Jane Eyre is a young orphan all alone in the world. Sent to live with unkind relatives, she is raised by Mrs Reed, her cruel, wealthy aunt. Jane's fate grows even crueler when she is torn from the household and forced to go away to school. After spending eight years at Lowood School, six as a student and two as a teacher, Jane yearns for new experiences and she accepts a position as a governess, hired by a Mr. Rochester to look after his young daughter. Jane's new post brings her into a world of high society, romantic intrigue, and dark family secrets.
When Mr. Rochester asks Jane to marry him, it seems that against all odds her fate is finally secure and true love is rightfully hers. However, shocking revelations about Mr. Rochester's mysterious past suddenly surface, and Jane flees the house and the man who has brought her so much pain. Penniless and hungry, Jane is forced to sleep outdoors and beg for food. She is soon taken in by the Riverses who live in a manor nearby and St. John and Jane quickly become good friends.
St. John decides to travel to India as a missionary, and he urges Jane to accompany him—as his wife. Jane agrees to go to India but refuses to marry him because she does not love him. St. John pressures her to reconsider, and she nearly gives in. However, she realises that she cannot abandon forever the man she truly loves. Have love and security slipped through Jane's fingers forever, or can Mr. Rochester regain her trust and win her heart again?
Characters to Personalise
Jane Eyre - The protagonist and narrator of the novel, Jane is an intelligent, honest, plain-featured young girl forced to contend with oppression, inequality, and hardship. An orphan who spends her unhappy childhood under the care of her unsympathetic aunt, Sarah Gibson Reed. Although Jane is a neglected child, she is very resourceful. She is sent away to Lowood for her education and later becomes a teacher there. At Thornfield Hall, where she serves as a governess, she forms an attachment to Mr. Rochester, the wealthy owner of the estate. The relationship is a troubled one, and Jane finally leaves Rochester. After Jane seeks and finds "family," she slowly forms, through deprivation and poverty, a semblance of self-awareness and identity. She triumphs over various difficulties eventually returns to Mr. Rochester, who is then blind and disfigured, and they enjoy a quiet and happy married life.
Edward Fairfax Rochester - Jane’s employer and the master of Thornfield, Rochester is a wealthy, passionate man with a dark secret that provides much of the novel’s suspense. He has a gruff, self-important manner. He has lived an interesting life, filled with travel and adventure. He appears quite worldly, especially to the inexperienced Jane. His attitude towards Jane is at first vague and questionable. He then grows affectionate with her; finally, he treats her with the respect she deserves. His problems are partly the result of his own recklessness, but he is a sympathetic figure because he has suffered for so long as a result of his early marriage to Bertha.
St. John Rivers - Along with his sisters, Mary and Diana, St. John serves as Jane’s benefactor after she runs away from Thornfield, giving her food and shelter. The minister at Morton, St. John is cold, reserved, and often controlling in his interactions with others. He has a generous impulse towards the poor, but Jane suspects that he does not perform his work with much real feeling. He wants to marry Jane, but she rejects him.
Mrs Reed - Mrs. Reed is Jane’s cruel aunt, who raises her at Gateshead Hall until Jane is sent away to school at age ten. Later in her life, Jane attempts reconciliation with her aunt, but the old woman continues to resent her because her husband had always loved Jane more than his own children.