Summary

The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë begins when Jane is ten, living at Gateshead Hall, after being taken in by her aunt, Mrs Reed. Jane is mistreated by her aunt and three cousins, who see her as a dependent, and not family. After being punished for a fight her cousin John started, Jane is locked in the room where her uncle Reed died. Terrified because she believes she sees his ghost, she begs to be let free and eventually faints of fear. 

Mrs Reed decides to send Jane away to a boarding school, Lowood Institute. At Lowood, Jane lives in harsh conditions but befriends a girl called Helen Burns, who teaches Jane how to trust in God and endure hardships. Jane also takes to the kind superintendent, Miss Temple. The terrible conditions at Lowood cause disease to break out and half the students, including Helen, die. Afterwards, Brocklehurst, the manager of Lowood, who enforced the harsh conditions as a means to teach the students humility, is replaced and the school improves. Jane graduates and works as a teacher at the school for two years. 

After Miss Temple leaves Lowood, Jane wishes to leave too and advertises for the position of private governess. She is hired to teach ten-year-old Adèle at Thornfield. There Jane meets Rochester, the master of Thornfield, who took Adèle in as his ward after her mother, who was Rochester’s mistress, had abandoned her. 

Strange things sometimes happen at Thornfield. Jane often hears maniacal laughter coming from the third floor, and someone sets Rochester’s bed curtains on fire in the middle of the night. Jane saves Rochester’s life, and he blames a servant, Grace Poole, for the incident, but Grace is not fired or punished.

Jane does not see Rochester after the incident, as he leaves for a party at a nearby estate for several days. She starts missing him and realizes she has ...

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