Jane Eyre Book Summary | Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre Book Synopsis, it is a novel by the English writer Charlotte Bronte It was published under her pen name Currer Bell on 19 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London. The first American edition was published the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York.

Jane Eyre Book is a Bildungsroman which follows the experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall, In this article, you will read summary of Jane Eyre and answer the most frequently asked questions about the novel .


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Synopsis of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre Summary

When Jane Eyre opens, its narrator, a 10-year-old orphan named Jane, is living with the Reeds, her maternal uncle’s family, in a manor called Gateshead. Jane’s embittered Aunt Reed sees her as a burden, encouraging her children to mistreat and exclude Jane.

When Jane retaliates against her particularly cruel, tyrannical cousin John Reed, her Aunt punishes her by locking her in the “red-room”—the room where Jane’s Uncle Reed died—and then sends her to a nearby boarding school called Lowood. Before Jane departs, she confronts her aunt about her cruel mistreatment.

Led by its vicious and hypocritical headmaster Mr. Brocklehurst, Lowood treats its students even more harshly, with punishments meted out for even the slightest perceived infractions. Only Jane’s new friend Helen and her kind teacher Miss Temple offer Jane any consolation.

Lowood’s students lack basic needs like nourishing food, clean water, and insulation from the winter cold—ostensibly to build their Christian character, though Mr. Brocklehurst profits from these cutbacks. When a typhus epidemic strikes, many of the girls become gravely ill, having been made susceptible by the school’s poor conditions. Helen tragically dies in Jane’s arms.

After the typhus epidemic, new leadership takes over Lowood and makes it into a much better institution. Jane stays on as a student and then a teacher for eight years, until she accepts a post as a governess at a country manor called Thornfield.

There, Jane teaches a young French girl named Adèle, the ward of Thornfield’s mysterious owner, Mr. Edward Rochester. Jane meets Mr. Rochester when he is thrown from his horse. As he summons Jane for evening conversations, the two quickly learn that they share many interests and eccentricities, and they establish themselves as intellectual equals.

Jane struggles with her romantic feelings for Mr. Rochester, since he intends to marry a beautiful woman named Blanche Ingram. As time passes and the two grow increasingly close, Mr. Rochester abandons the idea of marrying Blanche and offers an impassioned proposal to Jane.

A man named Mr. Mason interrupts their wedding: Mr. Rochester cannot legally marry Jane because he is already married. Mr. Rochester confesses: His father tricked him into marrying the wealthy Bertha Mason, ignoring her incipient mental illness and violent outbursts.

To protect both the community and himself from her, Mr. Rochester has kept Bertha locked in the attic for 15 years, in the care of a woman named Grace Poole. Mr. Rochester begs Jane to run away with him, but despite her love for him, Jane staunchly refuses becoming his mistress. She flees Thornfield.

She wanders until she reaches the house of governesses Diana and Mary and their brother, a clergyman named St. John Rivers. The cold and severe St. John learns Jane’s identity and tells her that her uncle, John Eyre, recently passed away and left her 20,000 pounds. He also reveals that John Eyre was his own uncle, making him and Jane cousins. Jane is delighted to learn that she has living relatives and insists on dividing the inheritance equally between herself, Diana, Mary, and St. John.

St. John feels called to serve as a missionary in India and asks Jane to join him. He does not love Jane, but feels that her hardworking, steadfast demeanor would make her an ideal missionary’s wife. Jane tells St. John that she will go to India with him, but she cannot marry him because they are not in love.

Soon after, Jane mysteriously hears Mr. Rochester’s voice calling her from a great distance. She swiftly returns to Thornfield, now a charred ruin. At a local inn, she learns that Bertha set Thornfield on fire before jumping from the roof. Badly burned, Mr. Rochester lost his eyesight in the fire. Jane finds Mr. Rochester living at a remote cottage in the woods.

Jane affirms that she loves him and is content to remain by his side for the rest of their lives. They marry, and Mr. Rochester eventually recovers some of his eyesight. He is thus able to see the face of his newborn son.

You may also like to read: Little Women Book Summary

Questions about Jane Eyre Plot

What is the main message of Jane Eyre? Jane Eyre is very much the story of a quest to be loved. Jane searches, not just for romantic love, but also for a sense of being valued, of belonging.

What happened in Jane Eyre? Jane returns to Thornfield to find the estate burned, set on fire by Rochester's wife, who then jumped to her death. Rochester, in an attempt to save her, was blinded. Reunited, Jane and Rochester marry. Rochester later regains some of his sight, and the couple have a son.

Does Jane Eyre have a happy ending? In the book Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë goes through such corrupt and detrimental life alterations that one would at least believe Jane deserves a happy ending. Even though Jane's relationship with Mr. Rochester may be unconventional and confrontational, she does eventually end up marrying him out of love.

Why is Jane Eyre so popular? Jane Eyre is one of those classics that feels intimate and mesmerizing. Jane talks to the reader confiding her innermost thoughts and passions. It's also one of the few books of it's era that yields significant power to a female narrator. Jane is no fragile flower to be placed on a pedestal to be admire.

What is the dark secret in Jane Eyre? Both Rochester and Jane possess complicated family histories—Rochester's hidden wife, Bertha, is the dark secret at the novel's core. The exposure of Bertha is one of the most important moments in the novel, and the mystery surrounding her is the main source of the novel's suspense.

Why does Jane fall in love with Rochester? Jane marries Rochester because she views him as her emotional home. From the start of the novel, Jane struggles to find people she can connect with emotionally. Although she nominally has a home at Gateshead, she describes herself as being a “discord” there, temperamentally alienated from the Reeds. 

How did Jane Eyre end? At the end of her story, Jane writes that she has been married for ten blissful years and that she and Rochester enjoy perfect equality in their life together. She says that after two years of blindness, Rochester regained sight in one eye and was able to behold their first son at his birth .

Why did Mr. Rochester go blind? Rochester saved his servants and tried to save his wife, but she flung herself from the roof as the fire raged around her. In the fire, Rochester lost a hand and went blind.

Does Jane Eyre forgive Rochester? Jane's unspoken forgiveness in fact registers a serious identity crisis. She forgives Rochester because she is a woman in love who sees there was such unchanged love in his whole look and mien .

Did Mr. Rochester love Jane? The relationship between Jane Eyre and Edward Fairfax Rochester plays a major part in the novel of Jane Eyre, as Rochester turns out to be the love of Jane's life .

What secret does Mr. Rochester have? After a moment of inarticulate fury, Rochester admits that his wife is alive and that in marrying Jane he would have been knowingly taking a second wife. No one in the community knows of his wife because she is mad, and Rochester keeps her locked away under the care of Grace Poole.

Did Jane and Mr. Rochester have a child? Jane returns to Rochester and they get married. After two years, Rochester gets his sight back a little bit. Jane and Rochester have a son.

How many mistresses did Rochester take? three mistresses, While he criticizes Bertha's sexual excess, Rochester participates in his own with his three mistresses — Céline, Giacinta, and Clara — and his current attempt to make Jane part of the harem .

Why does Rochester keep Bertha a secret? At this point, Rochester explains a little more about his behavior toward Bertha. He ordered the servants to keep Bertha a secret from the governess because the thought no governess would stay at Thornfield if she knew there was a madwoman there.

Is Jane Eyre happy ending? In the book Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë goes through such corrupt and detrimental life alterations that one would at least believe Jane deserves a happy ending. Even though Jane's relationship with Mr. Rochester may be unconventional and confrontational, she does eventually end up marrying him out of love.

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