Short summary - Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

British literature summaries -

Short summary - Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre lost her parents early and now lived with her aunt, Mrs. Reed. Her life was not sugar. The fact is that Mrs. Reed was not her aunt, but only the widow of her mother’s brother. She held a very low opinion about the girl’s parents, and how could it be otherwise, because Jane’s mother, coming from a good family, married a priest who didn’t have a penny for his soul. From her father’s side, said Jane, she didn’t have any relatives, and if they did, they were not gentlemen - they were poor and poorly educated people, so it was not worth talking about them.

The homeworkers — Mrs. Reed herself, her children John, Eliza and Georgiana, and even the servant — all made it clear to the orphan every hour that she was not like everyone else who kept her here only with great mercy. Unanimously, everyone considered Jane an evil, deceitful, spoiled girl, which was pure untruth. On the contrary, young Reeds were evil and deceitful, who (especially John) loved to harass Jane, engage in quarrels with her, and then expose her to blame.

Once, after one of such quarrels, which ended in a brawl with John, Jane was locked up as a punishment in the Red Room, the most mysterious and terrible in Gateshead Hall - Mr. Reed let out his last breath. Out of fear of seeing his ghost, the poor girl lost consciousness, and afterwards she developed a fever, from which she could not recover for a long time.

Unwilling to mess with a painful and such a bad girl, Mrs. Reed decided that it was time to identify Jane at school.

The school, which became Jane's home for many years, was called Lovud and was an unpleasant place, and upon closer inspection it turned out to be an orphanage. But Jane did not have a warm home in the past, and therefore she did not worry too much, finding herself in this gloomy and cold place. The girls here wore the same dresses and the same hairstyles, everything was done on a call, the food was nasty and meager, the teachers were rude and soulless, the pupils clogged, dull and embittered.

Among the teachers, the exception was the director Miss Temple: she had enough warmth in her soul to give him disadvantaged girls. Between the pupils, too, there was one unlike the others, and Jane became very friendly with her. This girl's name was Helen Burns. During the months of friendship with Helen Jane, she learned and understood a lot, and most importantly, God is not a formidable warden for bad children, but a loving Father in heaven.

Jane Eyre spent eight years in Lovud: six as a pupil, two as a teacher.

One fine day, eighteen-year-old Jane suddenly with her whole being realized that she could no longer remain in Lovud. She saw the only way to escape from school - to find a governess's place, Jane advertised in the newspaper and some time later received an attractive invitation to the Thornfield estate.

In Thornfield, she was met by a disguised elderly lady, Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper, who explained to Jane that she would become Miss Adele, the ward of the owner of the estate of Mr. Edward Rochester (as Jane, the daughter of Rochester’s mistress, the French singer who first left her lover and later found out Adele). Mr. Rochester himself was in Thornfield only with rare sudden visits, spending most of his time somewhere on the continent.

Thornfield's atmosphere didn’t compare with the one in which Jane had spent the previous eight years. Everything here promised her a pleasant, life without winds, despite the fact that some kind of secret was apparently hiding in the house: sometimes strange things happened at night, inhuman laughter was heard ... Nevertheless, at times the girl was overcome by a feeling of longing and loneliness. Finally, as always unexpectedly, Mr. Rochester showed up at Thornfield. Strongly knocked down, broad-shouldered, dark-skinned, with severe, irregular facial features, he was by no means handsome, which, at heart, pleased Jane, confident that no handsome man would ever have honored her with a gray mouse and a bit of attention. Between Jane and Rochester, a deep mutual sympathy arose almost immediately, which they both carefully concealed. she is for cool respect

Jane had to endure the pangs of jealousy, although she herself did not admit it when Rochester, of all the secular ladies who visited Thornfield, began to give emphasized preference to a certain Miss Blanche, a beauty, unnatural, according to Jane, to the core. They even started talking about the imminent wedding.

Jane was focused on sad thoughts about where to go when Rochester brought her young wife to the house and Adele was sent to school. But then, unexpectedly, Edward Rochester revealed his feelings and made an offer not to Blanche, but to her, Jane. Jane joyfully agreed, thanking God, for she had long loved Edward with all her soul. They decided to play the wedding in a month.

For pleasant troubles, this month flew by like one day. And then Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester are standing in front of the altar. The priest was already about to declare them husband and wife, when suddenly a man stepped into the middle of the church and declared that the marriage could not be concluded, since Rochester already has a wife. Killed on the spot, he did not argue. Everyone left the church in dismay.

To justify himself, Edward revealed the failed Mrs. Rochester so carefully guarded secret of his life.

In his youth, he found himself in a very difficult financial situation because his father bequeathed to his elder brother in order to avoid fragmentation of possessions. Not wanting, however, to leave his youngest son poor, he married Edward, then still an inexperienced youngster, a rich bride from the West Indies. At the same time, they concealed from Edward that Berta had insane and drunken drunkards in the family. After the wedding, bad heredity was not slow to affect it; very soon she completely lost her human form, turning into a soulless evil animal. He had no choice but to hide Bert under reliable supervision in his family nest - and Edward's father and brother had died by this time - and he himself would live the life of a young wealthy bachelor. This is his wife’s laughter at night in Thornfield, it’s her, breaking out of the bolt,

Jane could not be his wife, but Rochester begged her to stay with him, because they loved each other ... Jane was adamant: she should leave Thornfield as soon as possible so as not to succumb to the temptation.

Early in the morning, almost completely without money and luggage, she got on the stagecoach, heading north, and drove off without knowing where. Two days later, the coachman dropped off Jane at a crossroads among the vast wastelands, as she had no money to move on.

The poor thing miraculously did not die of hunger and cold, wandering through unfamiliar wild places. She held on to her last strength, when they left her, fell unconscious at the door of the house, into which the cautious servant would not let her in.

Jane was picked up by a local priest, St. John Rivers, who lived in this house with his two sisters, Diana and Mary. They were kind, beautiful, educated people. Jane immediately liked them, and she liked them, however, out of caution, the girl was called not a real, but a fictitious name and did not begin to talk about her past.

Saint John was the exact opposite of Rochester: it was a tall blond with the figure and face of Apollo; extraordinary inspiration and determination shone in his eyes. Rosamund was in love with St. John, the beautiful daughter of the richest man in the area. He also had a strong feeling for her, which, however, he persecuted in every possible way from himself, considering it low and unworthy of his high destiny - to bring the light of the Gospel to the heathens who were in darkness. Saint John was going to go as a missionary to India, but before that he needed to acquire a companion and assistant in the feat of life. Jane, in his opinion, was the best suited for this role, and St. John asked her to become his wife. About love, which Jane knew and understood, there was no question here, and therefore she resolutely refused the young priest, at the same time expressing readiness to follow him as a sister and assistant. This option was unacceptable for the clergyman.

Jane with great pleasure gave all her strength to teaching in a rural school, opened with the help of St. John with the money of local wealthy people. One fine day, a priest came to her after class and began to set out a story ... of her own life! Jane was greatly perplexed, but the story that followed went on to put everything in its unexpected places. Accidentally learning the real name of Jane, St. John suspected something: he would have, because it coincided with the name of his late parent. He made inquiries and made sure that Jane’s father was their sibling with Mary and Diana of his mother, who had a second brother, John Eyre, who had become rich in Madeira and who had tried unsuccessfully several years ago to track down his niece, Jane Eyre. Having died, it was to her that he bequeathed his entire fortune - as many as twenty thousand pounds. So overnight Jane became wealthy and acquired two cute cousins and a cousin. By her generosity, she violated the will of the late uncle and insisted that the fabulous inheritance be divided equally between nephews.


No matter how well she lived with her newfound relatives, no matter how much she loved her school, one person owned her thoughts, and therefore, before entering a new era in her life, Jane could not help but visit Thornfield. How astonished she was when, instead of a stately home, she looked at the burnt ruins. Jane turned to the village innkeeper with questions, and he said that the cause of the fire was the crazy wife of Rochester, who died in the flame. Rochester tried to save her, but he himself was crushed by a collapsed roof; as a result, he lost his right hand and was completely blind. Now the owner of Thornfield lived in his other estate nearby. There, wasting no time, and hurried Jane.

Physically, Edward did not pass at all for the year that has passed since the day Jane disappeared, but on his face lay a deep imprint of the suffering suffered. Jane joyfully became the eyes and hands of the person dearest to her, with whom she was inseparable from now on.

Some time passed, and gentle friends decided to become husband and wife. Two years after marrying Edward Rochester, his vision began to return; it only added happiness to an already happy couple. Diana and Mary, too, happily married, and only St. John was destined in severe solitude to perform the feat of spiritual enlightenment of the Gentiles.