Jane Eyre Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Jane Eyre

Set in Victorian England, "Jane Eyre" the story of young a woman with a strong sense of self who not only stands up for herself, but also gets the man she loves. Jane Eyre is the story of a young woman in Victorian England. She is without family and forced to be self supporting, which was an dangerous situation for a woman of her time. Throughout the book, we see Jane's internal fortitude carry her through difficult situations. The volume is entirely written from Jane's perspective.
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In the beginning of the book, Jane is the equivalent of a foster child living with the Reed family, which includes one particularly spoiled boy named John Reed. Jane is called to task for standing up for herself when John has tried to shame her. The Reed family forces her to leave them and relocate to Lowood, a school for orphans run by the hypocritical Mr. Brocklehurst. Anyone with a passing interest in Victorian England will find Lowood a fascinating institution, not unlike the orphanage that housed Charles Dicken's "Oliver Twist." Mr. Brocklehurst spouts Christian values while failing to feed and cloth his charges properly. Jane's first years at Lowood are spent as a student, after which she becomes a governess.

Jane is a singular creature and her years at Lowood are largely alone, except for her friendship with Helen Burns. Jane and Helen are a study in opposites. Whereas Jane tends to be caustic, Helen is angelic with a sunny temperament. She embodies many Christian virtues that Jane appreciates, but has no desire to emulate.

We see Helen die of typhus through Jane's eyes. Her death is a turning point for Jane, in part, because all of Helen's goodness did not save her. Jane, who was always long on internal fortitude, becomes even more alone after Helen's death. She seeks employment elsewhere, sending letters to prospective employers. She ends up hired by Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper at Thornwood, a large estate owned by Mr. Rochester. Her primary function is taking care of Mr. Rochester's little daughter, Adele.

Mr. Rochester is wealthy, dark and brooding. Much of what Jane learns about him initially comes from Mrs. Fairfax and others at Thornwood, a house with many mysteries, and strange noises.   Rochester is is a dominating man, who finds his match in his new governess. While Rochester is involved with a woman named Miss Ingram, Jane suspect that "he had not given her his love, and that her qualifications were ill adapted to win from him that treasure."

Jane and Rochester fall in love. heir wedding day is marred when Rochester is revealed to be a bigamist. He explains to Jane that his wife is insane, but this does not redeem the situation. Shamed, Jane leaves Thornfield. She is truly alone in the world, without friends or money.

After a sleepless night on the open moor, she is befriended by St. John, a clergyman, who takes her in. She lives with St. John and his sisters, who adore him. St. John helps her find a teaching job, so she becomes self-supporting once more, a status enhanced when she comes into an inheritance. St. John is given the opportunity to be a missionary in India. Even though he does not love her, he asks Jane for her hand in marriage so that she can come to India with him. Despite St John's insistence that it's God's will she accompany him as his wife, Jane refuses. saying that she has no vocation for it. She is willing, however, to brook convention, and go as his assistant. St. John rejects this saying "I before proved to you the absurdity of a single woman of your age proposing to accompany abroad a single man of mine... A female curate, who is not my wife, would never suit me."

During her sojourn with St. John, Rochester is never far from Jane's mind. She leaves St. John's home to find what has become of Rochester. Coming upon Rochester's father's butler, she learns that Thornfield was burned down by Rochester's wife, who was confined on the third floor. The fire left Rochester "stone blind" and killed his wife.   Upon learning this, Jane hurries to Ferndean, a manor house where Rochester is staying. She finds Rochester truly humbled. She marries him. He regains part of his sight. At the novel's end, Rochester visits an oculist who helps him retain sign in one eye, so that "when his first born was put into his arms, he could see that the boy inherited his own eyes, as they once were - large, brilliant, and black."
Best part of story, including ending: I'm partial to Victorian writers - and especially to Charlotte Bronte. The descriptive detail that Bronte lavishes on this work would be boring in any other context, but here it supports the main story line and the characters. Even parts that made me impatient, such as Jane's sojourn with St. John and his sisters, reveal much about the role of a single woman without family in Victorian England.

Best scene in story: Just as Jane is leaving Lowood, she accidentally meets Bessie, one of the children in the Reed home that we met when the story opened. The author uses this chance meeting to catch you up with the Reed family after many years. None of the family are particularly happy. John Reed has turned into a playboy, spending money with abandon and worrying his mother. This encounter gives Jane a much needed chance to shine in comparison.

Opinion about the main character: Jane has a strong sense of self. While she's unerringly correct in her dealings with others, she is not afraid to speak her mind.

The review of this Book prepared by Cy Ashley Webb a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Jane.Eyre is a young poor Orphan who is mistreated by her Rude Aunt Reed and cousins.She is sent off to an orphan school alone miles away from home, after standing up on her Aunt.While at Lowood, Jane's only friend dies of typhus fever that sweeps the school, after several years at lowood six as a student and two as a teacher, Jane applies to work as a governess in Thornfield. She falls in love with her master Rochester but the marriage fails as Rochester has hidden horros of his past. Jane leaves thornfield and wonders like a beggar in wilderness.
The review of this Book prepared by Kazinda.Naafi

After being shuffled from reletive to reletive and school to school, the orphaned Jane Eyre finally receives a position as governess for Adele, the daughter of a rich gentleman, Mr. Rochester. However, she soon discovers that she is working in a dark, mysterious mansion with many old secrets. Who is Adele's mother? And why does Jane hear moaning from the attic at night? After Mr. Rochester displays extreme interest in the woman Blanche, Jane realizes she loves him. And after much turmoil and patience, when Jane and Mr. Rochester are to be married, a mysterious man brings to light the truth--Mr. Rochester already has a wife. Jane goes away, planning never to see him again, until she hears about the terrible fire that burned Mr. Rochester's house to the ground.
The review of this Book prepared by Megan E. Davis

Throughout this charming book, Bronte talks of the pain of her childhood years and how it reflects in her adult years as a governess and lover to Mr. Rochester. This breathtaking book is full of mystery, fascination and romance.
The review of this Book prepared by Meredith P.

"A tantalizing romance that will keep you an the edge of your seat."
The review of this Book prepared by Ryan

Set in 19th century England, Jane Eyre's quest is to find meaning in her life that began as an unloved orphan sent to a girl's boarding school at the age of 10. Here she embarks on an education that eventually leads to a governess' position, where she meets the worldy, intriguing and wealthy Edward Rochester. There begins an tenuous relationship that grows into a semi-tragic romance in one of the greatest books I've ever read.
The review of this Book prepared by Scott McCamish

Jane Eyre is an orphan, who had a very difficult childhood. Neither stunningly beautiful or blessed with good prospects in life, she is nevertheless intelligent, self-assured, and austerely seductive. She becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall and falls in love with Mr. Rochester. Dark secrets and impending doom swirl about the residents of this house, but eventually everyone gets what he deserves.
The review of this Book prepared by Olga Maximenko

Jane Eyre goes from a hateful family to a school with little money. She leaves after several years to a rich masion owned by Mr. Rochester, where she is a governess. Jane finds herself in love but a strange secret is unveiled right before her wedding.
The review of this Book prepared by Alli Baker

This work of literature by Charlotte Bronte is truly moving. Jane Eyre is the poor little girl striving for independence that we all feel deep down inside of ourselves. A true heroic character never as seen before!
The review of this Book prepared by Jessica

Despite the great chasm of class differences, Jane Eyre and Rochester are united in marriage after many seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. Rochester's repentance is the most fascinating metamorphosis.
The review of this Book prepared by Amanda Mathieu

Jane Eyre, an orphan, is unloved for the first two decades of her life. she goes to work as a governess in a mansion, where she eventually falls in love with the house's owner, Mr. Rochester, who has the terrible secret of his insane wife living locked in his attic. After much inner conflict and a year away, Jane defies convention and returns to Mr. Rochester.
The review of this Book prepared by Leah Falk

Early in the 19th century, orphaned Jane Eyre leaves behind a horrid Copperfield-like childhood to become the governess-teacher to a small child in the household of Edward Rochester. The owner of Thornden Hall, Mr. Rochester is rarely around, and Jane finds him somber and moody. There are also odd things happening in the upper floors of Thornden, but Jane can't quite figure the situation out. Rochester and Jane agree to marry, but the secrets of the hall come between them, and death and disfigurement lie in the future. Although the moral dilemmas of _Jane Eyre_ are not terribly ambiguous, and the heroine does not grow or change appreciably over the course of the narrative, it is a gripping and passionate first-person tale, and with a strong and creative heroine.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Thought it is wasnt' recognised for this subject when it was released, Jane Eyre is a major feminist novel. The story tells of a bright young woman, betrayed by those she had hoped loved her, taking her life in her own hands and making something of without help from others.
The review of this Book prepared by Marie Nelson

Jane Eyre's struggle for kinship and external acceptance is profoundly touching. I cannot give an accurate estimation of the number of times I've wished, hoped, and experienced through the fictional eyes of Jane's heroic, yet non-tragic character. Despite the periods of destitution , her compelling tale of perseverence of mind prove Jane Eyre to be a tale of heart, strength of character, and triumph of adversity.
The review of this Book prepared by Helena

Jane Eyre, a 19th century child spends an unhappy childhood with her cruel relatives and at an underfunded boarding school. She lands a position as a governess at a country house run owned by the mysterious Mr Rochestor. As the story develops Jane and Mr Rochestor gradually fall in love. But the house holds many secrets to obstruct their happiness.
The review of this Book prepared by Ilana

Jane Eyre has a horrible childhood. She grows up and becomes a governess to the wealthy Mr. Rochester. Soon they fall in love, but a startling secret delays their wedding.
The review of this Book prepared by Jenna Evans

Chapter Analysis of Jane Eyre

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   orphan story Lover is    -   of a different social class Married, fooling around?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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