Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”: Plot Summary

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We meet Jane while she's living with her horrible aunt Ms. Reed along with her equally horrible cousins Georgiana, Eliza and the worst of them all John. Its seen right away that Jane loves to read and is trying to do so before being attacked by John. She fights back and is immediately reprimanded by Ms. Reed and her kind but stern maid Bessie. Mrs. Reed decided the best way to punish Jane is to throw her in the red room. Before entering it is revealed by bessie the reason for her living at their house. Janes an orphan and Ms. Reed is upholding her late husbands dying wish by her being there. She resists entering the room and screams out trying to escape (something it seems she never does). The screaming continues on into the night until she drifts off to sleep and is awoken in her own bed and sees a physician there with her. He then leaves and suggests to Bessie that he come back. Bessie informs her that she has fallen sick with crying and she better rest. Jane is very confused and upset but tries to sleep anyway. The next morning she's visited by Mr. Lloyd. He asks her many questions and answers honestly, often protesting how miserable she is. After their discussion Mr. Lloyd asks if she would like to go to school. And Jane answers yes.

Not long after Jane has a meeting with Ms. Reed and Mr. Brocklehurst, the headmaster at the school Ms. Reed is trying to get her into. He asks her many questions mostly on whether Jane is a good child. Then, Ms. Reed does the most despicable thing and tells Mr. Brocklehurst that she has the tendency to lie, when in reality Jane has always made a point to be honest. This labels Jane as deceitful and it creates many troubles for her at Lowood.

When Jane gets to lowood it takes a long time to get used to the structured routine, bad food, and cold temperatures. While she dislikes it, she finds it better than John Reeds blows. We are soon introduced to a few new faces. We first meet Ms. Temple when she allows the students a second meal after their first was burned. It's the first we see of her kindness to come. Jane then meets Helen Burns because of Janes interest in her book. It is discovered that Helen is very intelligent, but messy and it often gets her in trouble. Mr. Brocklehurst visits Lowood and addresses the entirety of the school, making sure all his rules are being upheld. He takes this time to preach a little too and discusses the hellfire that comes to little girls who don't obey and even forces girls to cut their hair for growing it to prettily. Jane accidentally calls attention to herself by dropping her slate, effectively breaking it. Mr. Brocklehurst see this and calls her onto a stool in front of everyone. He then warns everyone of her being a castaway, lier, interloper, alien and tells everyone to ignore and hate her. All because of Ms. Reeds lie. She was then condemned to stand there for a half an hour not to be approached by anyone.

After her public punishment she was visited an comforted by Helen and they became good friends, eating and studying together all the time. Helen was full of kindness and patience and it made Jane want to be like her. She saw what she could be in Helen and decided to work hard to be her best. Time went on at lowood and when winter came many girls began getting sick. Including Helen Burns. Jane is by her side in her last moments as Helen discusses her future with Jesus. Jane hold her as they both fall asleep and aren't awoken till the morning when Ms. Temple find Jane and a passed Helen. Helen made a huge impact on Jane and is probably the reason jane becomes the kind and patient woman and governess she is.

Life moves on and Jane rises in classes under the tutelage of Ms. Temple who acts as her friend and mentor throughout her time at Lowood. She spends her last year at lowood as a teacher and then decided she craves independence and to get out into the world and looks for a job elsewhere. So, the job at Thornfield was presented to her and her future was set. She first meets Mrs. Fairfax, the kind housekeeper at Thornfield manor. Jane is excited about her new job and feels comforted by the housekeeper's kindness and her students cheerfulness. Although she feels uneasy about the prospect of meeting her master. On the way to deliver a letter she runs across a man who was thrown from his horse and needs to be helped. Seeing his distress she offered to help. It was very awkward when she helped him back onto his horse probably because of his kurt demeanor and unappreciative expression all the while being concerned with her wellbeing since she was traveling alone. She describes him as dark and foreboding but she felt no fear. She helps him on his way and she continues on hers. When she got back to Thornfield she was surprised to find her master had returned and sprained his ankle. What a coincidence.

The next day she was called into Mr. Rochesters study along with her pupil Adele. She knew her traveler immediately by his grim face and demeanor and sat in the chair opposite him. He began the conversation about presents and a lot of banter continued. Their conversation was loaded in irony and double meaning (as Mr. Rochester compared her lengthily to a fairy) and were met with confusion by Ms. Fairfax. He judged her harshly on her talents in drawing and piano and was impressed by some and disappointed in others. She thought he was very strange indeed. (from here on I realized thats too much detail)

Mr. Rochester talked with her a few more times regularly and often asked uncomfortable questions like Do you find me handsome? to which she replied No. Each time he talks with her he reveals more and more about himself. It's all very weird and deep and personal. Probably too personal for a governor and her master. She often went to bed thinking about him and their conversations, and it seems slowly starts to fall for him without her even knowing. At this point when shes thinking about her feelings she hears demonic noises coming from the walls. There is even a fire presumably made by the mystery person. And its after this that Mr. Rochesters feelings for Jane have been hinted at for the first time. But then he leaves for a long time and when he comes back he brings guests including the beautiful Blanche Ingram who hopes to marry Rochester for his money. She flirts very hard but Rochester goes between disinterest and flirting back regularly, maybe to make Jane jealous? Jane often is jealous of her beauty but finds her hauty, fake and only interested in him for his money. While everyone is there a strange gypsy comes to the door and offers to read the people. When Jane goes the gypsy asks very pointed questions about her feelings only for the reader to find out later that it was Mr. Rochester the whole time determined to figure out if she loved him. (I find this very creepy and NOT romantic but okay). An old friend of Mr. Rochesters arrives and he got very freightened because of it. That night Mason is stabbed by the mysterious person (who Jane thinks is Grace Poole) which opens a lot of questions for Jane. Soon after Jane is told that Mr. John Reed had died and she was invited to speak with Ms. Reed who seems to be on her deathbed. When she arrives she gets to see Bessie, the maid who showed her kindness as a child. They chit chat before Jane goes in to see Ms. Reed but it seems the sickness has gone to her head and nothing she says makes sense, but a lot is revealed on why she hated Jane and why she was in her care in the first place. When Ms. Reed dies she heads home. She assumes Rochester will marry soon and struggles with the idea of leaving him, but knows it is what is best. She now is honest with herself and declares that she does in fact love him. While taking a walk one beautiful evening she runs across him but hopes to avoid him. He does not let her walk away unnoticed and pulls her in for a talk. He informs her of his plans to be married. Little does she know the bride is meant to be her. Through a lot of unnecessary tears and yelling they both confess their feelings and decide to marry.

Alls bliss for a short while but on her wedding day she gets quite a shock. Mason shows up and confesses that he's the brother of ROCHESTERS WIFE! Thats right, he's married to THE CRAZY WOMAN IN THE ATTIC. Turns out he married her when they were young (not for love) and she went slowly insane so he shut her up in the attic. Jane, obviously shocked leaves Rochester and runs away to the country. She soon runs out of money and is wandering around all alone, sleeping outdoors until she comes across a small house and collapses on the doorstep and is rescued from her situation by St. John And his sisters. During her stay with these 3 siblings and their servant, Jane wrestles with her feelings and mourns her Rochester. She becomes friends with the sisters and tries to move on from her life at thornfield. She gets a job teaching and is slow to enjoy it but ends up connecting with her students all the while plagued with regrets of leaving Rochester. St. John randomly reveals that they are in fact cousins and their shared wealthy uncle died. Her cousin also tells her of their newfound money and his wish to go to india with her and marry Jane. But she doesn't love him. And they're COUSINS so ew. Soon after Jane thinks she hears Rochester calling for her in the night and she cant deny her feelings any more. She goes to him and sees that the house has been burned down in a fire set by Rochesters insane wife effectively killing herself and blinding Rochester. The master was able to save all the servants and tried to save his wife but was unable to. Jane and Rochester get back together and continue to live a wonderful life as equals (because of her large sum of money) and he eventually gets his eyesight back.

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Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre": Plot Summary. (2019, May 17). Retrieved May 20, 2024 , from

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