. Rochester proposes to her and since she loves the man and is a believer to be in his faith, she agrees. One month later, during the wedding ceremony held in the ancient home of God the priest asks, “Wilt thou have this woman for thy wedded wife?” A loud voice was heard in all the silentness of the church:

“The marriage cannot go on: I declare the existence of an impediment.”

When asked to elaborate the matter, the speaker is an attorney from London known as Mr. Briggs, shows a document that proves his claim that. Rochester had married Bertha Mason 15 years before within Spanish Town, Jamaica. He also produces the signature of Mr. Mason to witness that Bertha Mason is alive and residing in Thornfield.

Edward Rochester confesses hardily and in a reckless manner that he was been married, as the lawyer claimed; that his wife is still livingand that he kept her at Thornfield for a long time. She was insane and came from a family that was madinsane and mad over three generations. He was enticed into the wedding by his family and with the support of his brother and father who had wished his marriage to make the riches of.

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The crazy lady living in the attic

Rochester invites the priest and the lawyer the lawyer, Mr. Mason to come up to Thornfield and look at what kind of persona he’s been conned into and determine on whether or not the man has the right to break his vows.

After returning to Thornfield the man takes them to the third floor. In a room that did not have windows, there was the fire, which was surrounded by a sturdy and tall fence, as well as a lamp suspended from ceiling with an iron chain. A trusted servant sat on the flame, possibly cooking something. In the shade of the far side of the room an individual moved around.

What it was on first sight, was unable to determine. It seemed to be grooving on its hind legs; it grabbed and gnarled like a odd wild animal. However, it was surrounded by clothingand a plethora of hair that was dark and grizzled wild as a mane covered its face and head.

“That is my wife,” stated Ms. Rochester. Then, everyone withdrew.

St. John Rivers and his sisters

In the evening, Jane stole away from Thornfield. The few shillings that she had she handed over to the owner of the bus she encountered and he took her to wherever it was possible to go to get the money. Thirty-six more hours later, she was released at a junction within the mountains. Through the heather, she wandered. The next night, she had bilberries for dinner and lay down beneath the rock.

A few days later, hungry and sweaty she was escorted to Marsh End, the house of the Reverend St. John Rivers, an ambitious young priest from the nearby community of Morton. Two of his daughters, Mary Diana and Mary Diana, were more than willing to help Jane. They soon returned to their job as governesses in an important city in south England.

St. John found work for Jane as the mistress of the girls’ school in Morton. His goal was to be an ordained missionsary and travel to India. He wanted Jane to be his wife and accompany him. But there was something that prevented Jane from agreeing. He felt the call to do missionary job, however she would not.

Then , he found out for her she had a uncle who had passed away leaving her a legacy of 20 thousand dollars. It was confirmed by. Briggs, the solicitor in London. Jane also discovered her mother St. John, Mary and Diana were the daughters of her father, meaning they could be heirs to her uncle who lived in Madeira. She argued for division of the inheritance together with the three sisters.

The demise of Thornfield and the demise of Bertha

A few nights ago, St. John was insisting on Jane for her final choice. Even though she doesn’t really love him, she is tempted to give to his demands. The candle was burning out, yet the room was filled with moonlight. The woman hears across the moors and hears a scream”Jane! Jane! “Jane! Jane!” — and is able to see that she cannot leave the man she is in love with.

The next day , she set off for Thornfield. Within 36 hours, she was in The Rochester Arms which is only two miles away. She was unsure of her destination, but took a walk through Thornfield and was shocked to see a dark ruin.

At the inn She learned she had learned that Thornfield Hall had burned down in the middle of harvest the year before. The fire broke out during the dark of night. Rochester had attempted to save his wife. She had climbed up to the roof, and was standing, in a trance, waving her arms and shouting until the rescuers could hear her shouting from a mile away.

Rochester was ascended into the skylight. The crowd could hear him calling to her “Bertha!” He approached her, she let out an angry yell, and then ran away. In the next moment, she was dead on the ground.

Rochester was rescued from the rubble in a state of health, but seriously injured The eye of one had been crushed, and the other hand was so badly broken that a surgeon needed to amputate it in a single stroke. The other eye was affected and was losing vision. The patient was in Ferndean Manor, a manor home situated on a farm owned by him around thirty miles from the place the place where Thornfield Hall had stood, the place was bleak and deserted.

“Reader, I married him”

There Jane discovered him devastated, helpless, and disabled. Then he was free and as a result, Jane is able to transmit the iconic line “Reader, I married him.”

Then, the vision returned to the eyes of Edward Rochester in such a way that, when his baby was put in His arms, he can observe that the child was inherited from his eyes in the same way as they before — big as well as brilliant and black. At that time with his whole heart he acknowledged that God has tempered his judgment by Mercy.

More about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

  • Wikipedia
  • Discussion on the Reader via Goodreads
  • How Charlotte Bronte Came to Write Jane Eyre
  • I’m sorry. but Jane Eyre isn’t the kind of romance you’d like to experience.

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