Literapedia Book Notes for

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë


Characters

  • Jane Eyre (ch 1)—the heroine; she tells the story of her own life from childhood to adulthood.
  • Mrs. Reed (ch 1)—Jane’s aunt; she is cruel and abusive to Jane as a child.
  • Eliza Reed (ch 1)—Jane’s cousin; she is unattractive, unhappy, and eventually becomes a nun.
  • Georgiana Reed (ch 1)—Jane’s cousin; she is pretty and spoiled.
  • John Reed (ch 1)—Jane’s cousin; he is cruel and violent to Jane.
  • Bessie (ch 1)—the housemaid; she eventually becomes friendly to Jane.
  • Mr. Lloyd (ch 3)—the apothecary; he recommends that Jane be sent to school.
  • Mr. Brocklehurst (ch 4)—the treasurer and manager; his parsimonious ways lead to the illness at the school.
  • Miss Maria Temple (ch 5)—the superintendent; she befriends Jane.
  • Helen Burns (ch 5)—a student; she befriends the younger Jane.
  • Miss Scatcherd (ch 5)—a teacher; she torments Helen unmercifully.
  • Mrs. Alice Fairfax (ch 11)—the housekeeper; she is kindhearted and a friend to Jane.
  • Miss Adèle (Adela) Varens (ch 11)—Mr. Rochester’s ward; Jane is her governess.
  • Grace Poole (ch 11)—a housemaid; her work keeps her in the attic.
  • Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester (ch 12)—the master of the hall; he takes an instant liking to Jane, although it is difficult to tell.
  • Miss Blanche Ingram (ch 16)—a gentle-lady of the area; Jane thinks Mr. Rochester in love with her.
  • Mr. Richard Mason (ch 18)—the brother-in-law of Mr. Rochester; he leaves after being attacked in the night.
  • Mrs. Bertha Antoinetta Mason (ch 26)—Mr. Rochester’s wife; she has lived mad in the attic for some time.
  • Hannah (ch 28)—the housekeeper; although initially distrustful of Jane, she eventually comes to like her.
  • Miss Mary Rivers (ch 28)—Jane’s cousin.
  • Miss Diana Rivers (ch 28)—Jane’s cousin.
  • Mr. St. John Rivers (ch 28)—Jane’s cousin; a preacher, he asks Jane to marry him and go to India to be a missionary.
  • Miss Rosamond Oliver (ch 31)—a gentle-lady of the area; she seems to be in love with St. John.

Chapter Summaries

  1. The 10 year-old Jane is tormented by her 14 year-old cousin John until she defends herself.
  2. Jane is locked in the red-room, the room in which her uncle died, and eventually freaks out.
  3. Mr. Lloyd treats Jane and suggests she be sent to school.
  4. Jane is interviewed by Mr. Brocklehurst and is slandered by Mrs. Reed. Jane tells Mrs. Reed off.
  5. Jane spends her first day at Lowood and meets Miss Temple and Helen Burns.
  6. On Jane’s second day at Lowood she learns more about Helen’s philosophy about life.
  7. Mr. Brocklehurst takes notice of Jane and publicly calls her a liar.
  8. Miss Temple makes inquiries and publicly absolves Jane.
  9. Both spring and typhus come to Lowood. Jane spends the night with Helen, who does in her sleep.
  10. Eight years pass, Jane graduates and becomes a teacher, and Miss Temple marries and leaves the school. Jane finds employment but is visited by Bessie before she leaves. Bessie tells Jane about her uncle.
  11. Jane arrives at Lowood, meets Mrs. Fairfax and Adèle, learns of Mr. Rochester, and hears mysterious laughter for the first time.
  12. Jane passes the fall at Lowood. One afternoon in January she goes for a walk and meets a stranger, who turns out to be Mr. Rochester.
  13. On Mr. Rochester’s first day back, he and Jane have their first tête-à-tête.
  14. Jane and Mr. Rochester discourse further, and he decides that she is “not naturally austere, any more than [he is] naturally vicious.”
  15. Mr. Rochester reveals Adèle’s origin. That night, Jane saves Mr. Rochester’s life by extinguishing a mysterious fire. Rochester accuses Grace Poole.
  16. Jane interviews Grace Poole, who responds inscrutably. Mr. Rochester leaves for a social outing, and Jane chides himself for thinking herself favored by him.
  17. A party is held at Thornfield, and Miss Ingram shows her character. At the end of the first night, Mr. Rochester requests that Jane join them in the drawing room.
  18. The party continues, and Jane is convinced that Mr. Rochester plans to marry Miss Ingram. Mr. Mason appears uninvited, and soon after a “gipsy fortune-teller” comes to the party.
  19. Jane discovers that the gipsy is Mr. Rochester, who is shocked at the appearance of Mr. Mason.
  20. Mr. Mason is attacked during the night, and Jane attends to him. Mr. Rochester avoids explaining the situation.
  21. Jane dreams of a strange infant. Hearing news of Mrs. Reed’s illness, Jane returns to Gateshead Hall. Jane learns that her uncle, John Eyre, wishes to adopt her.
  22. Jane returns to Thornfield.
  23. On a mid-summer evening, Mr. Rochester proposes marriage to Jane.
  24. Jane feels uncomfortable in the role of fiancée, but she submits to evening conferences with Mr. Rochester.
  25. Mr. Rochester returns late the night before the wedding. Jane tells him her dream of a child and the destruction of Thornfield. Jane also tells him of her intruder and the destruction of her wedding veil.
  26. Jane and Mr. Rochester’s wedding is prevented by the revelation of Bertha’s existence. Jane is introduced to the madwoman in the attic.
  27. The next day, Jane confronts Mr. Rochester, who explains the circumstances of his marriage. Jane refuses to be his mistress. That night Jane dreams of her mother, and the next day Jane leaves Thornfield.
  28. Jane arrives at Whitcross and is reduced to begging. She ends up at the Moor House, where she is eventually given shelter.
  29. Jane recovers but hides her identity from the Rivers family. Mr. St. John Rivers seems distrustful.
  30. Jane becomes accepted by the Rivers family and accepts a position being the schoolteacher in town. The Rivers family learns that hey have been left out of the will by their uncle.
  31. St. John shares his missionary aspirations with Jane, who can’t understand why he doesn’t marry Rosamond Oliver.
  32. Jane settles into life at the school and becomes friends with Miss Oliver, whom she sketches. Upon viewing the portrait, St. John admits his love for Rosamond.
  33. St. John discovers Jane’s identity and brings word of her inheritance and relation to the Rivers. Jane resolves to split the money with her newly found family and take up residence at Moor House.
  34. At Christmastime, Jane and the Rivers settle into Moor House. St. John learns of Rosamond’s engagement and commences teaching Jane Hindostanee. St. John proposes marriage to Jane for the first time.
  35. St. John continues to press Jane into marriage. Jane hears a mysterious voice calling her name in the night.
  36. Jane leaves for Thornfield Hall and finds it a burned ruin. Jane hears the story of the fire, the death of Bertha, and the disfigurement of Mr. Rochester.
  37. Jane goes to the manor-house of Ferndean and sees the blind and crippled Mr. Rochester. After sharing their stories, Jane agrees to marry Mr. Rochester.
  38. Jane ties up the lose ends and reveals that they lived happily ever after.

Book Note Creator


Hal Waller, instructor