Boekverslag : Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre
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Jane Eyre

Information about the author

Charlotte Brontë was born in 1816 at Thornton in Yorkshire as a daughter of an Irish preacher. After the death of her mother her two sisters took care of her. She spent much time of her life in the small moorland town of Haworth. She was a teacher and she also worked as a governess. She was very intimate with her sisters, who were also writers. Jane Eyre is the most famous book of Charlotte Brontë. Other novels she wrote were The Professor, Shirley (1849) and Villette (1853). The theme for Jane Eyre is the achievement of happiness and independence of a woman. Charlotte Brontë died in 1855

Narrative Technique

The story is told in the first person by the main character. Jane Eyre writes about her life. The book begins when she was about ten years old. When the story ends she is about 19 or 20 years old.


Jane Eyre is the main character because the story tells her life. An other important character is Mr Rochester. Less important characters are Bessie, Miss Temple, Mrs Fairfax etc. Bessie was the nurse at Gateshead Hall were Jane was brought up until she was ten years old. Bessie is a nice person but sometimes she is sulky. Miss Temple was the superintendent of Lowood Institution where Jane went after her miserable life at Gateshead Hall. She is a warm and nice person caring for the girls at Lowood. The first day Jane was at Lowood the food was bad, Miss Temple gave all the children an extra piece of bread. Mrs Fairfax was the housekeeper of Thornfield Hall, the house were Jane worked as a governess after she left Lowood. Mrs Fairfax is a friendly old woman who never complains about her work. She just did her work. Mr Rochester is a very important person in this story because Thornfield Hall is his property and at the end of the story Jane becomes his wife. Only Jane's thoughts are important in this story because she is telling about herself, about her life at Gateshead Hall, Lowood, Thornfield Hall and March End. Jane character doesn't change in the story, she remains herself. The character are presented though speech and dialogue and by Jane's memories and thoughts and feelings.


The story takes place in the first half of the 19th century in England and is also written in that time. The time where the story takes place is very important for this story because traditions were very strong and convention played a crucial role in it.


Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall and she and the master of the house fall in love with eachother. He asks her to marry him. During the wedding it appears that Mr Rochester already has a wife who is insane and kept in a secret place at Thornfield Hall. Jane runs away from Thornfield Hall. Finally she arrives at a small house where she is taken care of by the inhabitants who later in the story appear to be her relatives. One of them, a young clergyman asks her to be his wife. He wants to take her to India with him. His strong character almost makes her yield, but she hears the voice of Mr Rochester calling her name at that very moment and she decides to find out about him. When she arrives at Thornfield Hall she finds it burnt down. She learns that Mr Rochester's wife has set fire to the house. She fell from the roof and died instantly and Mr Rocherster had become blind and lost his right hand by trying to save her. Jane and Mr Rochester did marry at the end.


Jane didn't want to live with Mr Rochester unmarried as a mistress. It an universal theme because it's a struggle of conscience.


The story is divided in 4 parts: her childhood at Lowood, her stay at Thornfield Hall as a governess, her life with her cousins and her return to Mr Rochester. The story begins with her short life at Gateshead Hall. When you begin to read you want to know the development of Jane's character and what will become of her. The climax of the story is the moment when she is emotionally beaten down by St John Rivers and she hears Mr Rochester's voice. The story ends logically by the marriage of Jane and Mr Rochester. Only Mr Rochester tells flashbacks about his life. The forechadowing of the fire at Thornfield Hall was the night that Mr Rochesters bed was set on fire by his wife. There is much suspense in the story because Jane hears strange sounds and laughter in the night and there is mysterious person in the house who sets fire to Mr Rochesters bed and hurts a guest by biting and stabbing him and later she tears Jane's weddingveil.

Language and Style

The Author uses elaborate English because it is written in the 19th century. There is little dialect in the story. The writer sometimes uses metaphors such as `The lover who sees his beloved sleeping under a tree and when he comes near, he finds out that she is dead. In the same way Jane expects to see a beautiful house but she sees a black ruin. The language used is suitable for the characters because the story playes in England.

Genre/ Literary period

It's a psychological novel because it describes the thoughts of the main character. It's also a novel of suspense because there is a secret in the house. This novel belongs to the Romantic period, the first half of the 19th century.

Title explaination

The title is the name of the main character.

Personel Judgement

Which character of the story did you especially like?

Jane, because she was very emancipated, even in that time. Her education at Lowood made her striktly and tidy. Her believes about marriage were also created there. She couldn't give in to Mr Rochesters love when she heard that he was already married.

Which character of the story did you especially dislike?

St John Rivers, because he didn't care for the feelings of other people.

What was your favourite part of the story?

The part that she returned to Mr Rochester and that he believed he was in a dream. Jane however convinced him it wasn't a dream. That part was very emotionally because Mr Rochester feared that Jane didn't love him anymore because of the loss of his eye and his right hand. Jane loved him even more because now she could take care of him.


The story begins when Jane is 10. Her parents are dead and she has been taken care of by her aunt at Gateshead Hall. There she lives a miserable life with her cousin John who bully's her. After a fight with John she is put in the room where her uncle died. There she has a nightmare. Late at night she is taken back to her room by Bessie, the nurse. She isn't well so Bessie call's the apothecary. To him Jane says that she wants to go to school. For weeks nothing happens. At one day Mr Brocklehurst arrives. He is the head of Lowood Institute. Jane go's to Lowood and meets Helen, a very intelligent child. Helen dies of tuberculosis. Many other children die at the same time of typhus, because of the bad food. Mr Brocklehurst is degraded to the post of treasurer and other people are caring for the children.

When jane is 18 she wants to go away. She is a teacher now and she places an advertisement as a governess. She gets one reply, from Mrs Fairfax at Thornfield Hall.

Jane becomes a governess there for Adele a little orphan and ward of Mr Rochester, the master of the house. Mr Rochester isn't home and there are strange things going on in the house. Many days pass away. One day when Jane goes out to the village to post a letter, she meets a horseman with his dog.

The horse falls and the man is hurt and Jane helps him on his feet. When she is back home she recognises the dog and understands that the horseman is Mr Rochester.

She meets Mr Rochester many times and they have interesting conversations and she starts to like him very much, in spite of his sarcastic and authoritarian manners. He tells her much about his journeys. Sometimes she hears strange laughter in the night coming from the third floor. One night hears a noise and finds out that Mr Rochesters bed is on fire. She puts out the fire and Mr Rochester expresses his gratitude in an emotional way. Jane finds herself in love with Mr Rochester. After that event Mr Rochester invites a lot of guests. One of the guests is Miss Blanche Ingram, a very beautiful woman who tries to secure Mr Rochester which gives great pain to Jane. Jane thinks that Mr Rochester wants to marry Blanche Ingram. One day a stranger arrives, a Mr Mason from Spanishtown, Jamaica. Mr Rochester seems to be very upset by his arrival. In the night Jane hears terrible screaming from the third floor. Mr Rochester asks her to help him. He brings her to the third floor where she sees Mr Mason badly wounded and bleeding. All the time Jane thinks that the laughter and the attack on Mr Mason is the work of Grace Poole, a servant, and Mr Rochester lets her also believe that.

In the morning Jane is visited by a servant from her aunt who wants to see her on dyingbed. Jane gets permission to visit her. Her aunt gives her a letter written 3 years ago by her uncle John Eyre in which he wants to adopt Jane and make her his heir. After the funeral Jane returns to Thornfield Hall. The guests are all gone and Mr Rochester asks her to be his wife. During the wedding in the church, Mr Mason appears and tells the priest that Mr Rochester is already married to his sister and that she lives at Thornfield Hall. Mr Rochester shows his wife to the audience. His wife is insane and behaves like a wild beast, and he has been married to her for 15 years. Jane has great pity with him but she decides to go away because she can't live with Mr Rochester as his mistress. She sneaks away in the night with little money and takes a carriage to the north of England and then she has no money left. After many days of starvation she is taken care of by a young clergyman, St. John Rivers and his two sisters Diana and Mary. After many weeks she wants to pick up her life and becomes a village teacher. Mary and Diana become both governesses. The school is a succes thanks to Jane. One day Mr Rivers arrives and wants to tell Jane something. He tells her that he is her cousin and that she has inherited a fortune from her deceased uncle John. Jane wants to share it with her newfound relatives so that they need no longer be governesses and come home to Moor house. For some months they all live quietly together. St. John Rivers, a cold man, wants Jane to be his wife. Not for love but he wants her to take to India, where he will be a missionary. Jane refuses, she only wants to go unmarried because she cannot love him. One evening St. John almost succeeds in his attempts to persuade Jane, but suddenly she hears Mr Rochesters voice calling her name. Immediately she knows what to do and the next day she travels to Thornfield Hall to find out what has become of Mr Rochester. She finds the house burnt down. After talking to the host of the inn she hears that Mrs Rochester had set fire to the house several months ago. She fell from the roof and died instantly and Mr Rochester had become blind and lost his right hand by trying to save her. She finds Mr Rochester in an old manor and after some days they marry. After two years Mr Rochester regained the sight in his right eye.
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