Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, takes place in England around the nineteenth century. It is about a young girl named Jane who starts her life out living in Gateshead with her so called aunt, Mrs. Reed, and her cousins. The main reason why Jane lives with them is due to her parents charity. Throughout her childhood, Jane is treated poorly by the Reed family and puts up with it for many years. Finally, one day Jane speaks up which ends in her being sent to the “red-room,” which is where Mr. Reed died. Jane states, “no severe or prolonged bodily illness followed this incident of the red-room: it only gave my nerves a shock, of which I feel reverberation to this day” ( Bronte 22). The room made people nervous and sometimes made them feel things. Jane feels her uncle’s presence in the room, and thinks that he is out for revenge on Mrs. Reed for treating Jane unlike her own children. Finally Jane gets the right to go to school at Lowood; however, the school is for orphans, requires no money to go there, and does not allow the students to groom at times. Jane’s aunt tells the school how “bad” of a kid she is and after a little Mr. Brocklehurt tells the school about Jane’s so called lying issues she has. This made everyone shun her in school. Jane makes a friend, Helen, who along with her teacher, Miss Temple, assist Jane and make her life much easier to endure. Soon after life for the students gets easy, it gets hard again but to an illness that overtakes more than half the children in the school. After school, Jane attends a position in Thornfield. Before she parts for her new position, she is told that her father’s brother, John Eyre, came looking for Jane. Once she arrives at Thornfield, she feels very welcomed and meets the owner Mr. Rochester. Rochester and Jane seem to get very close throughout the novel. He stays awake one day telling Jane about his past. Later on, Jane saves his life from a burning room. After this, she feels something for Rochester. Jane says, “he made me love him without looking at me”(Bronte 177). Also, Jane gets suspicious of Grace Poole, who works at Thornfield. Jane later returns to Gateshead where she learns that her father’s brother had wanted to adopt her three years ago. Once she returns to Thornfield, Rochester asks her to marry him and he later on explains many significant situations that occur before their wedding comes. As the wedding day arrives, Jane finds out that Rochester is married still to Mrs. Mason, who is locked up and is taken care of by Grace Poole due to her becoming insane. This ends up making Jane leave town and live at the River families house who help her out. She lands a job as a teacher and becomes infatuated with St. John and Rosamond’s relationship. St. John figures out that Jane is really Jane Eyre and he tells her about a large sum of money that was left behind for her from her uncle. Jane ends up allowing St. John to direct almost their whole life, and asks her to marry him, but she refuses and moves back to Thornfield. She arrives at the place to find out that it has been burned down by Mrs. Mason. Rochester and Jane end up finding each other and he proposes again to Jane. They end up marrying and live as equals. Jane does some good deeds for people after their marriage. The fire had made Rochester blind, which Jane helps him to cope with. Later on, Jane and Rochester end up making a family of their own. The novel shows the way social class was split up during the nineteenth century. Also, the book shows how women were seen still inferior to men. St. John felt that he was greater than Jane, and ended up ruling her life. The novel mostly revolves around how people fit in with society related to their gender, religion and wealth.
1) How would you feel if you were treated poorly by a family that you did not choose to be raised by?
2)Would you want to live as an orphan, like Jane,atleast for a day to see what it is like? If so what do you think a true American orphanage looks like and treats children like?
3)Jane loves Rochester, but throughout the novel she seems to run away from her love. What would you do if you were about to marry someone and you find out they are already married, yet they say that there is nothing to worry about?
4) Many people in America treat others poorly, like how Jane was treated by the Reed family. What is there for us to do to help out the ones being teated badly?
5)Today do you feel like people are still put into social classes due to their wealth, religion, or gender? If so give an example.