Jane Eyre Essay, Research Paper
Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: fictional novel
Setting: 19th century England, Yorkshire Moors
Point of View: first person
Narrator: Jane Eyre telling it as an adult flashing back to her childhood
Jane is the orphaned daughter of a poor parson and his disinherited wife. She lives
at Gateshead Hall in the care of her aunt, Sarah Gibson Reed. She is lonely and depressed
here because she is abused emotionally and physically. She later enrolls at Lowood, a
boarding school for poor, orphaned girls. There, Jane distinguishes herself in her classes
and finds love and compassion through the kindness of Ms. Temple and Helen. She
eventually takes a position as a governess to a little French girl, Adele Varens, the ward of
Edward Rochester, the master of Thornfield Hall. Jane and Rochester develop a mutual
admiration and love for each other. Their marriage plans are interrupted, however, and
Jane flees to Thornfield Hall. In the intervening year?s separation before their eventual
marriage, she establishes her independence. The two finally find happiness together and
produce a son.
The 14 year old who bullies Jane and is spoiled by his mother. He is violent and
abusive and is condescending in his treatment in his treatment to Jane. Later in life, he
reduces his mother to poverty and dispair by leading a dissipated life. At the age of 23, he
dies and is rumored to have killed himself
The older daughter of the Reed family. She is frugal to the point of being greedy.
She keeps chickens, hoards her eggs and chicken money, and lends it to he mother at a
high interest rate. When her mother lies on her deathbed, she cold-heartedly ignores her
and devotes herself to religion. After Mrs. Reed?s death she becomes a nun at a convent
in Lisle, France, and eventually rises to a position of Mother Superior, leaving her fortune
to the nunnery.
The vain, self-indulgent beauty of the Reed family. She is acrid and selfish (won?t
let Jane play with her toys). She accuses Eliza for ruining her plans to marry Lord Erwin
Vere. She later goes to London and marries a wealthy man.
Aunt Sarah Reed:
The mean-spirited widow of Jane Eyre?s uncle who torments Jane at every
opportunity. She is hypocritical and feigns to Jane?s benefactress. Despite Jane?s attempt
to make up for the past, Mrs. Reed rejects Jane?s reconciliation and dies alone, and
The servant at Gateshead Hall who consoles Jane with treats from the kitchen,
Gulliver?s Travels, and sang her songs when she was excluded from the family festivities,
and visits Jane at Lowood. Bessie later marries Robert Leaven, the coachman, has 3
children, and continues working for the Reed family.
The servant at Gateshead Hall who treated Jane condescendingly and referred to
her as a toad.
The apothecary who treats Jane at Gateshead. He perceives Jane?s unhappiness
and thinks of solutions to her problem: live with her father?s poor relatives or go to
The head of Lowood School who interviews Jane. His grim, hypocritical
evaluation of Jane?s shortcomings follows her to Lowood where he publicly labels her a
liar. He is austere and preaches fire and brimstone; however, his wife and daughters are
The 14 year old motherless child from Northumberland. She befriends Jane at
Lowood and offers encouragement by word and example as the two friends endure the
hardships of school life. She is punished by Ms. Scatcherd to wear dirty clothes and
slattern across her forehead. On her deathbed, she anticipates contentment with God and
a reunion with Jane in heaven.
The superintendent and music teacher at Lowood. She positively influences Jane
by showing her kindness and sympathy, and how to nurse her animosity. She later marries
Rev. Mr. Nasmyth.
Edward Fairfax Rochester:
After Rowland, Edward?s brother, receives the entire Rochester family inheritance,
Edward is tricked into marrying an insane woman whom he barely knows. His love for
Jane rekindles love, although his wife is secretly locked up in a third story room of
Thornfield. Following the death of his wife, the loss of his home to a terrible fire,
blindness, and the amputation of his left hand, he is reunited with Jane at Ferndean,
marries her, and recovers enough vision in one eye to see their son.
The shallow daughter of Lady Ingram who uses her glamour to lure Rochester
toward a marriage proposal. However, her enthusiasm for Edward fades when he
discloses that his fortune is not as large as he had thought.
The French mistress of Mr. Rochester. Edward, however, broke of their affair
after overhearing her ridicule him to another man.
The child of Celine whom Edward refuses to claim as his own daughter, but raises
her as his ward at Thornfield anyway. Her association with Jane Eyre, her governesses
and friend, brings happiness to both of them.
Bertha Antoinette Mason Rochester:
The daughter of a West Indies planter who conceal her retardation and madness
characteristic of her mother?s side of the family and marries Edward, a son of her father?s
business partner. After 4 years, Edward takes her to Thornfield and locks her in a room
under the care of Grace Poole. She cleverly escapes from her keeper at intervals and
causes mischief. Aware that Rochester plans to marry Jane, Bertha ignites Jane?s bed,
then leaps from the roof to her death.
A merchant and Bertha Mason?s brother. He visits Thornfield and suffers bitings
and stabbing from his sister. After learning of Jane?s engagement, he makes a second visit
to Thornfield and halts the wedding by announcing Edward?s intention to commit bigamy.
A trustworthy employee at Thornfield Hall whose position remains a mystery until
Rochester reveals the existence of his wife. Grace?s fondness of gin gives Bertha
occasional opportunities to wander around Thornfield and harm its residents.
St. John Rivers:
The overly zealous minister of the parish at Morton He serves as the head of his
family after his father?s death and saves Jane from starvation. He attempts to repress his
passion for Rosamond Oliver, prepare himself for the mission fields of India, and force
Jane to marry him, and serve as his missionary assistant.
Jane refuses and St. John remains unmarried.
Jane?s uncle; her father?s brother. He is a self-made man who attempts to locate
his niece, Jane, in order to leave her his fortune after his quarrel with St. John?s father
makes it impossible foe him to leave his money to the Rivers children.
Preternatural Motif: Things can?t be explained according to nature or natural event.
* the story that Bessie told of Gytrassh
* The ghost of Mr. Reed in the red room
* The recurring dream that Jane has of an infant wailing, laughing. This is supposed to be
a bad omen as Jane recalls Bessie?s dream which results in the death of Bessie?s sister.
After Jane?s dream, she hears of John Reeds death.
* Jane has a dream of her mother who tells her to ?flee temptation? She leaves before
dawn with 20 shillings. She then takes a coach to Whitcross. That was the farthest her
money could take her.
Realism: In literature it is a manner of presentation that stresses an accurate even perhaps
factual presentation Of subjetal manner. The emphasis is on the rational. It depicts
accurately the human condition. It also presents ills of society. Ex: treatment in schools-
Bronte?s sister died because of this
Ills of Society:
* prejudice against different classes
This is revealed in the servant?s and the Reed?s condescending treatment of Jane.
She is considered inferior since she is poor. This is revealed also when the apothecary is
called in instead of a doctor when Jane is sick
The upper and lower class do not speak to each other. Mr. Rochester tells Jane to
sit quietly and speak only when spoken to.
* child abuse and neglect (seen by Mr. B and Mrs. Scatcherd)
Jane-punished to stand on a stool, called a liar
Helen- wear dirty clothes, ?slattern?
* Mr. B orders Julie Saverns curls to be cut ?privation fosters the spirit?
* deprivation – depriving people of the basic necessities ( food, clothing )
* burnt porridge, chilblains, lack of medical attention