A not-so-all-encompassing explanation of the masterpiece plot by a fan.
The novel Jane Eyre begins with a child- a little girl about to embark on the journey of her life. Actually, no. She is Jane Eyre- orphan, scared, abused and alone. After a well-deserved and heavily applauded (on my end) sass to her shoddy aunt, [I am glad you are no relation of mine. I will never call you aunt again as long as I live… I will tell anybody who asks me questions this exact tale. People think you a good woman, but you are bad, heard-hearted. You are deceitful. -Charlotte Bronte] Jane is shipped off to Lowood, foreboding and chilly school for girls.
Once a bad bout of typhus nearly wipes out the entire school, Jane loses her new-found, best friend to an entirely different and coincidental ailment. Jane lives her life until age 18 at the school, progressing from student to teacher. She is, however, understandably antsy and aching to experience life outside of the confines she keeps herself in. After a short journey, she resolves to extend her metaphorical branches [The charm of adventure sweetens that sensation, the glow of pride warms it: but then the throb of fear disturbs it, and fear with me became pre-dominant. -Charlotte Bronte] And she advertises, quickly hired to be governess for Thornfield Hall (a large, vast and beautiful yet still lonely manor owned by the brooding and fastidious Mr. Rochester).
After several encounters with the late and sudden Rochester, Jane quickly finds herself falling in love, though she convinces herself she is of no consequence to the man she dreams of. [To herself: You gifted with the power of pleasing him? You of importance to him in any way? Go! Your folly sickens me. -Charlotte Bronte] Despite her masochism, however, it is obvious to the reader that Mr. Rochester’s affections lie solely upon our heroine. [‘Good-night my-’ He stopped, bit his lip, and abruptly left me. -Charlotte Bronte] (In response to this line I immediately scribbled in my warn out, beat up copy of the novel: “Oh my lord, this man is lovely”). Also see: [‘Cold? Yes- and standing in a pool! Go, then, Jane; go!’ But still he retained my hand, and I could not free it.] (Also note that I penned a comment on the divine likeness of Rochester and Darcy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice- also extremely recommended as is the one I am summarizing).
To finish off, I will quickly detail the rest of the book. Because of Jane’s obstinacy, it takes quite some time for our little governess to realize Mr. Rochester’s affections. Once she does, the text becomes euphoric (as it is supposed to be a direct line to Jane Eyre’s thoughts) [I gladly advanced… it seemed natural: it seemed genial to be so well loved, so caressed by him -Charlotte Bronte]. And so, the wedding is planned, almost completed and finally interrupted by an angel of death and sadness. No, instead we will call him Mason, brother of -GASP!- Mr. Rochester’s wife! Turns out he’s had some illegitimate crazy bitch lady living in his attic the entire time. (Yes, this is the same crazy lady who’s laughter ominously echos throughout the halls of Thornfield). So the wedding is called off and after a heartbreaking and earth shattering plea from our sweet Rochester [‘You will not come? You will not be my comforter, my rescuer? My deep love, my wild woe, my frantic prayer, are all nothing to you? Remember you leave me here in anguish. Oh Jane! my hope- my love- my life’ broke in anguish from his lips. Then came a deep, strong sob -Charlotte Bronte] (Yes, I did tear up here. And the entire scene is riddled with tearjerkers like this.) Jane But leaves and after a close call with death, comes to live with whom she will later find out are her cousins! Coincidence is riddled throughout this novel, I tell you. Or irony, depending on your view.
At long last, she finds that upon the death of her until recently unknown uncle she has come into quite a hefty sum of money. She is miraculously set for life! With this lift from her shoulders, she ventures back to Thornfield to find the love of her life only to realize the hall has burned down due to crazy wife’s insane rage. In an attempt to save crazy wife, all in vain as she dies anyway, the valiant Rochester loses his eyesight and an arm, gains grotesque scarring and falls into depression. Jane, in a last attempt at happiness finds Mr. Rochester, assures him of her love [All my heart is yours, sir: It belongs to you; and with you it will remain], and the two live an incredibly happy life with a child and friends as well as new family.
This is the reason I am so in love with this book: nineteenth century literature is beautiful in its complexity and in its simplicity. Bronte writes with an ardent passion and attention to detail that is missed greatly in modern novels.
Post script: I am in love with every character she writes.
Post post script: (Even the antagonists)
My favorite fan art (courtesy of Variations on deviantART- link to her profile below:)
March 7, 2011
Everything you need to know about Jane Eyre-