Study Guide

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre Summary

Jane Eyre Summary Video

Jane Eyre is the story of a young, orphaned girl (shockingly, she’s named Jane Eyre) who lives with her aunt and cousins, the Reeds, at Gateshead Hall. Like all nineteenth-century orphans, her situation pretty much sucks.

Mrs. Reed hates Jane and allows her son John to torment the girl. Even the servants are constantly reminding Jane that she’s poor and worthless. At the tender age of ten, Jane rises up against this treatment and tells them all exactly what she thinks of them. (We wish we could’ve been there to hear it!) She’s punished by being locked in "the red room," the bedroom where her uncle died, and she has a hysterical fit when she thinks his ghost is appearing. After this, nobody knows what to do with her, so they send her away to a religious boarding school for orphans—Lowood Institute.

At Lowood, which is run by the hypocritical ogre Mr. Brocklehurst, the students never have enough to eat or warm clothes. However, Jane finds a pious friend, Helen Burns, and a sympathetic teacher, Miss Temple. Under their influence, she becomes an excellent student, learning all the little bits and pieces of culture that made up a lady’s education in Victorian England: French, piano-playing, singing, and drawing.

Unfortunately, an epidemic of typhus breaks out at the school, and Helen dies—but of consumption, not typhus. (We always knew she’d be a martyr.) Jane remains at Lowood as a student until she’s sixteen, and then as a teacher until she’s eighteen. When Miss Temple leaves the school to get married, Jane gets a case of wanderlust and arranges to leave the school and become a governess.

The governess job that Jane accepts is to tutor a little French girl, Adèle Varens, at a country house called Thornfield. Jane goes there thinking that she’ll be working for a woman named Mrs. Fairfax, but Mrs. Fairfax is just the housekeeper; the owner of the house is the mysterious Mr. Rochester, and he's Adèle's guardian, although we’re not sure whether she’s his daughter. Jane likes Thornfield, although not the third floor, where a strange servant named Grace Poole works alone and Jane can hear eerie laughter coming from a locked room.

One evening when Jane’s out for a walk, she meets a mysterious man when his horse slips and he falls—of course, this is Mr. Rochester. Jane and Rochester are immediately interested in each other. She likes the fact that he’s craggy, dark, and rough-looking instead of smooth and classically handsome. She also likes his abrupt, almost rude manners, which she thinks are easier to handle than polite flattery. He likes her unusual strength and spirit and seems to find her almost unworldly; he’s always comparing her to a fairy or an elf or a sprite.

Rochester quickly learns that he can rely on Jane in a crisis—one evening, Jane finds Rochester asleep in his bed with the curtains and his bedclothes on fire, and she puts out the flames and rescues him. Jane and Rochester have fascinating conversations in the evenings and everything seems to be going really well… until Rochester invites a bunch of his rich friends to stay at Thornfield, including the beautiful Blanche Ingram. Rochester lets Blanche flirt with him constantly in front of Jane to make her jealous and encourages rumors that he’s engaged to Blanche. Don't worry, though—it's really only Jane he wants.

During the weeks-long house party, a man named Richard Mason shows up, and Rochester seems afraid of him. At night, Mason sneaks up to the third floor and somehow gets stabbed and bitten (ew). Rochester asks Jane to tend Richard Mason's wounds secretly while he fetches the doctor. The next morning before the guests find out what happened, Rochester sneaks Mason out of the house.

Before Jane can discover more about the mysterious situation, she gets a message that her Aunt Reed is very sick and is asking for her. Jane, forgiving Mrs. Reed for mistreating her when she was a child, goes back to take care of her dying aunt. When Jane returns to Thornfield, Blanche and her friends are gone, and Jane realizes how attached she is to Mr. Rochester. Although he lets her think for a little longer that he’s going to marry Blanche, eventually Rochester stops teasing Jane and proposes to her. She blissfully accepts.

Everything seems to be going great... until we notice that there’s still a third of the book left. That means something bad is about to happen.

It's the day of Jane and Rochester's wedding. It should be the happiest day of Jane's life, but during the church ceremony two men show up claiming that Rochester is already married. Dum dum dummm. Rochester admits that he is married to another woman, but tries to justify his attempt to marry Jane by taking them all to see his wife.

Mrs. Rochester is Bertha Mason, the "madwoman in the attic" who tried to burn Rochester to death in his bed, stabbed and bit her own brother (Richard Mason), and who’s been doing other creepy things at night. Rochester was tricked into marrying Bertha fifteen years ago in Jamaica by his father, who wanted him to marry for money and didn't tell him that insanity ran in Bertha’s family. Rochester tried to live with Bertha as husband and wife, but she was too horrible, so he locked her up at Thornfield with a nursemaid, Grace Poole.

Meanwhile, he traveled around Europe for ten years trying to forget Bertha and keeping various mistresses. Adèle Varens (Jane's student) is the daughter of one of these mistresses, though she may not be Rochester’s daughter. Eventually he got tired of this lifestyle, came home to England, and fell in love with Jane.

After explaining all this, Rochester claims that he’s not really married because his relationship with Bertha isn’t a real marriage. The main problem is that he can’t divorce her (because it was pretty tough to get a divorce at all in the Victorian period, and Bertha’s behavior isn’t grounds for a divorce, since she’s mentally ill and therefore not responsible for her actions). He wants Jane to go and live with him in France, where they can pretend to be a married couple and act like husband and wife. Jane refuses to be his next mistress and runs away before she’s tempted to agree.

Jane travels in a random direction away from Thornfield. Having no money, she almost starves to death before being taken in by the Rivers family, who live at Moor House near a town called Morton. The Rivers siblings—Diana, Mary, and St. John—are about Jane’s age and well-educated, but somewhat poor. They take whole-heartedly to Jane, who has taken the pseudonym "Jane Elliott" so that Mr. Rochester can’t find her. Jane wants to earn her keep, so St. John arranges for her to become the teacher in a village girls’ school.

When Jane’s uncle Mr. Eyre dies and leaves his fortune to his niece, it turns out that the Rivers siblings are actually Jane’s cousins, and she shares her inheritance with the other three. (Now she’s Jane Heir, hey-o.)

St. John, who is a super-intense clergyman, wants to be more than Jane’s cousin (back when that wasn't considered gross). He admires Jane’s work ethic and asks her to marry him (how un-romantic), learn Hindustani, and go with him to India on a long-term missionary trip. Jane is tempted because she thinks she’d be good at it and that it would be an interesting life. Still, she refuses because she knows she doesn’t love St. John. To top it off, St. John actually loves a different a girl named Rosamond Oliver, but he won’t let himself admit it because he thinks she would make a bad wife for a missionary.

Jane offers to go to India with him, but just as his cousin and co-worker, not as his wife. St. John won't give up and keeps pressuring Jane to marry him. Just as she’s about to give in, she supernaturally hears Mr. Rochester’s voice calling her name from somewhere far away.

The next morning, Jane leaves Moor House and goes back to Thornfield to find out what’s going on with Mr. Rochester. She finds out that Mr. Rochester searched for her everywhere and, when he couldn’t find her, sent everyone else away from the house and shut himself up alone. After this, Bertha set the house on fire one night and burned it to the ground. Rochester rescued all the servants and tried to save Bertha, too, but she committed suicide and he was injured. Now Rochester has lost an eye and a hand and is blind in the remaining eye.

Jane goes to Mr. Rochester and offers to take care of him as his nurse or housekeeper. What she really hopes is that he'll ask her to marry him—and he does. They have a quiet wedding, and after two years of marriage Rochester gradually gets his sight back. St. John Rivers, meanwhile, goes to India alone and works himself to death there over the course of several years.

  • Volume 1, Chapter 1

    • Jane Eyre begins with the adult Jane looking back at her life. She jumps into the story at a moment in her childhood when she’s ten years old.
    • On this particular day, Jane and her cousins John, Eliza, and Georgiana aren’t going to do something: they’re not going to take a walk, because it’s too wet. Jane is relieved; she hates walks, because it’s depressing to realize that she’s not as physically hardy as her cousins.
    • Jane’s cousins are "clustered round their mama" (1.1.3), but Jane’s not allowed to join them, because her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and her nursemaid, Bessie, claim that she’s been naughty. Jane has no idea what she’s supposed to have done.
    • Jane goes into the breakfast room, climbs up into the window seat, pulls the red velvet curtains around her (apparently the Reeds are pretty rich), and reads Bewick’s History of British Birds, which is sort of like an illustrated field guide. She likes the pictures and the descriptions of icy landscapes—maybe this penchant for arctic places is supposed to tell us something about her?
    • Jane’s cousin, John Reed, goes looking for her and, with the help of his sister Eliza, finds her in the window seat. We can tell that he’s seriously bad news.
    • Jane tells us a little bit about John Reed: he’s fourteen, big, a greedy eater, pampered by his mom, doesn’t really like his family, and especially hates Jane. He is, basically, a big fat bully.
    • After a long pause, John smacks Jane really hard. He makes her show him which book she was reading, and then lords it over her that she’s dependent on his family and tells her she can’t read his books. Then he throws the book at her hard enough to knock her down, and she cuts her head on the door.
    • Jane jumps up and tells John off, calling him "wicked and cruel" and "like a murderer" or "like a slave driver" or "like the Roman emperors" (1.1.33). He grabs her and they start fighting. Jane’s not sure what she does, but she must hurt him somehow because she makes John holler.
    • Eliza and Georgiana go and get their mother, Mrs. Reed, and the nursemaid Bessie, like the little tattletales they are.
    • Jane’s blamed for the fight, and Mrs. Reed orders that she be locked in "the red room" …that doesn’t sound sinister or anything, right?
  • Volume 1, Chapter 2

    • The nursemaid, Bessie, and Mrs. Reed’s lady’s-maid, Miss Abbot, physically drag Jane to the red room; she’s fighting them the whole way, which, she tells us, is unusual for her, but she’s half-crazed.
    • Jane objects to John Reed being called her "master," and Miss Abbot tells Jane that she is "less than a servant" because she doesn’t even work or pay for her room and board. We think this is pretty harsh—after all, she’s ten, and the Reeds are rich.
    • Bessie and Abbot plunk Jane down on a stool; they threaten to tie her down, but she promises to stay in place.
    • The servants spend a few minutes reminding Jane again that she’s just a poor orphan, that she ought to be grateful to her aunt for taking her in, and so on. They even claim that God will strike her down if she keeps having tantrums, and then they leave and lock her in.
    • Jane tells us about the red room, which is a spare bedroom furnished in, you guessed it, red—red curtains, red carpet, red tablecloth, reddish wood (mahogany) furniture—although there are a few white things in it, too. It’s cold, quiet, and lonely, and… here’s the creepiest bit… it’s the room in which her uncle, Mr. Reed, died (of natural causes).
    • Jane gets up to make sure she’s locked in—yep, she is. Then she looks in the mirror, and the room looks even weirder in the mirror, especially because her reflection looks sort of like a ghost. Hint: this isn’t the last time that Jane herself will seem almost supernatural.
    • Jane thinks about how unfair her situation is—she’s bullied by her cousins, her aunt hates her for no reason, and even the servants are snotty to her. She knows that she’s the best behaved of the four children, but everyone dislikes her and indulges the others, and this unfairness really bothers her. Her keen ethical sense is awakening!
    • Jane the child, whom we’re following in the story, can’t understand why she’s being mistreated, but Jane the adult, who is telling the story (see "Narrator Point of View"), can. It’s not because she’s poor, but because she’s different than the Reeds—different in temperament. Maybe, she thinks, it’s also because Jane is only Mrs. Reed’s niece by marriage; she was related to Mr. Reed, but she and Mrs. Reed aren’t blood relatives.
    • It’s starting to get dark and the wind and rain are still raging outside—Jane’s beginning to freak out in this creepy red room.
    • Jane decides that if Mr. Reed were here now, he would be nicer to her than his widow and children are… but then she starts to worry that he might come back from the grave to try to comfort her, and that would be creepy.
    • Jane tries to calm down so that Mr. Reed’s ghost doesn’t appear to reassure her, but then she sees a weird streak of light. Where is it coming from? It’s not the moon. Is it a lantern? Maybe. Is it a ghost? Eeek! Jane screams. Well, actually, she "utter[s] a wild involuntary cry" (1.2.32), but you get the idea.
    • Bessie and Abbot come running and ask what’s the matter. Bessie seems sympathetic when Jane tells her that she thought she saw a ghost—she lets Jane hold her hand—but Abbot thinks that Jane is just trying to trick them into letting her out.
    • Next Mrs. Reed comes to see what all the noise was. Uh-oh. She’s mad that the servants didn’t obey her orders to leave Jane alone and, like Abbot, she thinks that Jane’s being manipulative.
    • Mrs. Reed punishes Jane with another hour alone in the red room, and as she leaves Jane faints.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 3

    • Jane wakes up, confused and disoriented. Someone is holding her gently; she’s never been held gently before.
    • She starts to realize where she is—in her own bed. Bessie and a gentleman are there, looking after her.
    • Jane’s glad to see the gentleman, because he’s not one of the Reeds. She looks at him closely and realizes that she knows him. It’s Mr. Lloyd, a local apothecary (sort of like a pharmacist—he can give out prescriptions and medicines, but he doesn’t have a doctor’s training).
    • Mr. Lloyd gives Bessie instructions about looking after Jane and says he’ll come back tomorrow, then leaves. Jane feels really depressed after he leaves; he’s much nicer to her than anyone else who lives at Gateshead (Mrs. Reed’s home).
    • Bessie offers to get Jane something to eat or drink and is generally really nice to her. Jane’s pretty confused by this kindness.
    • Bessie goes into another room, and Jane overhears her ask the housemaid, Sarah, to sleep in the nursery because she’s scared that Jane could die.
    • Sarah and Bessie come back to sleep in the nursery; Jane listens as they whisper about strange figures and visions that were seen around Jane earlier—something dressed in white, a black dog, lights, noises. They fall asleep, but Jane’s wide awake in terror.
    • Jane tells us that, even though she doesn’t get sick after this shock, her nerves never really recover. She blames Mrs. Reed, even though she knows that maybe she shouldn’t.
    • When Jane gets up the next day, she sits by the fire wrapped in a shawl; the Reeds have gone out somewhere, Abbot is sewing, and Bessie’s tidying up. Jane should be happy to be left alone for once, instead of bullied and tormented, but she can’t stop crying silently to herself.
    • Bessie brings Jane a treat—a tart, and on a beautiful china plate that Jane’s always liked. She can’t bring herself to eat it.
    • Next Bessie asks if Jane wants a book; she asks for Gulliver’s Travels, which she’s always loved (and thinks is nonfiction). But even reading can’t comfort her now; Gulliver seems lonely and beset by terrible dangers.
    • As she works, Bessie starts singing a song that Jane has always liked in the past. But this time—can you guess?—yep, it just sounds sad. We’re starting to wonder if Jane will ever enjoy anything again.
    • Mr. Lloyd comes to see how Jane is doing. She’s not sick, and he starts trying to figure out why she’s so miserable.
    • Bessie tells Mr. Lloyd things that make Jane sound babyish: that she’s crying because she didn’t get to go out in the carriage with everyone else, and that she was sick because she had a fall. Jane’s pretty indignant about these charges and denies them both—and explains that the "fall" was actually when John Reed knocked her down.
    • A bell rings and Bessie has to go have dinner with the other servants, so Mr. Lloyd is left alone with Jane.
    • Jane tells Mr. Lloyd about the ghost, and he finds that pretty silly.
    • Jane protests that she’s miserable for lots of other reasons: she doesn’t have any immediate family, Mrs. Reed and her son John are cruel to her, and she’s made to feel that she doesn’t have any right to live at Gateshead.
    • Mr. Lloyd starts asking about different ways Jane could leave Gateshead. Does she have any other family? She’s not sure, but she doesn’t think so, and she wouldn’t want to live with them if they were poor anyway. Could she go to school?
    • Jane thinks about school. She’s heard bad stuff about school from Bessie and John, but she doesn’t really trust either of them, and she is interested in learning to paint and sing and sew and read French and stuff—the things she knows young ladies get taught in school. Plus, she’d be able to get away from the Reeds.
    • Jane tells Mr. Lloyd that she does want to go to school, and he advises Mrs. Reed to send her to one.
    • Jane hears Abbot tell Bessie that Mrs. Reed will send Jane to school, if only to get rid of her. Jane also hears Abbot talk about her (Jane’s) own family: her dad was a poor clergyman (like a minister), her grandfather disinherited her mother for marrying him, and both of them (Jane’s mom and dad) died while taking care of sick people during a typhus outbreak. Well, at least now she knows where she comes from.
    • Bessie and Abbot agree that they would be able to feel sorry for Jane "if she were a nice, pretty child" (1.3.78) or "a beauty like Miss Georgiana" (1.3.79), but they can’t really feel bad for her because she’s unpleasant and ugly. We think they’re jerks, especially for saying this in front of Jane. Hollywood movies may not show it, but you don’t have to be stunningly gorgeous to suffer, you know.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 4

    • Jane is waiting patiently, convinced that Mrs. Reed will send her to school soon, even though she hasn’t said so.
    • Jane seems to be in more disgrace than usual: she has a smaller room, eats alone, and none of the Reed children are even speaking to her.
    • John tries to say something nasty to Jane, but she hits him on the nose and he runs crying to his mom. We can hardly believe that he’s fourteen.
    • This time, Mrs. Reed won’t listen to it, and tells him to leave Jane alone. She makes it sound like she’s being snobby, saying that her children won’t "associate with" Jane (1.4.3).
    • Jane says that the Reed children "are not fit to associate with" her anyway (1.4.5). Mrs. Reed freaks out and attacks Jane, who asks what Mr. Reed would say if he were still alive. Her aunt seems frightened by this, but not too frightened to box Jane’s ears. Bessie lectures Jane about being wicked.
    • Time passes. Christmas comes and goes and Jane doesn’t get any presents or any chance to participate in the festivities. Even Bessie leaves her alone, and so Jane has to sit in the dark and take care of her doll, which is the only thing she has to love. It’s pretty pathetic.
    • Jane-the-narrator (the older one, remember? See "Narrator Point of View") reminisces about Bessie: sometimes the nursemaid is kind to her or brings her treats, and she tells such great stories! She does have a bad temper and no real ideas of ethics or justice, but she’s all Jane has at Gateshead.
    • One day, things start to change. Jane paints us a picture of what’s happening on this particular day: it’s early in the morning; Eliza, who, we learn, loves money a little too much, is getting ready to go out and feed the hens she keeps so that she can sell the eggs; Georgiana is doing her hair in the mirror; Jane is tidying up as Bessie ordered.
    • From the window, Jane sees a carriage, but she isn’t really paying attention to it because she doesn’t think it will matter to her. She starts feeding a bird some of her breakfast on the window-sill.
    • Bessie comes bustling in, freaking out because Jane hasn’t washed yet and is red in the face from leaning out into the cold air. She cleans Jane up and makes her presentable and sends her downstairs.
    • Jane’s confused and scared; she hasn’t been sent to see Mrs. Reed for almost three months. She’s afraid to go into the breakfast-room, but afraid to disobey. She stands still for a long time.
    • When Jane finally goes in, she sees a tall man dressed in black, who has a "grim face […] like a carved mask" (1.4.22). Does that sound good to you? Nope, it doesn’t to us either.
    • The man starts asking Jane questions. She tells him her name, but when he asks if she’s "a good child" (1.4.30), she doesn’t know what to say—she knows Mrs. Reed will contradict her if she answers yes.
    • The man assumes that this means Jane is naughty, and starts lecturing her on how wicked children go to hell. We’re definitely starting to dislike him, and so is Jane.
    • The man asks Jane about reading her Bible. She does, and she tells him about the parts she likes, which are mostly exciting things like Revelations and Daniel. She tells him up front that she doesn’t like the Psalms because they’re not very interesting, and he says that she has "a wicked heart" (1.4.56) and should pray to God to change it. He’s pretty tiresome. We can only hope he’s not in the book for very long.
    • Mrs. Reed steps in at this point; she doesn’t really care about Jane’s heart. She reminds Mr. Brocklehurst (that’s apparently his name) that she already told him Jane is unpleasant and a liar and needs special watching at Lowood school, which is where he’s going to take her.
    • Jane is really upset that Mrs. Reed accuses her of being a liar in front of Mr. Brocklehurst, who is obviously someone important at Lowood. She can tell Mrs. Reed is just making things harder for her at her new school.
    • Mrs. Reed also insists that Jane be "made useful" and "kept humble" (1.4.62) at Lowood. Mr. Brocklehurst is only too happy to oblige; he loves keeping the girls at the school "quiet and plain" (1.4.63). As he describes them, though, it becomes clear that his own daughter lives in spoiled luxury—she has a silk gown. So Mr. Brocklehurst is a hypocrite in addition to being nasty.
    • Mrs. Reed is happy; now that she knows Mr. Brocklehurst will keep Jane down, she’s ready to send her to Lowood.
    • As he leaves, Mr. Brocklehurst gives Jane a book called the Child’s Guide, full of stories about sinful children who die unpleasantly. He tells her to read the story about Martha, who is a liar. How sweet.
    • Jane stands staring at Mrs. Reed and refuses to leave the room when she’s ordered to. She is pissed. She confronts Mrs. Reed, denying that she (Jane) tells lies, saying she hates Mrs. Reed and John, and that the book about Martha the Liar is more appropriate for Georgiana than Jane. Ouch! That’s a bit too honest.
    • Mrs. Reed asks what else Jane’s going to say. Jane’s only started. She disowns her aunt and says she’ll never come to see her as an adult and that she’ll tell everyone how badly Mrs. Reed treated her. Jane describes how Mrs. Reed treated her in the red room episode, and shows Mrs. Reed her own cruelty and deceitfulness.
    • After Jane tells Mrs. Reed off like this, she feels really good. In fact, she feels exultant. The truth has set her free, and all that. Well, kind of free. She’s still a dependent child.
    • Mrs. Reed is really disturbed—so disturbed that she gets up and leaves Jane in the room. Jane feels like she has won a battle and taken possession of the "field" (1.4.95).
    • After a while, Jane stops feeling so good. She knows that this will just make her situation worse in the long run, and she wants to feel good for a better reason than "fierce speaking" (1.4.97).
    • Jane does what she always does when she needs to be comforted: she starts reading a book, but can’t concentrate.
    • Jane goes outside and walks in the wintry landscape, feeling terrible.
    • Bessie calls Jane, but she doesn’t come. Bessie has to go get her.
    • Jane coaxes Bessie into a good mood, and they have a rare, pleasant afternoon together while the Reeds are out at tea.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 5

    • Jane leaves Gateshead, refusing to say anything to Mrs. Reed before she goes.
    • Bessie takes Jane to the porter’s lodge, and then Jane takes a coach by herself for fifty miles to get to Lowood. The journey takes a long time, and she’s afraid of being kidnapped, which is something that happened a lot in Bessie’s stories.
    • At the end of the coach trip, a woman (we learn later that her name is Miss Miller) meets Jane and takes her to a building. We assume this is Lowood School, but nobody has bothered to tell Jane where she is.
    • Jane meets a tall, dark-haired woman who seems to be in charge (later we find out her name: Miss Temple). She’s quite nice and asks Jane about her background, then has Miss Miller take her to a large hall, where about eighty other girls are studying.
    • Monitors collect the girls’ books, and everyone is served "supper," which is just water and some oaten cake things. Gross, right?
    • Jane is sent to sleep with the other girls in a long hall. Everyone sleeps two to a bed, and Jane is sharing with Miss Miller.
    • Everyone gets up before dawn to study math and listen to some Bible reading. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
    • Breakfast is burned porridge, which nobody is really able to eat because it’s so disgusting. Apparently this isn’t the first time that’s happened. Jane can’t eat; she’s busy studying her new teachers.
    • Jane notices how plainly all the girls are dressed; nobody has curled hair, and everyone is wearing ugly brown wool gowns with weird pockets on the front.
    • The first lesson is geography, but Jane still can’t pay attention, because Miss Temple, who is the superintendent (like the principal) comes in again and Jane is, um, very taken with her. In fact, she practically worships Miss Temple, starting from this moment.
    • Miss Temple decides to give the girls bread and cheese for lunch to make up for the burned porridge. Apparently it’s pretty major for the girls to actually get extra food; everybody’s surprised.
    • Everyone gets to go out into the garden for a bit, but because it’s winter things are pretty bleak outside. Jane starts talking to a girl (we don’t learn her name until Chapter 6, but it’s Helen Burns) who is sitting alone reading, and the girl tells her about the school: Lowood Institution, a charity school for orphans. Mr. Brocklehurst is in charge of it all, and we know how much he likes Jane! This is going to go really well, we can tell.
    • Everyone has another gross meal and keeps studying until five o’clock. If you’re doing the math, this probably means that, with a few short breaks, school has taken more than twelve hours already. Yikes.
    • Jane sees Miss Scatcherd punish Helen by making her stand alone in the middle of the room while everyone else works. Jane would be ashamed in her place, but Helen is quiet and dignified, and Jane admires her.
    • More small amounts of plain food and prayers, and it’s bedtime. After one day at the school, Jane can tell this is going to be pretty lame. Lowood makes us appreciate our schools, that’s for sure. At least we never had to eat burned porridge.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 6

    • Everyone gets up before dawn again and it’s so cold that the water inside is frozen, so they can’t wash. At least the porridge is okay this morning.
    • Jane starts having to actually do lessons with everyone else, which include sewing.
    • While she’s sewing, Jane watches another group of girls doing English history lessons with Miss Scatcherd. Remember that teacher who always picked on you for every little thing you did, including breathe? Well, that’s how Miss Scatcherd is with Helen Burns. She doesn’t like the way Helen stands, or the way she holds her head, or anything, even though Helen’s really smart and good at her lessons.
    • Eventually Miss Scatcherd gets angry enough about whatever it is that’s biting her that she whips Helen’s neck with a bundle of twigs.
    • Jane wanders around alone during the free time in the evening, but she doesn’t really feel bad; after all, her home at Gateshead was also horrible.
    • Jane finds Helen and talks to her, learning her name for the first time. She can’t understand why Helen isn’t more upset about how Miss Scatcherd treats her; she knows she’d freak out if she had been in Helen’s place.
    • Helen is disgustingly good and patient and reminds Jane about turning the other cheek and all that sort of thing. We’re guessing she’ll die young, because nobody this perfect ever lives to be forty.
    • Helen agrees with all Miss Scatcherd’s criticisms of her, which Jane thinks is just stupid, since Helen is obviously great. Helen admits to daydreaming quite a bit, but we don’t think that’s a fault. Plus, she daydreams about important history-lesson-type stuff, like why Charles I was a bad king.
    • Helen does admit that Miss Temple treats her differently from Miss Scatcherd, but she says that’s her own fault for being a better person when Miss Temple is around. Jane thinks, and we agree, that maybe Miss Temple is just a better teacher and a nicer person than Miss Scatcherd, but this hasn’t occurred to Helen.
    • Helen’s "love your enemies" stuff starts to drive Jane crazy, and so Jane tells her about how impossible it is for her to love that harpy Mrs. Reed. After hearing the whole story, Helen’s only answer is that Jane shouldn’t let herself get so obsessed with being angry at Mrs. Reed.
    • We don’t know how exactly that’s supposed to work, but Helen doesn’t get a chance to explain, because she just got in trouble for something else.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 7

    • Jane continues to settle in at Lowood, if you can call it settling in. Not only does she have to learn all the new school rules and the course material, she also has to cope with the fact that nobody in the school ever gets enough to eat and they’re always cold because their clothes are thin and old. There’s an especially gross description of chilblains (sores from exposure to the cold) on her hands and feet. We’re not sure if we’re more sorry for her or grossed out at her.
    • The little girls suffer most, because the older girls steal their food and crowd them away from the fires. Our heroine, of course, usually gives some of her food away to the smaller girls who are actually starving. Awww, isn’t that sweet.
    • Despite all the hardships, Miss Temple encourages all the girls and motivates them to keep going. All the other teachers are too depressed to try, and we can’t really blame them.
    • After Jane has been at the school for three weeks, as if things weren’t bad enough, that hypocrite Mr. Brocklehurst shows up to visit and inspect the school. This is going to go really well, we’re sure.
    • Jane hears Mr. Brocklehurst giving Miss Temple "instructions" about how to run the school. Well, that’s the nice way of putting it… he’s mostly just nitpicking and trying to make her be colder and crueler to the girls.
    • Mr. Brocklehurst is especially upset about the two times Miss Temple served the girls an extra lunch to make up for their burned porridge. He has a long, plausible-sounding explanation of why it would be better for their souls and their temperaments if they just took the opportunity to think of their hunger as a happy Christian martyrdom. We don’t know when Mr. Brocklehurst himself last missed a meal, but we’re guessing it was a long, long time ago.
    • The other thing that’s biting Mr. Brocklehurst is the hairstyles of various girls. None of the girls at Lowood are supposed to curl their hair, so why, he wants to know, does Julia Severn have curls in her hair? Of course, that’s because her hair curls naturally, but so what? Mr. Brocklehurst says that if she can’t get her hair straight, then she should just cut it all off to be humbler. He says he’ll send the barber tomorrow to cut her hair—and the hair of all the older girls, who have been wearing fashionable top-knots. Those hussies. They’ve been doing their hair. Now that’s sin right there, isn’t it? We hope they repent.
    • At this point, Mr. Brocklehurst’s wife and daughters enter and interrupt his kind-hearted, sweet-natured, humble instructions. As befits the family of so pious a clergyman, they wear plain woolen gowns and have their hair combed flat against their heads.
    • Ha! You didn’t believe that, did you?
    • Actually Mrs. Brocklehurst and her daughters are all dolled up in fancy gowns of expensive silk, velvet, and fur, with fashionable hats, delicately curled hair, the works. They’ve been upstairs, snooping around in the girls’ rooms, making sure none of them own anything too fancy.
    • Jane tells us that she’s been hunkering down behind her slate, hoping really hard that the Brocklehursts will come and go without noticing her. And they would—except she manages to drop her slate and break it. Whoops.
    • You can see where this is going, though. Jane gets called up front and made to stand on a stool in front of everyone while Mr. Brocklehurst goes off about what a careless, evil, lying, heathen, demon child she is. Really.
    • We’re glad he can get his kicks from mocking ten-year-old girls, because otherwise he would probably have to steal candy from babies or something.
    • Mr. Brocklehurst sweeps out, very pleased with himself, ordering that Jane stay on her stool in front of everyone for the rest of the day, and forbids anyone to speak to her.
    • Jane’s completely mortified, but her friend Helen makes an excuse to pass by her a few times and smile at her. The smiles are all that keep Jane going.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 8

    • The school day finally ends, the pupils go out to have their early-evening meal (they call it tea), and Jane lets herself fall off the stool she’s been standing on, curl up on the ground, and cry. She thinks all her hopes of being a successful student at Lowood, of having any friends, or having any of the teachers on her side are completely dashed.
    • Helen brings Jane something to eat and gently sets her straight about a few things: everyone in the school knows what a hypocrite Mr. Brocklehurst is, and they’re not going to despise Jane just because he doesn’t like her. In fact, they might even be nicer to her secretly because they know how unfair he is and they all hate him.
    • Helen also says that, even if everyone hated Jane, if she knew herself to be innocent, that would be enough (because, we gather, God would be on her side). Jane’s not so sure about this; she doesn’t think she could live without friends.
    • Helen starts talking about the rewards of the afterlife, and Jane feels melancholy—she’s not sure why. And then Helen starts coughing ominously. Dum dum dummm. Guess what’s going to happen to her pretty soon?
    • Miss Temple comes and takes Jane and Helen to her room (sort of like going to the principal’s office). But they’re not in trouble—Miss Temple just wants to check on Jane to see how she’s feeling after being humiliated in front of everyone.
    • Miss Temple asks Jane for her own version of her life story, and Jane tells her side of things about Mrs. Reed and Gateshead. Jane realizes how important it is to tell the exact truth here, and so she doesn’t exaggerate the story at all.
    • Luckily for Jane, Miss Temple knows Mr. Lloyd, and writes to him to corroborate Jane’s story. She promises that, if he does, she won’t treat Jane like a liar, no matter what that awful Mr. Brocklehurst says.
    • Miss Temple checks on Helen: How is she feeling? How’s her cough? What’s her pulse like? Dum dum dummm.
    • Helen and Jane get to have tea and seed-cake with Miss Temple. It’s not much, but hey, it’s not burned porridge, either.
    • Jane listens as Miss Temple and Helen have a sparkling conversation about all sorts of things; both of them are well-read and intelligent and know a lot about a lot of things, and Jane doesn’t know half as much. She’d like to, though!
    • Jane and Helen go back to the large, dormitory-style bedroom, and, of course, something unpleasant happens to spoil their evening. Miss Scatcherd has just gone through Helen’s drawers and is going to punish her for being messy.
    • The next day, Miss Scatcherd makes Helen wear a sign that says "Slattern" tied to her forehead for the day. Jane feels terrible on Helen’s behalf, but Helen, as usual, is a patient, sweet-natured martyr about everything.
    • Mr. Lloyd answers Miss Temple’s letter and confirms the story that Jane told. Jane feels freed up to concentrate on her schoolwork and begins to do really well in all her classes. She’s almost happy at Lowood these days. (Uh-oh: that won't lead to anything good.)
  • Volume 1, Chapter 9

    • Things get a little bit better at Lowood when winter dissolves into spring; not only is it warmer and more comfortable for the girls, but Jane also discovers how beautiful the landscape around the school really is, now that it isn’t covered with snow and ice anymore. She even gets to wander around in the woods alone.
    • Wait... alone? That’s the catch. Spring may be warmer and prettier at Lowood, but it’s also unhealthy. After all, the girls are already half-starved, and they’ve had colds and other winter illnesses; now that the stream and forest are damp and warm, they start catching typhus, and soon it’s practically an epidemic.
    • Wait a minute, we can hear you saying: they get sick because it’s misty? What’s all this about "fog and fog-bred pestilence" (1.9.5)? That’s not something they covered in your biology class, is it? Well, here’s the thing: contagious disease wasn’t completely understood in the nineteenth century, and one theory (known as "the miasma theory") was that fogs and air currents and so forth caused disease. Later in the century scientists confirmed the existence of microorganisms—known to you as "germs," or "the what’s-really-going-on theory.")
    • Anyway, whatever the reason, more than half the girls are sick, many die, and they can’t run the school and classes as usual.
    • The beautiful natural landscape and blooming flowers outside contrast strangely with the disease and death inside the school.
    • Jane, luckily, remains healthy, and pretty much gets to do whatever she wants while everyone else is busy being sick or tending to the sick.
    • There is one bonus: the Brocklehursts are too afraid to visit the school, so at least all this isn’t made worse by their self-righteous hypocrisy. Now that’s a silver lining, sort of. The girls get to eat larger portions and things are generally nicer—except for the whole lots-of-people-dying thing.
    • Jane’s new best friend is a girl called Mary Ann Wilson, who is a little older than her and can tell her lots of "amusing stories" and "racy and pungent gossip" (1.9.10). Jane admits that Mary Ann isn’t anywhere near as wonderful as Helen Burns, but unfortunately Helen is sick and confined to her bed.
    • Unlike the other sick girls, Helen doesn’t have typhus—she has consumption (which is the nineteenth-century name for tuberculosis). Jane doesn’t really understand what consumption is, and she thinks Helen is going to be okay, so she doesn’t worry about it too much.
    • One evening Jane and Mary Ann get lost and return to Lowood late at night to find the surgeon, Mr. Bates, at the house. Mary Ann goes in, but Jane stays outside to plant some things in her garden that she collected in the woods.
    • While outside, Jane starts to realize how terrible death and mortality really are, and how incomprehensible the leap into the next world is.
    • Jane’s thoughts are interrupted by Mr. Bates and a nurse coming out; she asks the nurse about Helen Burns, and learns that Helen is dying. She tells Jane that she can’t see her, either.
    • Jane goes to bed, but can’t sleep. She sneaks out of the bedroom to Miss Temple’s room, where Helen has been lying sick.
    • Jane creeps past the nurse quietly and is able to speak to Helen. She can’t believe how calm Helen is in the face of death.
    • Helen asks Jane to lie in the bed and cuddle with her to stay warm while they talk. While Jane snuggles warmly beside her, she explains that she thinks her death is fortunate: everyone dies, and at least her death is quiet and comfortable. She doesn’t think she would have done well in the world, anyway, and she has faith in God’s love. Helen is so perfect we could just scream, but Jane is comforted by her.
    • Jane and Helen fall asleep, and Jane wakes up being carried back to her own bed. It’s not until two days later that she finds out Helen died that night, with Jane’s arms around her neck. That is so creepy.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 10

    • The older Jane narrating the novel breaks in, explaining that she’s going to skip eight years ahead in the story. First, she fills us in on a few details of what’s happened at Lowood in the meantime:
    • Many girls died of typhus at the school, and the outbreak put the school in the public eye, so Mr. Brocklehurst’s cruelty and neglect as an inspector became known. Other people who had both money and compassion got involved, built a new school building in a better place, and passed new regulations to make the school more humane.
    • Mr. Brocklehurst is still treasurer, but there are other people looking over his shoulder now to make sure the girls have enough to eat and nobody cuts their hair off for them or anything weird and cruel like that.
    • Jane is a student at the school for six more years and then becomes a teacher there for two years.
    • At this point, Miss Temple, who has been Jane’s mentor and inspiration and all that jazz, gets married and leaves the school.
    • Jane realizes that, without Miss Temple, she’s not content to stay at Lowood anymore—she wants to get out in the world and have adventures. She looks out her window at the road to the school and realizes she hasn’t traveled away from the school on that road at all since she arrived there eight years ago. Even if her new adventure is just a new lowly position somewhere else, she wants to get away.
    • Jane’s longing for freedom is interrupted by her teaching duties. Finally, after her teacher-roommate Miss Gryce falls asleep that night, she can start thinking again about how to leave Lowood.
    • Jane decides to advertise herself in the regional newspaper as an available tutor or governess. She posts the ad without telling anyone at Lowood what she’s doing.
    • A week later, Jane goes into town to see if any letters came in response to her ad; everyone at Lowood thinks she’s going "to get measured for a pair of shoes" (1.10.26). There is one letter, but she has to wait for that evening, after everyone is asleep, to read it.
    • Jane is satisfied with the situation offered by the letter, which is a post as governess to a little girl less than ten years old. The salary is double what she makes at Lowood. She’s also glad that the letter writer is an older woman, a Mrs. Fairfax, and she imagines Mrs. Fairfax as an elderly widow with one daughter at her home—Thornfield.
    • Jane tells the current superintendent of the school about her new job and asks her to be the one to tell Mr. Brocklehurst so that she doesn’t have to talk to him herself. He insists on writing to Mrs. Reed, but she doesn’t care at all and says Jane can do whatever she wants.
    • Jane gets everything prepared over the next two weeks. As she is waiting for the carriage to come to take her on the first part of her journey to Thornfield, someone comes to see her: Bessie!
    • Bessie tells Jane all the news about Gateshead. Bessie and Robert Leaven, the coachman, are married, and Bessie has a three-year-old boy, who is with her on the visit to see Jane. Georgiana Reed is curvy, stout, and pretty, and tried to elope with a lord. Eliza Reed is tall, thin, and jealous of her sister’s romance. John has flunked out of college, failed to become a barrister, and is generally a good-for-nothing, spending his mom’s money. Mrs. Reed is upset about John’s conduct.
    • Bessie exults over Jane’s achievements at school—her piano playing, painting, French, and sewing are far superior to the Reed girls’ abilities. Even so, Bessie is honest with Jane about her looks—she is "no beauty" but she does "look like a lady" (1.10.64).
    • Bessie also tells Jane that one of her relatives, possibly her uncle, came to Gateshead to see her seven years ago, but had to leave for Madeira before he could go to Lowood to see her. They speculate that he may be a wine merchant or employed by one.
    • Bessie leaves to go back to Gateshead, and Jane leaves for Thornfield.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 11

    • Jane stages the beginning of the next chapter almost like a play, describing the scene as she sits by the fire at an inn, waiting nervously to get to Thornfield and meet this mysterious Mrs. Fairfax and her daughter. (She’s assuming the little girl is Mrs. Fairfax’s daughter.)
    • Notice that Jane (or perhaps Charlotte Brontë) addresses the reader directly here, something that happens only a few times in the novel, but always at key points (see, for example, the beginning of Volume 1, Chapter 10 and the beginning of Volume 3, Chapter 12).
    • A servant meets Jane and drives her in a coach to Thornfield. Jane guesses that his plain clothes mean that Mrs. Fairfax isn’t too wealthy. It’s amazing, in fact, how little Jane knows about the job that she’s heading into. We hope you would never take some random job based on one letter from someone you didn’t know and then travel across the country alone to live who-knows-where.
    • Jane arrives at Thornfield and is brought in to see Mrs. Fairfax, who looks almost exactly as she had expected; she’s an old woman dressed in black clothes and a widow’s cap, which probably means she’s mourning her husband.
    • Jane is surprised that Mrs. Fairfax welcomes her kindly, chatting with her and offering her tea; she’s never been treated so politely by anyone, especially an employer. She’s really relieved that this situation is better than her previous ones.
    • Suddenly, a surprise: Jane finds out that her new student isn’t Mrs. Fairfax’s daughter; her name is Miss Varens, and Mrs. Fairfax doesn’t have any kids. Unfortunately, Jane is too shy to ask more about Miss Varens at this point.
    • Mrs. Fairfax tells Jane more about the household; it’s been somewhat lonely for her, because she can’t socialize with the maid, Leah, or the other servants, who are a married couple. Jane, however, will be closer to Mrs. Fairfax’s "level," whatever that is.
    • Jane goes to bed; her room is small but nice, and she feels very secure in it… although the long, dark corridors of the house are, she admits, a little bit creepy.
    • Jane wakes up on her first day at Thornfield, soothed by the luxurious surroundings, and dresses in her plain Lowood-style clothes and heads downstairs. She meets Mrs. Fairfax again and learns that the owner of Thornfield is a Mr. Rochester—Mrs. Fairfax is just the housekeeper, although she is a distant cousin of Rochester’s. Adèle, Mrs. Fairfax explains, is Mr. Rochester’s ward.
    • Jane meets Adèle, a French girl about seven or eight years old who only speaks a little English. It’s lucky that Jane learned French from a native speaker; she’s able to understand Adèle easily, even when Adèle talks really fast.
    • Adèle tells Jane (and Jane relays to Mrs. Fairfax) how she came to England about six months ago. Long before that, the first thing Adèle remembers is living with her mother, who taught her to sing and dance and had a lot of, erm, let’s call them "gentlemen admirers." There were ladies who liked to hear Madame Varens sing, too, but there seem to have been quite a few gentlemen, as well, if you take our meaning.
    • Adèle offers to sing for Jane, and sings a song from an opera that’s really far too mature for her. The contrast between Adèle’s childishness and the extremes of jealousy and passion in the song seems crass to Jane. Then Adèle recites a poem with similar strange adult motifs and techniques. Jane’s pretty weirded out by her and stops her before she can dance.
    • Jane questions Adèle further about her history; Adèle explains that, after her mother died, Mr. Rochester offered to take her with him to live in England, and (as she explained earlier) she and her nurse Sophie came with him on a steamship across the (English) Channel. Unfortunately, Mr. Rochester took her to Thornfield, left her there, and went traveling, so Adèle doesn’t actually get to live with him.
    • Jane teaches Adèle her first lesson that morning; Adèle is obedient, but not very studious. She’s never really been asked to apply herself. Jane decides to take it slow and lets her have the afternoon free.
    • In the afternoon, Jane talks to Mrs. Fairfax about Thornfield and Mr. Rochester while Mrs. Fairfax does some light housework. Jane is amazed at how beautiful and fancy the house is.
    • Jane practically cross-examines Mrs. Fairfax about the absent Mr. Rochester. She really wants to know what kind of a person he is, but it’s hard for the housekeeper to describe him. Most people like him, she tells Jane, but he is "rather peculiar," whatever that means (1.11.99).
    • Jane follows Mrs. Fairfax through the house, admiring everything she sees, but feeling a little creeped out by all the empty rooms full of strange furnishings and decorations. She asks Mrs. Fairfax if there are any ghost stories about Thornfield, but there aren’t. However, Mrs. Fairfax does admit that the members of the Rochester family have been "rather a violent than a quiet race in their time" (1.11.109). So there may not be any ghosts… but there are some metaphorical skeletons in the closet.
    • Jane and Mrs. Fairfax make their way to the attic and then to the roof, and Jane is able to look out across all of the land surrounding Thornfield. It's an incredible view.
    • After a good, long look, they head back; Mrs. Fairfax is fastening the trap door and Jane is a bit further away in the attic when she hears an eerie, unearthly laugh. Mrs. Fairfax says that it must be one of the servants, perhaps a woman named Grace Poole who does the sewing.
    • Jane’s convinced there is no Grace and that the laugh is a ghost, but at Mrs. Fairfax’s call Grace comes out of a room nearby. She’s a squat, heavyset, middle-aged redhead—not a ghost. Mrs. Fairfax tells her there should be less noise, sends her off, and changes the subject. Oh, that's not suspicious at all.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 12

    • Jane continues to work as Adèle’s governess; her life with Mrs. Fairfax and her pupil is much more pleasant than anything she’s experienced before, but she’s still restless for adventure and excitement, or at least some contact with the outside world. Her favorite activity is going up to the roof of Thornfield and looking across the landscape.
    • Jane defends her dissatisfaction to the reader: she knows that many will think she should be happy with what she has, but she thinks everyone, including women, needs "exercise for their faculties" (1.12.5).
    • When she’s up on the roof or in the attic, Jane often hears Grace Poole’s weird laugh, but she’s never able to draw Grace into a real conversation.
    • Jane tells us that her relationships with the other servants are good, but not especially exciting.
    • Three months go by, and now it’s January. Jane decides to give Adèle a holiday and volunteers to take a long walk and carry a letter for Mrs. Fairfax two miles to the nearby town of Hay.
    • Jane enjoys the walk, despite the cold weather, and takes delight in the beautiful landscape around her. She stops partway along the lane and sits on a stile, examining her surroundings. Suddenly, she hears a horse coming, and she stays on the stile, sitting quietly, to let it pass.
    • While she’s waiting for the horse to go by, Jane suddenly remembers the spooky stories Bessie used to tell her about a spirit called a "Gytrash," which could appear as a horse or dog to lost or lonely travelers. And then—a dog comes around the corner, looking exactly as Bessie described the Gytrash. But when the horse appears, the fact that it has a rider breaks the spell; the Gytrash never has a rider or a companion. (Hmm, who could this mysterious rider be?)
    • The horse and rider pass, and Jane starts to go on her way, but then she hears the horse slip on the ice, and horse and rider both fall. The dog runs about, trying to help, and finally runs over to Jane—she must be the only other person for a mile all around.
    • Jane helps the gentleman up; he has sprained his ankle, but is mostly okay. He is thirty-five, dark, and stern. Jane explains that, if he had been a handsome young man, she would have recoiled from him, but she’s able to approach him as he is.
    • Jane insists on helping him, and he questions her about who she is; she explains that she’s the governess in Mr. Rochester’s household. He seems a bit surprised by this, but doesn’t explain who he is. (Who is he, anyway?) We do learn that the dog’s name is Pilot, but that’s not much help.
    • Unfortunately, Jane’s not able to catch the bridle of the spooked horse, so instead she helps the man over to the horse and lets him lean on her to remount; then they go their separate ways. We’ll probably never see him again, right?
    • After delivering the letter in the town, Jane walks back to Thornfield, pleased to have helped someone, and interested in the man she met. She’s a bit disappointed to go back home to her boring old existence. She loiters outside for a long time, looking at the sky, reluctant to go inside.
    • When she finally re-enters Thornfield, she hears voices in the dining room. She looks for Mrs. Fairfax, but finds Pilot instead. Jane calls the maid and learns that the master of the house has just arrived with a sprained ankle. That’s right—that stranger in the lane was Mr. Rochester. Are you shocked? Nah, we didn’t think so. Jane’s a bit out of the loop, though, isn’t she?
  • Volume 1, Chapter 13

    • Jane doesn’t see Mr. Rochester again that evening—he’s in bed with his sprained ankle. She and Adèle continue their lessons in a new upstairs room instead of the library, where Mr. Rochester is conducting business.
    • Jane’s excited about all the new activity in the household, all the people coming and going to see Mr. Rochester. The place is coming alive, and she prefers it that way.
    • Adèle is having a lot of trouble concentrating when she knows Mr. Rochester is downstairs—she keeps trying to sneak downstairs to see him or to guess what presents he might have brought her. Adèle tells Jane that Mr. Rochester has been asking about her: especially what she looks like.
    • In the early evening, Mr. Rochester invites Jane and Adèle to have tea with him. Jane changes into her second-best dress, which is almost as plain as her regular dress, and puts on her only piece of jewelry, a simple pearl pin.
    • As soon as she comes into the dining room, Jane recognizes Mr. Rochester as, of course, the stranger whom she helped after his horse slipped on the ice.
    • Mr. Rochester is once again somewhat rude to Jane, or at least abrupt and preoccupied, but she prefers that to flattery and polished manners. Jane thinks it’s more interesting this way.
    • As Jane gives Rochester his teacup (he’s lying down on a couch because of his sprained ankle), Adèle asks him if he has a present for Jane.
    • He starts asking Jane whether she likes presents, and her subtle but saucy replies draw his interest. When he compliments her on how much she’s taught Adèle, she claims that that’s the best gift she could have. Aww, how sweet.
    • Mr. Rochester asks Jane about her past history; when he hears that she was at Lowood for eight years, he says that must be why she looks so eerie and unworldly.
    • He compares her to the fairies and sprites of the wood, and suggests that she bewitched his horse to make it fall the day before.
    • Mrs. Fairfax, who doesn’t get the joke, is confused, but we’re sure that you know just how serious Rochester actually is.
    • Rochester keeps quizzing Jane about her background: she has no immediate family, came to Thornfield by answering Mrs. Fairfax’s ad, has never lived in a town or known many people, and has only read the few books that were available to her here and there. She sounds pretty green, really.
    • Once again Jane surprises Rochester, this time by being harsh and honest about Mr. Brocklehurst.
    • Next Rochester examines Jane’s various achievements, listening to her play the piano and examining her sketches. He, like Jane, is harsh and honest about the merits of her work; her piano playing, he says, is okay, but some of her sketches and paintings seem to really impress him—three of them in particular.
    • The three of Jane’s watercolors that Rochester finds really fascinating are each of landscapes that she painted from her imagination; one is of a stormy sea and a shipwreck with a corpse, one is of a grassy hill with the Evening Star personified as a shadowy woman, and one is of an icy arctic scene with a strange, pale, despairing figure in the foreground.
    • Jane admits to Rochester that she enjoyed painting these images, but that she was "tormented by the contrast" (1.13.115) between what she was actually able to paint and what she saw in her head.
    • Rochester tells Jane that her paintings are intriguing and strange, but that she’s not an artistic master. He keeps getting drawn in by the images, though, and seems to think that she’s managed to paint real places without knowing it.
    • Suddenly, Rochester sends Jane off to put Adèle to bed, and retires for the night himself.
    • Jane talks with Mrs. Fairfax about Rochester, who is far stranger than the housekeeper previously implied. Mrs. Fairfax tells Jane that they should make allowances for him because of his family problems: his elder brother died nine years before, and then he inherited the estate.
    • Apparently, there was some sort of problem between the current Mr. Rochester, whose name is Edward; his brother, Rowland Rochester; and his father, Old Mr. Rochester. Old Mr. Rochester and Rowland put Edward in a bad position so that he would make money, but it’s unclear what exactly happened.
    • Now that his father and brother are gone, Mr. Edward Rochester tends to stay away from Thornfield and only visit it for short periods, perhaps because of bad memories. A mystery!
  • Volume 1, Chapter 14

    • For a little while, Jane doesn’t see Rochester much; he has a lot of business and goes out riding frequently. Sometimes he is haughty or cold, but she can tell that he’s just moody, and that his attitude doesn’t really have anything to do with her.
    • One evening, Rochester sends for Jane and Adèle after dinner. A box of presents that Rochester has bought for Adèle has arrived, and he parks her in the corner with it, exactly the way some parents might park a kid in the corner with the TV to keep them busy.
    • He calls in Mrs. Fairfax, so that Adèle can talk to her about the presents while he talks to Jane.
    • Rochester keeps insisting that Jane bring her chair closer to him instead of moving back into the shadows so that he can’t see her face. He seems to be in a better mood than usual, but he’s still not very good at being polite; he tends to order her around.
    • Suddenly, because she is staring at him, Rochester asks Jane if she thinks he’s handsome. Without thinking, she gives an honest answer: no.
    • Jane’s immediately sorry that she didn’t say something more socially acceptable, like "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but Rochester doesn’t seem to mind—in fact, he seems glad that she’s honest.
    • He asks her to criticize him, and she examines his skull and face. (This is more weird nineteenth-century pseudo-science: it was a common belief in the Victorian period that you could determine someone’s character from the shape of their skull. The technical name for this is "phrenology.")
    • Based on the shape of Rochester’s skull, Jane suggests that he might not be very charitable—and, from his reaction, she’s absolutely right.
    • Rochester explains a little bit about himself, suggesting that, when he was younger, he used to give people the benefit of the doubt, but these days he’s pretty jaded. He asks Jane if she thinks he can turn back into "flesh" (i.e., into his old self), but she doesn’t know enough about his past to make the call.
    • He’s glad, however, that he confused her, because it keeps her from staring piercingly at his face. This is really heating up! Too bad he’s almost twice her age (remember that she’s 18 and he’s 35).
    • Jane continues to think about Rochester’s appearance; she thinks that a lot of people might find him ugly, but something about the way he carries himself makes him imposing.
    • Rochester tells her that he’s feeling chatty tonight, and orders Jane to chat with him about something. He’s really not very good at this small-talk stuff. Jane doesn’t know what he likes to talk about, so she doesn’t say anything.
    • Rochester tries to explain his attitude toward Jane a little; even though he’s kind of abrupt and tends to order her to do things instead of asking, he doesn’t want to treat her as an inferior.
    • At least, he explains, he only considers himself her superior because he’s so much older and more experienced than she is. And so he will sometimes order her around and be "masterful," he says, but she’ll have to forgive him.
    • Jane contradicts him: just because he’s older and has done more doesn’t mean he’s wiser, she tells him. It depends on what he’s done with those seventeen years he has on her; maybe he hasn’t learned anything. He has to admit that she’s right, but he still wants to be able to order her around sometimes, and tries to think of an excuse.
    • Jane smiles at this—after all, he’s paying her to take his orders, which he seems to have forgotten. She reminds him, and he leaps on this: will she agree to let him order her around a bit because she’s getting paid?
    • No, Jane says, getting paid isn’t enough, but she will let him order her around simply because he was worried about her feelings and wanted her to be comfortable with how he treated her.
    • Rochester presses the point: is it okay if he drops a lot of the polite nonsense? She won’t just think he’s being rude?
    • Jane’s a bit careful on this point; she’s okay with him being informal, but not with him actually being a jerk. No salary would make up, she says, for actually being treated badly.
    • Rochester thinks that a lot of people don’t have Jane’s principles and would let themselves get mistreated for money, but he’s impressed with her answers, her tendency to stand up for herself, and her strong personality.
    • Then Rochester changes his mind a little: Jane is unusual, he says, but maybe she has flaws that make up for her good points. Jane doesn’t say anything, but it’s clear that she’s thinking the same thing about him.
    • Rochester admits that he has a checkered past, but a lot of it he blames on the circumstances. Again, Jane doesn’t know—and we don’t yet know—exactly what he’s talking about, but it sounds pretty sordid… and really interesting.
    • Next Rochester tells Jane that one of her major roles in life is to listen. Did you ever have that one friend who somehow gets to hear everybody’s personal problems? Like, they don’t really ask, but something makes everyone tell that particular person everything?
    • Rochester thinks Jane is going to be one of those people, but maybe he’s just making excuses for having told her so much already.
    • Rochester talks about remorse and regretting his past mistakes, whatever those are. Jane advises him to repent, and Rochester says that reform is better than repentance, but that there’s something standing in the way of his reform.
    • Jane says he’ll just get worse and worse if he keeps grabbing for pleasure without changing, and that eventually his pleasures will sour anyway. He doesn’t like being preached to and objects to this, but Jane holds her ground.
    • Now Rochester tries to claim that the "temptation" he is feeling is actually an "inspiration," that it’s an angel and not a devil. We’re going crazy to know what the heck it is he’s tempted to do. Jane tells him that it’s still a temptation, no matter what he says, and he should resist.
    • Rochester gets a bit over-excited here and dramatically mimes taking the "angel" or "demon" or whatever this idea is into himself. Jane’s really confused at this point, but insists that, if Rochester feels like he’s not a good person, that he should make a genuine effort to change.
    • Rochester tells Jane that he is going to change, and that, if what he’s doing is immoral, then he’ll declare a new moral law to make it right. Jane claims that anything that needs morals to change in order to be okay is obviously immoral.
    • They argue about ethics for a bit, and Jane keeps getting the better of him. Basically, Rochester really wants to do something, we don’t know what, and Jane can tell from how he talks about it that it’s wrong, even though she doesn’t know what it is or why.
    • Jane ends the conversation by getting up and going to put Adèle to bed. Rochester is worried that he drove her away by saying such weird things, but she assures him that she’s not afraid of him, even though she is a little confused.
    • Rochester discerns that Jane isn’t naturally so stern and repressed—it’s the effect of Lowood, he says, and it will wear off. He describes her as a caged bird that wants to be free. She doesn’t really say anything to this, but it seems a lot like how she described herself at the beginning of the last chapter.
    • While Jane and Rochester have been talking, Adèle has run out to try on one of the dresses that were among her new presents from Rochester. When she comes back and frolics around in the dress, she looks just like her mother.
    • Rochester hints at his involvement with Adèle’s mother—Céline Varens. It’s not clear yet what Rochester’s actual relationship to Adèle is, but if he was "involved" with her mother, then we can guess that maybe he’s her pops.
  • Volume 1, Chapter 15

    • One day, while Rochester and Jane are walking in the garden outside Thornfield, Rochester explains his relationship to Adèle’s mother, Céline Varens, more explicitly. It’s a pretty exciting story, so sit back as Rochester begins his tale:
    • Céline was a French opera-dancer with whom Rochester fell in love—and he thought she loved him, too.
    • Rochester became Céline’s sugar daddy: he paid for her to live in an expensive hotel and have lots of servants and every possible luxury. In fact, all this was almost too expensive even for the wealthy Rochester, and he was well on his way to spending his whole fortune on her.
    • One evening, Rochester went to Céline’s place and she was out, so he sat on the balcony waiting for her. He saw her come back to the hotel in the carriage he was paying for... with another guy.
    • Rochester breaks into his own story to comment on the way jealousy poisons everything—for a long time he even hated being at Thornfield because… he stops before telling us why.
    • There’s a long pause while Rochester and Jane stroll along the path and Rochester seems to be wrestling with himself. He tells Jane that he is fighting with a witchy specter of his destiny, and that now he’s defying her and daring to enjoy being at Thornfield.
    • Adèle comes close to Rochester and Jane as she’s playing, and Rochester orders her away. Jane prompts him to continue his story.
    • Before Rochester continues, he notes again how strange it is that he’s telling all this to Jane—what kind of guy tells his eighteen-year-old employee about his sordid affair with a French mistress? But he knows, he says, that Jane is made to be a confidante, and that what he’s telling her won’t hurt her and may help him. Then he continues the story:
    • Rochester stayed hidden on the balcony behind the curtains, waiting for Céline and her lover to come in.
    • Céline and the other guy entered, and Rochester stopped being jealous, because the guy was a cruel idiot Rochester had met before. Rochester decided right away that Céline wasn’t worth his time if she would have an affair with such a loser.
    • Rochester continued to hide and listen to them, but was mostly bored by their lame conversation. He was a bit irritated when they started insulting him behind his back, especially because Céline used to compliment him to his face constantly. (That’s why he was so glad Jane was honest about his looks.)
    • Adèle runs up and interrupts the story, saying that someone has come to see Mr. Rochester. Rochester quickly finishes the story for Jane:
    • Rochester walked in, turned Céline out in the street with a little money to see her through the next few days, and arranged a duel with the lover the next day, at which he shot the guy in the arm. And that was that.
    • But Rochester couldn’t just wash his hands of the whole thing because, six months earlier, Céline had given birth to Adèle. She claimed that Adèle was Rochester’s daughter. He doesn’t think so, but she could be.
    • Several years later, Céline abandoned Adèle and ran off to Italy with another guy.
    • Rochester still didn’t think Adèle was his daughter (or so he claims to Jane), but he felt sorry for her and brought her back to England to grow up under better circumstances.
    • Having finished the story, Rochester asks Jane if now she feels differently about her job as Adèle’s governess. Jane answers that she cares even more about the girl now that she knows Adèle is practically an orphan.
    • Rochester goes in, and Jane stays outside playing with her pupil and the dog. She is more tender to Adèle after hearing the story.
    • That evening, as she’s going to sleep, Jane thinks about what Rochester told her. Most of the story, she decides, is common enough, but the moment where Rochester freaked out while thinking about Thornfield still seems weird. Still, she can’t explain it, so she starts thinking about something else—how Rochester treats her.
    • Jane’s glad that Rochester trusts her so much and that he always seems pleased to see her. He still does most of the talking when they’re together, but she likes to learn from him and respond to his thoughts. She feels like they’re family, not master and servant.
    • Jane decides that Rochester has it in him to be a good person and hopes that she can help him deal with his past, whatever it might be.
    • And Jane wonders—a bit ominously, we think—how long he’ll be able to stay at Thornfield before whatever it is that he hates about the place crops up again. She knows she’ll really regret it if he leaves.
    • Lying awake in bed worrying, Jane hears something strange. She tries to tell herself that it’s nothing, but then she hears the demonic laugh that usually comes from the attic. Someone is outside her bedroom door!
    • Jane gets up, locks the door, and demands to know who’s there. There’s no answer, but she hears footsteps walking away.
    • Determined to talk to Mrs. Fairfax, Jane unbolts the door and leaves the room—only to discover a lit candle sitting outside her door and the hallway filled with smoke. The door to Mr. Rochester’s room is open, and the smoke is billowing out of it.
    • Hardly thinking, Jane runs into Rochester’s room, where she finds the bed curtains on fire. She tries to shake Rochester awake, but he’s already half unconscious from inhaling the smoke, so she’s forced to throw a nearby basin of water over him. She manages to put out most of the fire and wake him up.
    • Rochester’s first reaction is to swear, and his second one is to call Jane a fairy and a sorceress.
    • Jane runs to get the candle from the hall, and she and Rochester look at the wet, scorched bed. She tells him about the laugh she heard and how she came to find him there.
    • Strangely, Rochester’s not surprised—just worried. Jane asks if she should call Mrs. Fairfax or someone else, but Rochester instructs her to stay in his room alone while he goes up to the third floor with the candle.
    • After a long time, while Jane sits in the dark waiting for him, Rochester comes back and says that it’s just what he thought happened... but he doesn’t explain this thought to Jane.
    • Rochester makes sure that Jane didn’t see anything, and then accepts her theory that it is the seamstress Grace Poole who caused the damage. He tells Jane to say nothing about the whole incident.
    • When Jane starts to leave, Rochester stops her, takes her hand, and thanks her for saving his life. He seems to want to say something else, but he doesn’t... and he won’t let go of her hand.
    • Eventually, Jane convinces Rochester that she has to leave before Mrs. Fairfax comes, and he releases her. Jane goes back to bed, but, unsurprisingly, she can’t sleep.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 1

    • Jane is convinced that Rochester will come and visit her and Adèle in the schoolroom the next day, but he doesn’t.
    • She overhears the other servants talking—they are under the impression that Rochester was sleeping with a lit candle beside his bed, woke up with the bed on fire, and put it out himself. None of them know about Jane’s involvement or about the strange visit from someone on the third floor.
    • When she passes Rochester’s bedroom, Jane sees Grace Poole sitting beside the bed, sewing new curtains. She can’t believe that Grace is just sitting there, behaving normally, and she questions the servant about the incident to trick her into betraying her guilt.
    • Grace doesn’t seem guilty, but she does seem to know something, and asks if Jane heard anything last night.
    • Jane tells Grace about the eerie laugh, insisting that she wasn’t dreaming. Grace asks if she saw anything, and Jane tells her that instead of looking outside, she locked her door—which is true, although she went outside a little later.
    • Grace advises Jane to keep her door locked every night, which Jane takes as either hypocrisy about safety, or a weird threat.
    • Jane tries to figure out why Rochester has insisted that she keep the events of the night a secret, and what power Grace Poole could have over him to prevent him from having her arrested, or at least firing her, after she tried to murder him in his bed.
    • She briefly speculates that perhaps Grace is Mr. Rochester’s ex-lover, and that he has to do what she says so that she doesn’t expose him, but she can’t quite believe this: Grace is so plain-looking and matronly, almost ugly, and they just don’t seem to be a match. Of course, Rochester seems to like Jane, and she’s no looker, so maybe it could be true.
    • Jane reminds herself that even if she’s not pretty, she is ladylike, which Grace isn’t, and then she trembles, remembering Rochester’s behavior the night before. She’s teaching Adèle at the moment, and the girl notices her daydreaming.
    • That evening, Jane expects Rochester to send for her so that they can talk further about the murder attempt, but when she goes downstairs to have tea with Mrs. Fairfax, she discovers that Rochester left right after breakfast to stay with some friends ten miles away at a house called "the Leas." Mrs. Fairfax thinks he will stay there for a week.
    • Jane’s first question is whether there are any ladies at the Leas—and there are several, including the local beauty, Blanche Ingram. Blanche, according to Mrs. Fairfax, is gorgeous and accomplished and sang duets with Mr. Rochester.
    • Jane suggests to Mrs. Fairfax that Rochester might be interested in marrying Blanche Ingram. Mrs. Fairfax thinks the age difference is too much: Blanche is only twenty-five. Jane’s about to push the issue, but Adèle comes in and they have to start talking about something else.
    • Later, alone in her room, Jane kicks herself for being such an idiot and thinking that Rochester would actually be interested in her.
    • Jane decides that, the next day, she will make two sketches, one of herself with all her flaws, and one of a beautiful woman who fits the description Mrs. Fairfax gave of Blanche Ingram. Whenever she starts to think of Mr. Rochester fondly, she’ll compare these two portraits, and remind herself that she can’t compete with women like Blanche. Doesn’t that sound healthy?
    • The next morning, she spends an hour or two drawing her own portrait, and two weeks making one of her imagined version of Blanche.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 2

    • For a week, Jane doesn’t hear anything about what Rochester’s doing; she tries to discipline herself and stop thinking about it, but she can’t. She starts wondering if she should quit her job as Adèle’s governess and get a new one somewhere else.
    • After another week (so now two weeks have gone by since the fire and Rochester’s sudden departure), Mrs. Fairfax receives a letter from Rochester telling her that he’s coming back to Thornfield in a few days with a bunch of friends.
    • Everyone spends the three days making frantic preparations for all the guests—except Adèle, who is an absolute pest and keeps getting underfoot.
    • Jane is also helping Mr. Fairfax get the house ready for everyone, which is why Adèle has nothing better to do than flounce around being obnoxious.
    • When Jane isn’t busy working, she wonders what’s going on with Grace Poole, who spends almost all her time alone on the third floor and doesn’t help anyone with anything.
    • Jane overhears a conversation between one of the maids, Leah, and another servant, a charwoman (house cleaner). Apparently Grace Poole gets paid more than anyone else at Thornfield, and Leah thinks that what Grace does for Mr. Rochester is well worth the money. Jane doesn’t learn any more than that, because they notice her listening and stop talking. The charwoman is surprised that Jane doesn’t know Thornfield’s secret, but nobody seems to want to tell her.
    • Finally it’s Thursday, the day Mr. Rochester said he would arrive with his guests. Everyone puts on their nicest clothes and sits around waiting for them to arrive. When they finally ride up, some in carriages and some on horses, a beautiful woman in a purple dress is riding beside Rochester. It’s Blanche Ingram!
    • The visitors enter, and Jane sits with Adèle, half-listening to their noise and trying to keep Adèle from running down and bothering them.
    • The women come upstairs to change their clothes after the trip, and Jane sneaks downstairs to get something that she and Adèle can eat for dinner. She’s not sneaking because she isn’t supposed to have dinner—she’s sneaking because she doesn’t want anyone to see her.
    • Unfortunately, Jane doesn’t make it back upstairs before the ladies start coming down, so she has to stand still at the end of a dark hallway and hope they don’t notice her.
    • The women pass, and Jane and Adèle both feel pretty awed by their fancy clothes and even fancier attitudes. Jane, Adèle, and Adèle’s nurse, Sophie, eat the food Jane’s scrounged up in the kitchen, forgotten by pretty much everyone and listening a little to the bustle downstairs.
    • Adèle can’t sleep for all the noise and excitement, so Jane sits with her at the top of the stairs listening to the women play on the piano and to Blanche and Mr. Rochester singing duets. Eventually Adèle falls asleep and Jane puts her to bed.
    • The party doesn’t break up until one in the morning, and Jane still hasn’t seen Rochester at all. He seems to have forgotten her completely.
    • The next day, Rochester and his guests take advantage of the nice weather and go out riding to see something or other nearby, Jane doesn’t know what. Jane watches them leave and come back from her window, noticing how Mr. Rochester and Blanche Ingram are riding together on their own, apart from everyone else.
    • Mrs. Fairfax tells Jane that Mr. Rochester wants Adèle and Jane to come and socialize with everyone after dinner this evening. Jane tries to make an excuse, but Mrs. Fairfax tells her that Rochester insisted she come and that he said he would fetch her if she refused.
    • Adèle shows her true prissy-princess colors and goes crazy getting herself ready when she hears that she’s going to make an appearance at the party. She keeps Jane and Sophie busy getting her ready, and then Jane and Adèle go and wait in a the drawing room for the guests to finish their dinner.
    • The guests finish eating and the ladies enter the drawing room; Jane curtseys to them, and some of them nod to her, while others pretty much ignore her. (The men are still in the dining room; it was traditional at formal Victorian dinner parties for the women to leave the table first, go to another room, and chat or read; the men stayed behind, drinking and talking separately. Then, when the men felt ready, they came and joined the women.)
    • Jane explains who the different women are. There are eight of them, four older women and four younger: Mrs. Eshton and her daughters Amy and Louisa; the Dowager Lady Ingram and her daughters Blanche and Mary; Lady Lynn; and Mrs. Colonel Dent. "Dowager" means that Lady Ingram is a widow, and "Mrs. Colonel" means that Mrs. Dent’s husband is, you guessed it, a Colonel.
    • We’ll tell you now that most of these women are minor characters and aren’t too important to the plot of the novel. Important points to notice:
    • The Dowager Lady Ingram reminds Jane of Mrs. Reed, which probably means she’s just as spiteful and malicious.
    • Blanche is incredibly beautiful, and she looks just the way Mrs. Fairfax described her to Jane—which means that she looks like the portrait Jane drew of her without having seen her yet. Creepy.
    • Blanche is also really clever, but in a nasty, Mean Girls way instead of a quiet, dorky, Jane Eyre way.
    • Jane decides that Blanche is "majestic" but possibly not Rochester’s type.
    • Adèle, in her usual bratty way, starts demanding attention from the ladies. A few of them start spoiling her and petting her and she’s as happy as a pig in… um, let’s just say she’s being a little princess and loving it.
    • After a little while, the gentlemen come in to join the ladies and everyone drinks coffee. There are six men, including Mr. Rochester; the others are Henry and Frederick Lynn, Colonel Dent, Mr. Eshton, and Lord Ingram. Henry and Frederick are Lady Lynn’s sons; Colonel Dent, obviously, is Mrs. Colonel Dent’s husband; Mr. Eshton is Mrs. Eshton’s husband and the father of Amy and Louisa; and Lord Ingram is the Dowager Lady Ingram’s son and the brother of Blanche and Mary.
    • Got all that? Don’t worry, it’s not super-important. Just focus on Blanche and her mom. And Jane and Rochester, of course.
    • As Mr. Rochester comes in, Jane tries to focus on her knitting (she’s making a beaded silk purse). She remembers the last moment she saw him, where he didn’t want to let go of her hand and they were alone together, and wonders what’s happened to change everything and make him so distant.
    • When Jane’s sure that Mr. Rochester isn’t looking at her, she lets herself look up and stare at him. Even though he’s not handsome in the usual way, she realizes that to her he’s waaay hot. She also figures out something we’ve known for a few chapters now: despite her best efforts, she’s in love with him.
    • Jane compares Rochester to the other men in the room; even though most people would probably think they’re more handsome than he is, she has different taste.
    • Jane decides that she and Rochester are alike; they have more in common with each other than he does with anyone else in the room. They’re kindred spirits. Still, she doesn’t think he’ll ever be interested in her—she’s too far beneath him.
    • Everyone pairs off to chat, and Blanche flirts with Rochester. Unfortunately, Blanche’s idea of flirting is to talk about how "detestable" and "ridiculous" governesses are, basically insulting Jane right to her face (although she’s talking to Rochester, not Jane).
    • Blanche and her brother tell stories about how they (and, to a small extent, their sister Mary) used to torment their previous governesses. Let’s see, who do they sound like? Where else in this novel have we seen a brother, two sisters, and a widowed mother who are all vicious and selfish? Hmm, sounds like John, Eliza, and Georgiana Reed and their mother, doesn’t it?
    • Some of the other women start talking about their experiences with their governesses, and Blanche changes the subject; she doesn’t want anyone else to have a chance to say something clever. She asks Rochester to sing a duet with her.
    • Before Blanche and Rochester begin singing, they banter about what sort of man Rochester is and Blanche hints that he’s just the type of man she wants for a husband: an ugly guy who worships her, instead of someone as handsome as she is.
    • Blanche and Rochester sing, and Jane wants to leave, but she’s mesmerized by Rochester’s voice. As soon as he finishes, she slips out into the hallway, but she has to stop and retie her sandal.
    • Rochester comes out after Jane and asks why she didn’t come and talk to him in the drawing room. He wants her to come back, but he can tell she’s about to cry, so he lets her go—but first he insists that she join the party every night while they’re there. He stops just short of calling her by some term of endearment—and then leaves.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 3

    • The party at Thornfield continues; things are much more active than they were during the first three months Jane spent there.
    • One evening, the guests play charades, but it’s a much more elaborate version of charades than we play these days, complete with costumes and teams of people working together to act out just one word or phrase.
    • Rochester invites Jane to play, but she won’t; she does watch, though.
    • Blanche and Rochester team up and go first; they think up a phrase, and then put together costumes and silent actions to act out the parts of the phrase. The phrase they choose has two parts.
    • The first part of the phrase is the word "bride," and Rochester and Blanche pretend to be a couple getting married, wearing costumes and everything. We’re sure Jane’s not too happy to see their wedding, even if it is just a joke—this time.
    • The second part of the phrase is harder for everyone to guess. Rochester and Blanche act out a complicated Biblical scene in which Rebecca gives Isaac a drink at the well of Nahor. Basically, this is a lot like the first scene, because the story is about Isaac wooing Rebecca, so once again there’s a romantic undertone.
    • Nobody can guess what word the Isaac and Rebecca scene is supposed to represent, so Rochester and Blanche act out the whole phrase. This time Rochester is dressed like a prisoner in a cell.
    • The team that’s guessing correctly identifies the word or phrase they’re acting out as "Bridewell," which is a prison. (So the second scene represented the word "well.")
    • Blanche giggles obnoxiously about the way she and Rochester just got "married."
    • The teams switch, and some other people start acting out their scenes. Jane doesn’t notice anything they do because she’s watching Mr. Rochester.
    • Rochester is letting Blanche flirt with him and kind of flirting back, but Jane can tell that he really sees through her. This makes it much worse for Jane: she can tell Rochester doesn’t really love Blanche, and she can also tell that Blanche isn’t worthy of him, but it seems like he’s going to marry her anyway. If he were really smitten, or Blanche were a better person, Jane claims she wouldn’t mind so much.
    • Jane also notices that Blanche isn’t very good at pleasing Rochester. The few times that Jane has been with him alone, she’s figured out how to get him in a good mood, and Blanche can’t do it.
    • Rochester is more interesting to Jane than ever; she’s come to like his rudeness and sarcastic nature, because they make him a deeper person. She also notices that, in spite of the way he behaves, Rochester is pretty much the life and soul of the party, and when he’s gone everyone else seems depressed.
    • One day Rochester has to go to the nearest town (Millcote) on some kind of business, and everyone’s pretty bored, especially Blanche Ingram. Just before dinner, with Rochester still absent, a stranger arrives at Thornfield.
    • The stranger is a polite man in his thirties or forties; he has an unusual accent and claims to be an old friend of Mr. Rochester’s. He joins the group for dinner while he waits for Rochester to come back.
    • Jane evaluates him and decides that he’s the exact opposite of Mr. Rochester—in fact, she suggests that, if Mr. Rochester is a sheepdog, this guy is a sheep. The other women at dinner think he’s adorable, which just proves that they’re ninnies.
    • Sitting with the group in the drawing room (remember, Rochester ordered her to join them every night), Jane learns more about the stranger: his last name is Mason, he’s from the West Indies, and that’s where he met Mr. Rochester.
    • Suddenly, a strange gypsy woman arrives. There’s a gypsy camp in the area and some of the women had wanted to visit it, but they couldn’t because it rained too much that day. Now one of the gypsy women has come to them offering to tell their fortunes.
    • Some of the guests want to send the woman away, but a few of the women are excited about getting their fortunes told, and the old woman refuses to leave until she tells the fortune of each and every woman there.
    • Blanche Ingram insists that they let the gypsy woman tell their fortunes. The woman insists that the servants put her in a little room by herself and the guests go in to see her one by one.
    • One of the men wants to check the gypsy out first to make sure it’s safe for the ladies to see her, but the gypsy woman says that she’ll only tell fortunes for the young, single women in the group.
    • Blanche Ingram goes first. Everyone waits excitedly for her to come back and tell them what the woman said, but when she does come back she’s all grumpy-pants, says the woman is obviously a fraud, and starts reading a book and ignoring everyone.
    • Each of the other single women—Mary Ingram, Amy Eshton, and Louisa Eshton—goes to have her fortune told with lots of "hysterical giggling and little shrieks." They come back amazed at how much the gypsy seems to know about them.
    • The servant, Sam, tells Jane that the gypsy woman says she knows there’s another single woman in the group, and that he thinks that must mean her. Jane’s curious about the woman, so she goes to see her and have her own fortune told.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 4

    • Jane enters the library and sees the old gypsy woman reading a prayer-book by the fire. Her hat and handkerchief throw shadows over her face.
    • The woman starts telling Jane her fortune; Jane is calm and amused, and doesn’t believe a word of it. When the woman describes Jane as lonely and unloved, Jane points out that almost anyone in her situation (governess at an isolated rural house) would fit that description. We’re guessing Jane wouldn’t believe in horoscopes, either.
    • Next the woman tells Jane that she is "very near happiness" and that everything is in place for her happily-ever-after ending, but that something needs to happen first. Jane refuses to be baited, and says she can’t guess the riddle.
    • Jane does seem at least a little interested—she pays the woman a shilling. The woman says she can’t read Jane’s palm, and that reading palms doesn’t work anyway, but that she can read Jane’s face. Jane’s much more willing to believe that you can read faces—remember all that phrenology stuff from Volume 1, Chapter 14?
    • The woman tries to get Jane to tell her what she’s thinking and feeling. She even tries to prove that she knows Jane by describing how Jane likes to sit in the window seat, but Jane laughs at this and says that she must have learned that from the servants.
    • The woman admits that she knows Grace Poole. This is getting sinister.
    • Jane says that sometimes she thinks about saving up her money and starting a little school of her own, but the woman wants to talk about romance and marriage. Jane says she doesn’t care about those things.
    • The gypsy asks Jane about Mr. Rochester, and when she doesn’t say much in response, the gypsy suggests that Mr. Rochester is in love with Blanche Ingram. Jane admits that the rumor is that Rochester and Blanche are engaged, but corrects the woman on one thing—they’re not in love.
    • The old woman keeps talking about Mr. Rochester, and Jane says she wants to hear her own fortune, not his.
    • The gypsy asks Jane to kneel on the hearthrug and studies her face, describing its features: Jane’s eyes, which are "soft and full of feeling" but show that she’s laughing silently at the woman; Jane’s mouth, which the woman says is meant to laugh and talk and not be so stern all the time; and her forehead, which shows her insistence on reason and ethics.
    • In a moment, the woman’s voice changes—the old gypsy woman is Mr. Rochester in disguise, and he’s just been messing with everyone. He can’t bring himself to tease Jane any more, though, and so he lets her know who he is.
    • Rochester takes off his costume and asks Jane what she thinks. Jane’s not sure whether she’s upset. It bothers her that Rochester was trying to get her to "talk nonsense," maybe by getting her to admit that she’s attracted to him, but she didn’t end up saying anything embarrassing, so she thinks she can forgive him.
    • Rochester asks Jane to stay and tell him what everyone else was saying about the different "fortunes" he told the women and any other news. She tells him about Mason’s arrival, and he’s so horrified that he can’t even stand up anymore. Clearly, Mason’s presence means something terrible has happened, or will happen.
    • Jane helps Rochester to a chair. This is the second time he’s had to lean on her shoulder. (Remember the first, in Volume 1, Chapter 12?)
    • Rochester tells Jane that he wishes they were alone on a deserted island together. She offers to do anything for him—even if she has to sacrifice her own life. He assures her that he’ll let her know if she can help.
    • Rochester sends Jane to get him a glass of wine and to see what everyone’s doing in the other room. She comes back and tells him everyone is laughing and chatting as usual; he seems a little relieved.
    • Rochester asks Jane what she would do if everyone else in the party rejected him; she says she wouldn’t care at all. He’s a little bit happier after this, and asks her to go and send Mason to see him. She does, and then goes to bed. Lying awake, she hears Mr. Rochester come upstairs with Mr. Mason, show him to a room politely, then go to his own room, and this makes her feel better.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 5

    • Jane is woken up by bright moonlight, and then startled by a strange shriek from the third floor. Then she hears thumping and banging upstairs, as though people are fighting, and calls for help. Someone is calling for Mr. Rochester.
    • Everyone in the house is woken up by all the noise. The guests stumble around in the corridor in their robes, but nobody seems to know what’s going on.
    • Rochester tells them that a servant had a nightmare and assigns the gentlemen to make the ladies go back to bed.
    • Jane goes back to her room and gets dressed, then sits by the window waiting. She knows something else is going to happen.
    • After about an hour, everyone else has fallen asleep again. Jane keeps waiting, and eventually Mr. Rochester knocks on her door and asks her to come with him.
    • When they get to the third floor, Rochester has an idea and sends Jane back to get a sponge and some salts. (These are smelling salts, which have a strong, disgusting smell, and are used to wake up people who have fainted or passed out.)
    • Jane comes back, and Rochester unlocks the door to the third floor—the same door Jane has seen Grace Poole go through. They enter, and Jane can hear Grace’s weird laugh. Mr. Rochester goes ahead of her into the next room and gives instructions.
    • Rochester comes back, and leads Jane into another part of the first room, where Mr. Mason is sitting in a chair. He’s pale and passed out, and one of his arms is soaked in his own blood.
    • While Jane holds the candle, Rochester wakes Mason with the smelling salts. Rochester also checks on Mason’s wound; there’s a bandage around Mason’s arm and shoulder, but the bleeding hasn’t stopped.
    • Rochester tells Jane to stay with Mason and to make sure he stays awake, but not to talk to him at all for any reason. He gives her the sponge, which is bloody now, so that she can tend to the wound a little, too.
    • Then Mr. Rochester leaves, locking them in the room. Jane’s afraid to be locked in with a dying man when his murderess is just in the next room, but she does what she has to do.
    • For a long time, maybe two hours, Jane stays there, wiping blood and gore off Mason’s chest, trying to keep him conscious, and feeling utterly afraid of the woman in the next room.
    • Every so often she hears weird, snarling noises, as though it were a dog and not a woman nearby. She wonders what horrible thing lives at Thornfield that Mr. Rochester can’t seem to fight or destroy.
    • Finally, Mr. Rochester comes back with a doctor, Mr. Carter. He gives the doctor half an hour to get Mason bandaged correctly before they take Mason away.
    • While the doctor works, Mason and Rochester talk about what happened, but they don’t say enough to really explain.
    • The doctor notices that Mason wasn’t stabbed—he was bitten.
    • Rochester says that he warned Mason, and Mason should have listened. Mason says he thought he could have done something to make things better. Jane wants to know what the heck is going on, and so do we.
    • Mason mentions that "she" sucked the blood from the wound after biting him—is Grace Poole a vampire?
    • Rochester is worried about getting Mason out of the house before dawn. He sends Jane to fetch various pieces of clothing to get Mason and the doctor ready.
    • Rochester gives Mason a few drops of a red cordial that he got in Rome; it seems to help him revive a little, and he’s able to walk downstairs with the doctor holding him up.
    • Together, Rochester, and the doctor help Mason get downstairs and into a carriage, while Jane acts as lookout.
    • Just before Mason is driven away, he asks Rochester to take care of "her" as gently as possible.
    • Rochester and Jane are left alone together outside the house, and he asks her to walk with him in the woods as the sun is rising before they go back to Thornfield Hall. They stroll, and he picks a rose for her.
    • Rochester asks Jane about the last few hours, and seems worried that she felt so afraid. He tells Jane that he will be in danger until Mason leaves England.
    • Jane’s confused—Mason seems harmless. Rochester explains that Mason could destroy him by accidentally saying the wrong thing, and that he can’t let Mason know how much damage he could cause.
    • Rochester muses on Jane’s faithfulness; he can tell that Jane enjoys helping him, but also that she would never follow his orders if she thought they were morally wrong.
    • Jane and Rochester sit together on a bench; this is the first time she has taken a place at his side. Rochester asks her to imagine something: she is a spoiled young man in a foreign country, and there she accidentally makes a terrible mistake with long-lasting consequences. Hmm, who do you think he’s really talking about?
    • Anyway, this completely hypothetical young man tries to get past these consequences, and travels all around the world amusing himself with superficial pleasures. After twenty years, he meets a new friend and feels completely regenerated and changed. Hmm, who might this "friend" be? Rochester’s pretty obvious about things.
    • So, anyway, the "hypothetical" man now wants to spend the rest of his life with his "friend," but he needs to break some kind of rule to do so. Rochester’s question to Jane is: is it okay if he does?
    • Jane reeeeeally wants to say yes, but she can tell Rochester’s trying to get away with something that isn’t right, even though she’s not 100% sure what the problem is.
    • She tells him that nobody should let their redemption depend on their relationship with someone else. To put it another way, this hypothetical guy has to sort out his problem first, and then he can be with his, erm, "friend."
    • After hearing her response, Rochester gets rude and sarcastic, starts telling Jane how great Blanche Ingram is, and sends her back to the house through the woods while he goes another way to talk to Dent and Lynn, who have come out to the stables.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 6

    • Jane tells the reader about the different strange moments in her life where she and people she knew seemed to be a little bit psychic—to have premonitions, or to sense what’s going on with their distant friends and family.
    • Lately, Jane’s been having strange nightmares about a baby. Every night for a week, she’s played with this weird baby in her dreams, and it is totally creeping her out.
    • One afternoon, Jane is visited by Robert Leaven, Mr. Reed’s coachman, who married Jane’s nursemaid Bessie. (Remember how we learned that in Volume 1, Chapter 10?)
    • Robert tells Jane that John Reed is dead, possibly by suicide because of his gambling debts, and that Mrs. Reed had a stroke when she heard. On her deathbed, Mrs. Reed has been asking to see Jane.
    • Jane goes to ask Mr. Rochester for time off work (after all, she’s still Adèle’s governess) so that she can visit Mrs. Reed. Rochester makes her explain everything about the situation, and at first refuses to let Jane go a hundred miles away to see someone who was so cruel to her.
    • Eventually Jane persuades Rochester to let her go, although she can’t promise when she’ll be back.
    • Rochester realizes Jane will need some money so that she can travel safely; he hasn’t paid her yet for any of her work as a governess. He’s not cheating her; it’s just that there’s no need for Jane to have money while living at Thornfield, so he hasn’t bothered.
    • Jane only has five shillings total in the whole world, so Rochester offers her fifty pounds. It’s tough to say exactly what that means in hard cash today, but remember that Jane’s annual salary is thirty pounds a year, and she’s only worked six months so far, so he only owes her fifteen, and he’s being far too generous, basically paying her three times what he owes.
    • Jane won’t take more than she’s earned, and Rochester ends up giving her ten pounds because he doesn’t have exact change for fifteen. He tells her maybe it will help that he owes her five more—it will make her come back.
    • While they’re doing business, Jane tells Rochester that she’s going to advertise for a new governess job, because she knows that after he marries Blanche they will send Adèle to school.
    • Rochester’s pretty upset about the possibility of losing Jane, and teases her by trying to make her give back the ten pounds.
    • When Jane refuses to give back her salary, Rochester makes her promise that she won’t place an ad applying for other jobs. She agrees, but makes him promise that she and Adèle will both be out of Thornfield before he marries Blanche.
    • Jane and Rochester say goodbye; Rochester seems to want to say more, but doesn’t.
    • The next morning, Jane leaves for Gateshead very early and arrives at the lodge a few days later at five in the afternoon. Bessie and Robert are there with their children, and Jane has tea with them. Lots of old memories of Bessie as a nursemaid come flooding back to Jane. Jane tells Bessie all about Mr. Rochester and Thornfield.
    • After tea, Bessie and Jane walk to the main house. This is the first time Jane’s been back since she left for Lowood nine years ago.
    • When Jane enters the house, everything looks just the same, except for the people. She sees Eliza and Georgiana Reed. Eliza is super-uptight, dressed all in black with her hair pulled back tight and a sour expression. Georgiana is plump, blonde, and blue-eyed, also dressed in black because they’re mourning their brother’s death, but much more fashionable.
    • Eliza and Georgiana chat snobbily with Jane for a little bit, making it clear that they think she’s definitely their inferior. Jane, however, is all grown up now, and she doesn’t care what they do or say.
    • Jane asks her cousins about Mrs. Reed, and they seem offended to be asked a direct question and uninterested in arranging Jane’s visit. Jane ignores them and arranges her own visit, deciding to stay until Mrs. Reed is better or until she has died.
    • Jane goes in to see Mrs. Reed, who is, of course, lying ill in bed. Jane’s interested to realize that she doesn’t feel bitter toward Mrs. Reed anymore—just sorry for her and willing to forgive her.
    • Mrs. Reed is still harsh and bad-tempered, but she does want Jane to stay so that they can talk things over. Unfortunately, Mrs. Reed is also losing her mind a little—sometimes she starts talking to Jane about Jane as though she were someone else.
    • While Mrs. Reed is raving, Jane gets her to explain why she always hated her niece. Apparently, Jane’s mother was Mr. Reed’s sister, and when the family disowned her for marrying a man of low status, Mr. Reed defended her. Mr. Reed was always attached to his sister and her child, Jane Eyre, and Mrs. Reed seems to have been jealous.
    • It becomes clear that Mrs. Reed doesn’t really know that her son has committed suicide—she’s still worried about his money problems and his threats to kill himself or her.
    • Mrs. Reed falls into a sort of coma, and Jane doesn’t get a chance to talk to her for ten days. In the meantime, Eliza sews and reads, Georgiana talks to the canary, and Jane sketches pictures of landscapes and fairies and elves.
    • One day, Jane sketches a portrait of Mr. Rochester. She’s so absorbed in staring at it that she doesn’t notice her cousins come up and take a look. They’re surprised that she’s such a good artist and she ends up sketching their portraits.
    • Jane’s sketches seem to have broken the ice; Georgiana, in particular, starts to talk to Jane more and more. Unfortunately, Georgiana is completely superficial; she only talks about herself and her romances and her own problems, and never even mentions her mother’s illness or her brother’s suicide or anything else.
    • Eliza doesn’t really hang out with Jane, but it’s not that she hates Jane; she’s just kind of a loner. She has super-organized days where she does particular tasks—reads a prayer book, works in the garden, sews—at specific times, and that’s pretty much all she wants. She says that she’s planning to retire to somewhere like a nunnery after her mother dies.
    • Eliza and Georgiana don’t really get along; sometimes Eliza lectures Georgiana about how vain and superficial she is and tells her to make herself a schedule of activities so that she can be independent and not need company. Georgiana thinks, maybe correctly, that Eliza is just jealous of her looks and romances. Eliza makes it clear that she won’t have anything to do with Georgiana after their mother dies.
    • One day, Eliza is at church and Georgiana has fallen asleep on the sofa, and Jane goes up to check on Mrs. Reed. Jane remembers Helen Burns’ death and thinks about the afterlife.
    • Mrs. Reed speaks for the first time in days. She doesn’t believe who Jane is at first, but is slowly convinced.
    • As she’s dying, Mrs. Reed apologizes to Jane for two things: first, for not treating her like a daughter, which is what she promised Mr. Reed she would do; second, for concealing a letter from Jane’s uncle, John Eyre, that came three years ago.
    • Mrs. Reed lets Jane read the letter, in which John asked where Jane was so that he could write a will making her the heir of his fortune when he died. Mrs. Reed didn’t tell Jane about it because she held a grudge against Jane for being ungrateful to her.
    • Then Mrs. Reed admits something else: she wrote to John Eyre and told him Jane died of typhus during the epidemic at Lowood.
    • Jane forgives Mrs. Reed and asks Mrs. Reed to forgive her in return, but Mrs. Reed refuses to kiss her cheek.
    • Mrs. Reed loses consciousness again; Bessie and a nurse come in and take care of her, and Jane stays with them, but Mrs. Reed dies that evening without saying anything else. Neither Jane nor Eliza cries.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 7

    • Jane stays at Gateshead for several weeks after Mrs. Reed dies, first to keep Georgiana company until she goes back to London, then to take care of the house while Eliza gets ready to move to a nunnery in France. (There are no nunneries in England at this point because it’s not a Catholic country.)
    • While traveling back to Thornfield, Jane realizes that she’s never felt happy to go back to a place that has been her home—returning to Lowood or to Gateshead wasn’t much fun.
    • She wonders if returning to Thornfield might be nicer, but she’s not sure how long she’ll live there if Mr. Rochester is marrying Blanche Ingram. Still, at least she’ll get to see the man she loves for a few weeks. She knows he won’t be there when she arrives; Mrs. Fairfax told her in a letter that he had gone to London to get things for his wedding.
    • Jane walks the last few miles to Thornfield, and, coming around a corner, sees Mr. Rochester sitting on a stile (a set of steps you use to climb over a fence) writing in a book. She freezes and trembles, and then he sees her and calls her over to him.
    • Rochester scolds Jane for staying away from him for so long and accuses her of forgetting him. Then he tells her about the carriage he bought for the soon-to-be Mrs. Rochester, and asks if she can’t use her fairy magic to make him handsome. Jane insists that his ugliness is impossible to cure, but the way she’s looking at him suggests otherwise.
    • Rochester moves a little and lets her cross over the stile, and before she keeps going she thanks him for his kindness and tells him that wherever he is, that’s her true home. Then she walks away really fast before he can answer her.
    • When Jane arrives at Thornfield, everyone is glad to see her. After dinner, Mr. Rochester, Jane, Mrs. Fairfax, and Adèle almost seem like a family.
    • Interestingly, Blanche Ingram isn’t around anymore; Rochester doesn’t visit her, she doesn’t visit him, and nobody’s talking about marriage. Jane secretly hopes that the engagement is off.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 8

    • Summer at Thornfield is incredibly beautiful this year, with bright sunlight and incredible colors in the wood and fields. Adèle gathers wild strawberries, Jane strolls in the garden, and everything seems perfect… a little too perfect.
    • While strolling in the woods, Jane smells Rochester’s cigar. She tries to sneak away from him, but he notices her at the moment that their shadows cross. Creepy.
    • Rochester asks Jane to walk with him, and she can’t think up an excuse not to. As they walk, he asks if she’s become attached to Thornfield and its residents, and she admits that she has. He tells her that she’ll have to leave soon and that he’s marrying Blanche Ingram. He reminds Jane that it was her idea that, if he married Blanche, Adèle should go to school and Jane should get a new job.
    • However, Mr. Rochester tells Jane not to advertise for a new position as a governess; he says he’ll find a position for her himself. He has one in mind, he says, in Ireland.
    • Jane is so upset at the idea of being in Ireland, far away from Thornfield and Mr. Rochester, that she starts crying. Rochester soothes her a little and says that, since they’ve been such good friends, they should spend a little time together before she has to leave in a few weeks.
    • Jane and Rochester sit on the bench under the chestnut tree. Rochester describes his attachment to Jane; he feels, he says, as if there is a cord tied to each of their hearts that connects them, and he’s worried that if she goes too far away it will snap. Jane can’t say very much to this, because she’s sobbing.
    • Notice that there’s a nightingale singing in the background; nightingales are usually Significant with a capital S. (See our breakdown of Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale.")
    • Jane finally stops crying long enough to explain what she loves about Thornfield—mostly, her intellectual and spiritual connection with Mr. Rochester. Needing to leave him, she says, feels like death.
    • The conversation gets confused; Rochester asks Jane why she has to leave, and she says that it’s because of his bride, Blanche Ingram. Rochester says he doesn’t have a bride; Jane says he will. Rochester says, yes, he will, and Jane is going to stay.
    • Jane can’t take this; she’s hurt and angry, and she lectures Rochester on how cruel it would be to make her stay in the house and watch his marriage to someone else. Even though he’s a gentleman of property and she’s a governess, she still feels like he does—that they’re equal in that way.
    • Rochester says they are indeed equal—and kisses her. Whoa!
    • Jane struggles and insists that she’s going to leave him and go to Ireland.
    • Rochester asks her to marry him.
    • Jane thinks he’s making fun of her.
    • Rochester asks her to sit back down. They listen to that Significant nightingale and try to calm down.
    • After a bit of wrangling, Rochester convinces Jane that she’s the only woman he wants to marry, and that he never cared about Blanche Ingram. Jane scrutinizes his face before deciding she believes him—remember how important faces were in Volume 1, Chapter 14 and Volume 2, Chapter 4? Yep, they’re still important here.
    • Jane and Rochester embrace… and Rochester asks God to pardon him. For what, we wonder?
    • They sit on the bench together for a long time, but the night is dark and a thunderstorm begins. They hurry back into the house before they get too wet in the rain; once they’re inside, Rochester kisses Jane good night… a few times. They don’t notice at first that Mrs. Fairfax is watching them.
    • Everyone goes to bed, separately, of course. Mr. Rochester knocks on Jane’s bedroom door several times in the night to ask if she’s okay—the storm is raging crazily outside. Jane is fine, but, bad omen alert, the chestnut tree gets splintered in half by lightning.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 9

    • The next morning, Jane is blissfully happy and wonders if this is all a dream. She gives away all the money she has (a few shillings) to some beggars so they can share in her happiness.
    • At breakfast, Jane feels a little uncomfortable because Rochester hasn’t explained their engagement to Mrs. Fairfax yet, and Mrs. Fairfax seems a bit sad and upset about what she saw the night before, but Jane knows she’ll just have to wait for Rochester to tell the housekeeper what’s going on.
    • When Jane goes to the school-room to teach Adèle, she discovers that Rochester has sent Adèle to the nursery and met her in the school-room himself.
    • They embrace, and Rochester tells Jane that they will get married in four weeks. He calls her "Jane Rochester" and "Mrs. Rochester," teasing her a little with what will be her new name.
    • Next, Rochester starts telling Jane about all the fancy jewelry and clothes he’s going to give her—he plans to deck her out in the best there is and make everyone think she’s beautiful. This makes Jane very uncomfortable and she tells him not to flatter her, but he keeps going.
    • Rochester is also planning an elaborate honeymoon in Europe—Paris, Rome, Naples, Florence, Vienna, and more. Jane’s excited at the prospect of traveling, especially together with the man she loves, but she insists that he shouldn’t think of her as an angel.
    • Jane presses Rochester to think about his own inconsistencies; she reminds him that he’s capricious, which means his mood and behavior change frequently, and that she knows he won’t be constant in the way he loves her.
    • Rochester insists that he will be constant in his love for Jane, because she’s different from all the other women he’s known. She behaves submissively, but in doing so she actually masters him. Does that sound familiar? Jane thinks it sounds like the legend of Hercules or the story of Samson; we think it sounds a bit like The Taming of the Shrew… with Rochester as the shrew!
    • Rochester tells Jane that she has only to ask, and he’ll do any favor she wants. She asks him to answer a question. He seems very nervous at first about what it might be, but then she asks why he made her think he was going to marry Blanche Ingram, and he seems relieved.
    • Rochester explains that he pretended to be interested in Blanche so that Jane would be jealous and fall more in love with himhe was already in love with her (Jane).
    • Jane asks about Blanche’s feelings, and Rochester says her only feeling is pride, and that needs to be trampled on. He reminds Jane that he circulated a rumor that his fortune was actually very small, and then Blanche and her mother stopped being interested in him—so they’re just gold-diggers anyway.
    • Jane asks Rochester for another favor: tell Mrs. Fairfax about their engagement. Rochester sends Jane upstairs to put on her bonnet so they can go into town, and while she’s gone he talks to Mrs. Fairfax.
    • Jane comes back downstairs and, when she hears Mr. Rochester leave Mrs. Fairfax’s room, she goes in. Mrs. Fairfax is shocked; she’s not upset, exactly, but really confused about why someone like Rochester—wealthy and nearly forty—would be interested in Jane, who is poor, plain, and young. Mrs. Fairfax cautions Jane about some of the problems that might turn up in her relationship with Rochester, but Jane is insulted by her suggestions.
    • Adèle interrupts and insists on going with Jane and Rochester in the carriage. At first Rochester refuses, because he wants to be alone with Jane, but when he sees how upset she is that he’s still ordering her around, he agrees.
    • Adèle asks questions about what will happen now that Jane and Rochester are going to get married; Rochester says that Adèle will go to school on her own, and he and Jane will fly to the moon and live in a cave together, alone.
    • Adèle doesn’t believe Rochester’s silly claims about living on the moon, eating manna, and wearing clouds and rainbows, so he tells her a story instead. The "story" is his version of the moment when Jane found him sitting on the stile writing—and in his version, Jane is a fairy, who offers him a golden ring that can make him fly to another world.
    • Adèle’s too old for these fairy stories, and laughs at Rochester.
    • In Millcote, Rochester wants to buy Jane six new gowns in bright colors to replace her plain Lowood-style wardrobe of grey and black. Jane manages to argue him down to two new gowns, black satin and grey silk. Then Rochester starts buying her fancy jewelry, but Jane feels degraded.
    • Suddenly, Jane remembers her uncle, John Eyre, who wanted to leave her his fortune. Even if it’s not very much, Jane thinks it would be nice to have a little financial independence; that way Rochester can’t dress her like a doll all the time. She regains her composure, looks him in the eye, and tells him that, if he keeps decking her out in expensive clothes and jewelry and behaving so badly about it, she’ll never wear anything he buys her.
    • Rochester laughs, and says that Jane is better than a whole harem. Jane tells him that, if he wants a harem, he should go east and start buying slave girls, because she’s certainly not going to be one for him.
    • Rochester asks what she would do if he did, and she says she’d become a missionary and go and preach to his slaves and foment a rebellion. They’re teasing each other, but something serious is going on here, too.
    • Rochester asks what terms Jane wants in their relationship, and she tells him that she’s not going to be like his previous mistress, Céline Varens—a kept woman who is given lots of expensive presents by her lover.
    • She wants to keep being Adèle’s governess, earning her wages, and not getting any extra presents until she is actually Rochester’s wife. She even refuses to have dinner with him—as governess, she never had dinner with the master before, and she won’t start now.
    • Rochester tells Jane that she can make her terms now, but once they’re married, he’ll run the show. Again, he’s teasing… but he’s also serious.
    • Jane knows how to manage Rochester. They arrive home in the carriage, and Jane puts Adèle to bed. They dine separately, as they have done in the past, and then Rochester sends for Jane after dinner. But Jane’s got a plan to keep him occupied and prevent him from behaving seductively.
    • Jane teases Rochester into playing the piano and singing a song. At first he doesn’t want to, but when she plays and sings herself, he can’t help but push her aside and do better.
    • Rochester sings a love song that pretty much summarizes his relationship with Jane; at the end of it, they’re both feeling pretty lovey-dovey, but Jane forces herself to keep teasing him and keeping him at a distance; she doesn’t want another inappropriate show of affection, like when Mr. Rochester kissed her in the hallway in front of Mrs. Fairfax.
    • When Rochester tries to get Jane to be all sentimental with him, she argues with him and makes him angry and irritated instead. She’d rather they were verbally sparring than being nauseatingly mushy.
    • Jane can tell that this is the right approach for Rochester—if she let him make their relationship into a smoochy Hallmark cuddle-fest, he’d get bored with it really fast, and so would she.
    • Jane also notices that Mrs. Fairfax approves of her keeping Rochester at arm’s length.
    • It’s difficult for Jane to keep this up, though, because she’s falling so deeply in love with him—even idolizing him and putting him between herself and God. Uh-oh.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 10

    • The four weeks are almost over, and now it’s the night before Jane and Rochester’s wedding. Jane is looking at the name and address on her honeymoon luggage, and she can’t believe in this new "Jane Rochester" person just yet.
    • Jane goes outside for an evening walk; she’s upset about something she saw the night before, and she’s waiting for Rochester to come home so she can tell him about it.
    • Symbolism alert: the wind is blowing wildly outside, and Jane runs through it to look at the splintered chestnut tree. (Remember that it was struck by lightning at the end of Volume 2, Chapter 8.) Jane tells the tree—yes, she’s talking to a tree, folks—that it was right for the two halves to cling together, even though they’re dying and the tree won’t live much longer. Hmm, who might the two halves of the tree represent?
    • Jane starts doing chores to keep herself busy while waiting for Rochester. She gathers the windfall apples off the ground in the orchard, sorts them, and brings them into the storeroom. She makes sure there’s a fire in Rochester’s study.
    • She still can’t sit still waiting for him, so she runs down to the gate to meet him there. She can’t wait patiently, and she starts walking along the road toward the town, hoping to meet him halfway.
    • After about a quarter-mile, Jane meets Rochester on the road. He helps her up onto his horse and they keep riding toward Thornfield. Jane is soaked (it’s raining) and a bit feverish, and Rochester’s worried that she’s been upset about something.
    • They reach Thornfield; Jane changes out of her wet clothes, and Rochester eats dinner. Jane sits with Rochester, but won’t eat with him, and then they sit together talking, even though it’s midnight. Jane keeps telling Rochester that her whole life seems like a dream right now, and he’s the most unreal part of it.
    • Rochester tries to get Jane to explain what she’s upset about; she’s not nervous about what kind of husband he’ll be, or about becoming a "lady," or anything else you might expect. She’s upset about the weird thing that happened last night, and so she tells Rochester the story:
    • The previous evening, Jane was happy and busy, and spent some time walking in the garden just before sunset, feeling grateful that everything was going so well in her life.
    • At sunset, she went inside and found that Rochester had sent a package from London with an expensive wedding veil for her to wear. She decided that she would wear the much simpler one she had prepared anyway, and that she would tease him about trying to deck her out in stuff that’s too fancy for her.
    • Jane went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. She thought she could hear a weird howling sound in the wind.
    • Jane fell asleep and started dreaming, but in her dream she missed Rochester and felt separated from him—not just because they were a long distance apart, but in some other, strange way.
    • Jane dreamed that she was walking along a road carrying a small child, and Rochester was somewhere ahead of her on the road, but she couldn’t catch up with him because she had to carry the child.
    • Rochester comforts Jane, saying that the dream was just a dream, but their love for one another is real. Jane affirms that she loves him completely, and for some reason this makes him sad. He asks her to tease him instead of being so sincere.
    • Jane tells Rochester that her story isn’t finished, and continues:
    • Next, Jane dreamed that Thornfield hall was a ruin, and she was walking around in the ruin carrying the same child. She heard a horse and knew that Mr. Rochester was riding up to the house, and she climbed a wall to get a glimpse of him, but the wall crumbled and she fell and dropped the child. Then she woke up.
    • When Jane woke up, there was a burning candle on the table in her room. She thought that maybe Adèle’s nursemaid Sophie was in the room and called her name.
    • Then Jane noticed that her closet door was open and someone was messing with her wedding dress and veil. Someone came out of the closet, took the candle, and used the light from the candle to examine Jane’s trousseau and honeymoon luggage.
    • Jane sat up in bed, shocked: the woman wasn’t anyone she knew at Thornfield, but someone else, a stranger.
    • The stranger was a tall woman with long, dark hair dressed in white; her face was disturbing, with bloodshot red eyes, swollen, dark lips, and thick black eyebrows. She looked like a vampire!
    • Symbolism alert: the strange woman was wearing Jane’s wedding veil, and, as Jane watched, the woman pulled it off, tore it in half, and trampled on it.
    • The figure leaned close to Jane, who was sitting up in bed, held the candle close to her face, and then snuffed it. Jane fainted. (Remember that Jane has only fainted from fear once before—see Volume 1, Chapter 2.)
    • Jane woke up in her room alone in the morning and decided not to tell anyone what happened except for Mr. Rochester.
    • Jane asks Mr. Rochester who the woman is. Rochester says that she imagined this nightmarish creature, and Jane insists that it all really happened.
    • Rochester tries to convince her that the appearance of the strange woman was just one more dream—but it can’t have been a dream, because Jane found her wedding veil on the floor in two pieces. Rochester is glad she wasn’t harmed.
    • Next, Rochester tells Jane that it must have been Grace Poole who did this, even though Jane said earlier that it definitely wasn’t Grace. He says that Jane imagined the woman as looking like a vampire or goblin because she was half-dreaming.
    • Jane’s not really satisfied with this explanation, but she pretends to be to make Rochester feel better.
    • Rochester insists that Jane sleep in Adèle’s bed tonight so that she will have Sophie and Adèle for company. Jane obeys him and tells him she’s calm, but she doesn’t sleep a wink. She lies awake a night holding the sleeping Adèle in her arms and waiting.
    • In the morning, Jane has to pull Adèle off of her so that she can leave. She cries and cries as she puts Adèle down and leaves the room; she feels like Adèle represents her past, and now she’s going out to meet the future without knowing what’s going to happen.
  • Volume 2, Chapter 11

    • In the morning, Sophie dresses Jane in her wedding gown and plain veil (since the fancy veil was destroyed by the mysterious vampire-like woman in the previous chapter).
    • Mr. Rochester is impatient to get to the church and then to start off for London for the beginning of the honeymoon.
    • The church is just past the gate of Thornfield, so Rochester and Jane walk the short way there. They have no attendants, family, or friends there for the wedding—just the usual servants.
    • Rochester is practically marching Jane to the church, holding her arm in an iron grasp. As they arrive in the churchyard, he realizes he’s being cruel to her, and lets her catch her breath.
    • While they’re waiting in the churchyard, Jane notices two men, strangers. They slip around the corner of the church. Mr. Rochester doesn’t see them.
    • Jane and Rochester enter the church; the priest is there waiting, and so are the two strangers. The wedding ceremony begins.
    • When the priest gets to the part where he asks if anyone knows any reason why the bride and groom "may not lawfully be joined together in matrimony"—you know, the "speak now, or forever hold your peace" bit—one of the strangers comes forward and says he does know a reason.
    • Rochester stands frozen and rigid, refusing to turn and look at the stranger.
    • The reason that Rochester can’t marry Jane, according to the stranger, is that Rochester is already married to someone else.
    • Jane looks to Rochester, but all he does is hold her close to him and ask the stranger to describe his supposed wife.
    • The stranger, a lawyer named Mr. Briggs, reads a statement from Richard Mason, which claims that, fifteen years before, Rochester married a woman named Bertha Mason in Jamaica, and that he has a copy of the marriage certificate to prove it.
    • Rochester says that the statement proves he was once married, but not that his wife is alive today.
    • Briggs says that he has a witness who saw Bertha alive three months before. The second stranger comes forward—and it’s Richard Mason.
    • Rochester is so furious that the priest has to remind him he’s in church before he does something to Mason.
    • Mason says that he is Bertha’s brother and that he saw her at Thornfield hall in April (it’s now just after mid-summer, sometime in late June).
    • The priest, Mr. Wood, says that he has lived in the area for a long time and never heard of a Mrs. Rochester at Thornfield. Mr. Rochester says he made sure nobody would hear about her.
    • Somewhat angrily, Rochester explains that he was, in fact, trying to commit bigamy, and that he realizes how sinful and immoral this makes him.
    • Rochester reminds Wood, and everyone else there, that they may not have heard of a Mrs. Rochester, but they probably have heard that there’s a strange lunatic kept at Thornfield Hall. Some of the rumors are that the lunatic is his half-sister; other people say she’s his former mistress; but now he admits that she is his wife, Bertha Mason.
    • Bertha, according to Rochester, is insane; madness runs in her family, and he was tricked into marrying her before he realized that she had inherited it. He invites everyone in the church to come back to Thornfield and see just what his "wife" is like.
    • Rochester also emphasizes to them that Jane didn’t know about Rochester’s previous marriage and thought that the wedding was completely legal.
    • Rochester, Jane, Mr. Wood, Mr. Briggs, and Mr. Mason walk back to Thornfield. Rochester sends away the carriage, because they won’t need it—there isn’t going to be a honeymoon.
    • Rochester takes everyone up to the third floor and unlocks the door of the room where Mason was bitten and stabbed.
    • They go through a second door into the next room and find Grace Poole cooking something over the fire and Bertha on the other side of the room, moving on all fours, growling and behaving like a wild animal.
    • Rochester asks Grace how her patient is doing, and Grace says that she’s all right today—but when Bertha sees Rochester, she goes crazy. Rochester protects Jane by coming between her and Bertha, and Bertha attacks Rochester, trying to bite his cheek.
    • Rochester and Bertha struggle until he gets her arms behind her back, and Grace Poole helps him tie her to a chair.
    • Rochester asks everyone to consider the kind of "marriage" he’s likely to have with Bertha and to compare her to Jane. Then he throws everyone out of the room except himself, Grace, and Bertha, and stays behind to give some instructions.
    • As Jane and the others leave, Mr. Briggs tells her that he and Mr. Mason know her uncle, Mr. John Eyre, who is currently living in Madeira.
    • Mason and John Eyre were friends, and when Jane wrote a letter to her uncle telling him that she was going to marry Mr. Rochester, Mason heard about it and came back to England to prevent Rochester from committing bigamy.
    • Mr. Briggs tells Jane that her uncle is dying, but that he will probably die before she could reach him if she went to Madeira to see him.
    • Mr. Briggs, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Wood leave, and Jane locks herself in her room. She takes off the wedding dress and puts on one of her regular, plain dresses. Then she starts to try to think about what’s just happened.
    • All Jane’s hopes have been crushed, and although she still loves Mr. Rochester, she doesn’t trust him in the same way. She knows she has to leave Thornfield.
    • Jane thinks of a prayer, but can’t seem to say the words, and she feels hit by a flood of anguish and depression. Cheery, eh?
  • Volume 3, Chapter 1

    • Jane stays in her room for most of the day with a debate raging in her head: does she really have to leave Thornfield?
    • When Jane finally emerges from her room, Rochester is waiting for her outside. She is faint and dizzy, and Rochester carries her downstairs to a sofa in the library and gives her a glass of wine.
    • Jane won’t let Rochester embrace her, although she doesn’t say much.
    • Rochester guesses that Jane is planning to remain at Thornfield as Adèle’s governess, but cut off their intimate relationship. He proposes an alternate plan: he’ll send Adèle to school, and he and Jane will go off somewhere else together.
    • At this point, Rochester explains a little more about his behavior toward Bertha. He ordered the servants to keep Bertha a secret from the governess because the thought no governess would stay at Thornfield if she knew there was a madwoman there.
    • Rochester says that he could have sent Bertha to another house he owns, Ferndean Manor, but he was afraid that it was too damp and unhealthy there and that it would kill her. Hmm, remember how the problem with Lowood was that it was built in a damp, unhealthy spot that caused an epidemic of typhus? (See Volume 1, Chapter 9.)
    • Rochester thinks aloud, making plans to leave Thornfield and Bertha in the care of Mrs. Poole and her son. Jane rebukes him for being so cruel in his attitude toward Bertha; after all, she can’t help being crazy.
    • Rochester tells Jane that he doesn’t hate Bertha because she’s mad, and claims that, if Jane were mad, he would still take tender care of her and never abandon her to other people.
    • Anyway, Rochester says he’ll leave tomorrow. Jane refuses to go with him, but also realizes that he’s half-wild and about to get violent, so she coaxes him into sitting down with her to talk it through.
    • Jane hasn’t cried yet, but now she lets herself weep and weep. She hopes that it will irritate Rochester and keep him from being so absorbed in his own sadness. It works.
    • After they’re both calm, Rochester asks Jane if she’s upset because she just wanted his fortune and rank, instead of his love. Jane’s insulted—of course she loves him, but they can’t indulge in that anymore.
    • Jane breaks it to Rochester that she has to leave him—permanently.
    • Rochester wants Jane to go with him to France and live with him in a villa there as his "virtual" wife. He claims that he’s not really married and that Jane would basically be his wife, not his mistress.
    • Jane refuses this arrangement, and tells him that, with his wife alive, she would be his mistress if they ran off to France together, and saying anything else is just a lie.
    • Rochester decides that Jane might change her mind if she knew the circumstances under which he married Bertha, so he tells the story:
    • Edward Rochester’s father didn’t want to divide his fortune, so he left it all to his eldest son, Rowland, but he wanted Edward to be wealthy, too. He found the rich Mason family in Jamaica and arranged for Edward to marry Bertha Mason.
    • Edward only saw Bertha at parties and for brief moments, and she was beautiful and could play the piano, sing, and so on. Everyone encouraged him, and she seemed to be great, so he married her, the way the two families wanted.
    • After his marriage, Rochester found out that Bertha’s mother was in an insane asylum and that her two brothers had mental problems, too.
    • Rochester lived with Bertha in Jamaica for four years, even though she was hot-tempered, violent, and coarse. She was also "intemperate and unchaste"—aka drunk and promiscuous.
    • Rochester’s father and brother died, and Rochester inherited the family fortune and lands.
    • Rochester wanted to divorce Bertha for her behavior, but he couldn’t because she had been diagnosed as insane.
    • One evening, in stormy, hot weather, Rochester was woken by Bertha’s curses and profanity and decided that he couldn’t live this way anymore.
    • Rochester considered suicide, but decided to go back to Europe, lock Bertha up at Thornfield, and travel on the continent. Nobody in England knew about his marriage in Jamaica.
    • Rochester also decided that he wouldn’t recognize Bertha as his wife anymore and that his only responsibility toward her was to make sure that she was cared for properly.
    • Rochester did all this, and only Grace Poole, who has taken care of Bertha at Thornfield, and the doctor, Mr. Carter, knew about Bertha—not even Mrs. Fairfax knew, although she might have suspected.
    • Bertha has been secretive and cunning, and whenever Grace Poole turns her back, she gets into mischief—most recently, of course, by trying to burn Rochester alive in his bed, stabbing her brother, and tearing Jane’s wedding veil.
    • After Rochester found Grace to take care of Bertha, he went to the European continent and traveled, lookin’ for love in all the wrong places. He was planning to get married again, without telling the new wife or anyone else that, legally, he was committing bigamy.
    • Rochester bummed around Europe for ten years. Okay, he’s rich, so it wasn’t exactly bumming, but you get the idea. He looked for the right girl everywhere, but couldn’t find anyone. He got depressed and drank a lot.
    • Eventually Rochester tried having mistresses, since he couldn’t find anyone he wanted to marry. He had three—Céline Varens, Giacinta, and Clara (French, Italian, and German), but none of them suited him for long.
    • Rochester interrupts his own story to notice that Jane disapproves of his having mistresses. He says that he regrets it and wouldn’t do it again, because it made him feel like he was buying slaves. Then he finishes the story:
    • Last January, after getting rid of the last mistress, Rochester came back to England, grumpy and depressed. The first person he met, before he even got back to Thornfield, was Jane (see Volume 1, Chapter 12).
    • Rochester was immediately attracted to Jane and glad to find out that she was the new governess and therefore living at his house.
    • The next day Rochester secretly spied on Jane while she was teaching Adèle and when she was alone, and he liked what he saw.
    • Rochester was first interested in what kind of person Jane was, because she was different from everyone else he had known, and then gradually became fond of her.
    • Jane interrupts Rochester and asks him not to talk about the past and how they fell in love anymore. Rochester asks her if she understands, now, that he doesn’t really have a wife, despite being married to Bertha. He asks Jane to promise to be his—but she won’t.
    • Rochester tries his best persuasions—being sweet, being seductive, and pleading—but Jane won’t do something that she thinks is wrong.
    • Next Rochester reminds Jane that the only thing she’ll be doing wrong if she agrees to stay with him is to break a social rule—she doesn’t have any family who would be upset or harmed by her choice.
    • Jane realizes that what matters most is her own respect for herself, and that it’s even more important for her to cling to her principles at this difficult moment.
    • Rochester is furious, and he grasps Jane tightly in his arms. He’s frustrated by the fact that he could overpower her physically, but he could never capture the part of her that he’s most interested in.
    • Despite Rochester’s pleadings, Jane leaves, giving him a kiss on the cheek and a blessing as she goes.
    • That night, Jane dreams about being in the red room at Gateshead and seeing the spirit of the moon come to her and warn her to "flee temptation."
    • Jane wakes up early and packs a few small things, leaving all the presents Rochester bought her. She sneaks out of the house, pausing outside Rochester’s door, tempted to relent and go to him—but she forces herself to leave. She takes a little bread and water from the kitchen as she goes.
    • Jane walks along the road in the opposite direction to the local town, Millcote. She goes until she faints down on the ground, crawls for awhile, then gets back up and walks some more. Eventually a coach comes along that’s on its way to a place Jane’s never heard of, and she pays the last of her money to get on it.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 2

    • Two days later, the coachman leaves Jane somewhere called Whitcross because her money has run out. Whitcross is just a crossroads, not a town, so she has at least ten miles to walk, but it’s getting dark so she can’t start now.
    • Jane walks out into the heath and finds a place on the moor to sleep while she thinks about what to do and where to go.
    • Jane feels like she’s being taken care of by Mother Nature; she finds a dry, warm place to sleep and even some berries to eat.
    • Jane can’t sleep because she’s so worried about Mr. Rochester and has to pray for him before she can fall asleep.
    • In the morning, Jane wakes up early, goes back to Whitcross, and starts walking down one of the roads pretty much at random. After several hours she hears a church bell, which leads her to a small village.
    • Jane sees a little bakery in the village; she’s out of money, but she thinks maybe she can trade a silk handkerchief or gloves for food. When she goes into the shop, she’s too ashamed to try bartering, and just asks for a place to sit down.
    • Jane questions the woman working at the store about job opportunities for women in the area, but there isn’t really anything available that she could do.
    • Jane stays in the little town, wandering around, for over an hour, but can’t think of any reason to ask to go into any of the houses. Eventually she goes up to the door of a nice-looking house and asks if they need a servant, but they don’t. They’re nice to her, but can’t help her.
    • Although she wants to slink away and rest in the forest, Jane knows she won’t be able to rest while she’s so hungry.
    • Eventually Jane decides that the best thing to do would be to go to the parsonage and ask the local clergyman for help and advice. She goes back to the church, finds the parsonage beside it, and asks for the clergyman, but he’s out of town.
    • Jane goes back to the bakery and offers to trade her handkerchief or gloves for a roll or even half of a little cake, but the woman won’t barter with her.
    • Jane keeps walking. That evening, she passes a farmhouse, where she sees a farmer eating bread and cheese. She asks him for a piece of bread, which he gives to her without saying anything.
    • Jane sleeps in the wood, but she has to keep moving so that nobody finds her, and at one point it rains. She’s soaked.
    • The next day, Jane keeps wandering around and asking around for work, but can’t find any. In the evening, she gets a little more food—a bowl of old, sticky, congealed porridge that a girl was going to feed to a pig.
    • Jane finally turns away from the village (she’s already on the outskirts of it anyway) and walks toward a hill. She looks for a little hollow in the side of the hill where she can curl up and sleep, but instead she sees a light shining in the distance. She’s pretty much given up hope of finding help anywhere, but she goes toward the light anyway.
    • When Jane reaches the light, she discovers that it comes from a large-ish house. Through one window, Jane sees a nice, clean room with some expensive furniture and a fire burning. There’s an old woman in the room knitting, and two young ladies sitting together reading.
    • As Jane watches and listens, she figures out that the two young women are actually using dictionaries to help them read and translate books that are in German. Jane learns that the old woman is a servant named Hannah and the ladies are Diana and Mary, and that the ladies are waiting for their brother St. John (pronounced "SIN-jun," fyi) to come home.
    • Jane also notices that the ladies are in mourning—they’re wearing black, Hannah talks about missing someone who is "in a better place," and eventually one of them mentions that it was their father who died recently. Good thing they explained, or we and Jane wouldn’t know what was going on, right?
    • Jane knocks at the door of the house and asks to speak to the ladies, but Hannah is suspicious and doesn’t want to let her talk to them, although she does offer her a piece of bread and a penny. She tells Jane to leave and bolts the door.
    • Jane’s too wet and hungry and exhausted to go anywhere, so she lets herself fall down on the doorstep and waits for God to decide what will happen to her.
    • As Jane is lying on the doorstep, St. John arrives home and finds her there. Hannah still doesn’t want to let Jane in, but St. John can tell that Jane isn’t an ordinary beggar and invites her into the house.
    • Diana and Mary are very sympathetic to Jane’s plight; they offer her break and milk. Jane eats and drinks so fast that they have to take the food away so she doesn’t make herself sick.
    • Jane’s too exhausted to tell her story, but she is quick-thinking enough to invent a pseudonym for herself—Jane Elliott.
    • Even without knowing what’s happened to Jane or why she’s there, the three siblings agree to take care of her, and put her to bed in a spare room.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 3

    • For three days, Jane lies in the bed mostly unconscious while Diana, Mary, and Hannah take care of her. She does hear and understand some of the things that are said around her, and she hears the ladies discussing her and figuring out that she must be educated based on her accent, clothes, and facial features.
    • St. John only comes into Jane’s room once to look at her; he decides that she doesn’t need a doctor, just rest, and analyzes her facial features a little more. (Once again, people are judging each other based on phrenology!)
    • On the fourth day, Jane is able to sit up, talk, and even get dressed and go downstairs. She finds Hannah baking bread in the kitchen.
    • Hannah is still suspicious of Jane and asks whether she’s been a beggar before. Jane tells Hannah that, even though she doesn’t have money or a home at the moment, she is educated and able to earn her keep, and plans to work again.
    • Jane insists on helping Hannah with her work in the kitchen and asks Hannah questions about the family who has taken her in. She discovers that Diana, Mary, and St. John are siblings; their last name is Rivers; their mother has been dead for a long time; and their father died three weeks ago. Hannah has been the family’s servant for thirty years and nursed all the children when they were young. Their house is called Moor House (or sometimes Marsh End).
    • Once they’re a little more comfortable with each other, Jane rebukes Hannah for thinking badly of her just because she’s poor. She reminds Hannah that Christians don’t consider poverty a crime, and they agree to be friends.
    • Jane learns even more about the Rivers family from Hannah: they were once wealthy; Mrs. Rivers was highly educated and taught all her children to love learning; and St. John is going to be a clergyman while his sisters are going to be governesses, since their father lost all his money.
    • St. John, Diana, and Mary come home from their walk. The ladies insist that Jane come and sit with them in the parlor and have tea with them.
    • While Diana and Mary get the tea, Jane is briefly left alone with St. John, who strikes her as an intense, harsh person.
    • During tea, St. John cross-examines Jane about her background, even though his sisters object to his attitude. Jane tells him that she has no home, friends, or family, that she’s never been married, and that she won’t tell him where she last lived.
    • St. John asks how he can help Jane if he doesn’t know her story, and she tells him that all she really wants is work. He agrees to help her try to find a job.
    • Jane decides to tell the Rivers siblings as much as possible about her life without giving away that she was at Thornfield or knew Mr. Rochester, so she tells them the short version of her autobiography. You know, school at Lowood as a pupil and a teacher, and then a position as a governess. She still won’t tell them why she left her last job, although she says that she isn’t at fault.
    • Jane’s almost home free when one of the sisters calls her "Miss Elliott," and her reaction proves that’s not her real name. St. John notices, and Jane admits that it’s a pseudonym.
    • Diana and Mary are ready to pretty much adopt Jane into the family, but St. John is more interested in empowering her to earn her own living. For the moment, though, they agree that Jane can live with them.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 4

    • Jane continues to regain her strength living at Moor House. She’s especially happy because, now that she’s met Diana and Mary, she finally has some real friends of her own. The three women spend a lot of time together reading, talking, and walking on the moor. Diana starts teaching Jane German.
    • Jane doesn’t really develop a friendship with St. John. For one thing, he’s not around a lot; he goes out visiting the sick and needy all the time, in all weathers. For another, he’s a bit too reserved and cold to get friendly with her very fast.
    • When Jane hears St. John preach, she’s amazed at how powerful and intense he is, but also realizes that he’s a really unhappy person.
    • Diana and Mary prepare to move away and become governesses.
    • Jane talks to St. John about the job he’s promised to find for her. He says that he’s been waiting until after his sisters leave to start their new jobs.
    • St. John tells Jane about his family’s poverty and warns her that he won’t be able to get her a really great job, but he thinks she’ll take what he found.
    • St. John explains that he is the clergyman in the little town of Morton and that, when he came there two years ago, it didn’t have a school. He established a boys’ school and he’s been meaning to establish a girls’ school, too, funded by the rich factory owner in the town, Mr. Oliver. He asks Jane to run this school; she’ll have a salary of thirty pounds a year (the same as at Thornfield!) and even a little house of her own beside the school.
    • Jane accepts the post, which involves teaching village girls to read, write, do math, sew, and knit.
    • Diana and Mary are very sad about having to leave; they might not see their brother again for a long time after they take up their new jobs.
    • St. John gets a letter stating that the Rivers’ Uncle John is dead. Jane watches as all the members of the Rivers family behave somewhat strangely about this—they’re not exactly sad; she’s not sure what they’re feeling. St. John explains that their uncle had argued with their father long before, and that he had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, but decided to leave all the money to another relative.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 5

    • Jane moves into her little cottage, which is simple but adequate.
    • This was Jane’s first day teaching at the new school; she has twenty students, only three of whom can read, so she’s got her work cut out for her. She knows that she’s doing really useful work, but she still feels like she’s taken a step down on the social scale (which she has).
    • Jane reminds herself that her current situation is better than being Rochester’s mistress, but she doesn’t seem to believe her own argument—she starts crying.
    • St. John shows up, bringing Jane some drawing materials from his sisters. He asks how everything is going, and she says that it’s wonderful, and she’s grateful things are going so well for her when, a few days ago, she was homeless and friendless.
    • St. John counsels Jane to keep trying to master her emotions and overcome her own desire to go back to whatever it is that she left. He tells her about his own experience denying himself—a year ago, he thought that he hated being a priest, but then he felt called by God to become a missionary. There’s only one more desire he needs to overcome before he can go East, he says.
    • A young woman comes up and wishes St. John good evening. St. John completely freaks out for a moment, but then calms himself down and turns to talk to her. Jane notices how beautiful the woman is.
    • It turns out that this is Miss (Rosamond) Oliver, the daughter of the man who’s paying Jane’s salary. Miss Oliver says she’ll come and help Jane out at the school sometimes.
    • Miss Oliver tries to talk to St. John about normal things like a recent dance, but St. John is cold and disapproving.
    • Miss Oliver gently teases St. John, saying that the dog, Carlo, would be more friendly to her. St. John blushes and his chest heaves, but he doesn’t really respond.
    • Miss Oliver invites St. John to come with her and see her father—she’s on her way home—but St. John refuses. Miss Oliver thinks he’s upset about his sisters leaving for their new jobs.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 6

    • Jane keeps teaching at the village school in Morton. At first it’s really difficult work, but soon she starts making progress and feeling good about it. Everyone in the area seems to like her, which makes things even more pleasant.
    • At night, however, Jane has weird dreams about Mr. Rochester.
    • Rosamond Oliver goes to the school regularly, usually in the morning at the same time that St. John is there giving the girls a religious lesson. He blushes intensely and almost angrily when she comes in.
    • Miss Oliver knows that St. John is in love with her—he doesn’t hide it, but he refuses to act on his feelings. Rosamond pouts about this.
    • Miss Oliver also visits Jane at her cottage. Jane decides that she is "coquettish, but not heartless; exacting, but not worthlessly selfish" (3.6.7)—which means that she’s a little bit superficial and demanding, but not a bad person. Jane thinks she’s a bit like Adèle (but older, of course).
    • Rosamond likes Jane and suspects that there’s an exciting romantic story in her past. One evening, Rosamond goes through Jane’s things and finds some French and German books and sketches.
    • Rosamond asks Jane to do a portrait of her and Jane agrees.
    • Jane gets to know Rosamond’s father, Mr. Oliver, and the two of them comment on the fact that she seems smart enough to be a governess. Jane also learns that Mr. Oliver respects St. John and his family background, but thinks that St. John becoming a missionary is a waste.
    • On a school holiday, Jane is sitting alone at home, finishing the picture of Rosamond Oliver, when St. John drops by to bring her a new book to read. When he sees the portrait, he becomes disturbed.
    • Jane asks St. John about the portrait for a bit, and eventually he admits that he knows it’s of Rosamond. She offers to make a copy for him—if he will admit that he wants one.
    • St. John admits that he wants a copy of the picture, but says that it wouldn’t be good for him to have it.
    • Jane decides to play matchmaker. She knows Rosamond loves St. John, she knows St. John loves Rosamond, and she knows Rosamond’s father would be okay with their marriage.
    • St. John isn’t angry—actually, he seems glad to be able to talk about it for once. He takes out his watch and puts it on the table, telling Jane that they can talk about Rosamond for fifteen minutes. He imagines what his life would be like if he decided to marry her and forget his plan of being a missionary.
    • When the fifteen minutes are over, he stops thinking about this temptation. He tells Jane that he knows Rosamond could never be a missionary’s wife—she wouldn’t like it or be good at it. He knows that, on a practical level, he would regret marrying her.
    • Jane reminds St. John how much he loves Rosamond—he blushes and shakes whenever she comes in the room. He tells her that’s just a fleshly thing and that really he’s a "cold, hard man."
    • Jane doesn’t believe him, and he tells her that, for example, he only takes an interest in her because she is hardworking and diligent—not because she suffered.
    • St. John pulls a piece of scrap paper over the portrait so that he doesn’t have to look at it anymore—and then he sees something on the paper that really surprises him. Jane can’t figure out what it is, but he tears off a piece and keeps it.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 7

    • The next day, Jane sits in her cottage reading the book St. John brought her; it snowed all night and there are huge snowdrifts everywhere.
    • St. John arrives, even though he had to struggle through the snow. He won’t tell her why he’s there, and he’s behaving really strangely. She starts to worry that he might be a little bit insane.
    • After a while, Jane goes back to reading, because St. John still won’t tell her what’s going on.
    • Jane chats to St. John about various different things going on at the village school, but he isn’t really paying attention.
    • Suddenly, St. John asks Jane to listen as he tells her a story that he’s discovered:
    • Twenty years before, a poor clergyman married a rich man’s daughter and her family disowned her. Two years later they were both dead and left an orphan daughter.
    • The orphan was adopted by Mrs. Reed of Gateshead and lived there for ten years.
    • After ten years, the orphan went to Lowood Institute, and was a student and then a teacher there.
    • After eight years at Lowood, the orphan became a governess for the ward of a man named Mr. Rochester.
    • Rochester proposed to the girl, but at the altar it was revealed that his wife was alive and insane.
    • The governess left in the middle of the night and nobody knows where she is, although they’ve been looking for her to tell her something important.
    • Jane asks St. John how Mr. Rochester is, and he says he doesn’t know—he just knows all the details that Mason’s lawyer, Mr. Briggs, told him in a letter some time ago.
    • St. John suggests that Mr. Rochester must have been "a bad man," but Jane denies this.
    • St. John then shows Jane the thing he got so excited about the day before—her name, written on the piece of paper he tore off.
    • Jane learns from St. John that Mr. Briggs is looking for her so that he can give her the fortune she inherited from her uncle, Mr. Eyre, who finally died out in Madeira. Jane can’t quite wrap her head around all this. She finds out that she has inherited twenty thousand pounds.
    • Before St. John leaves, Jane asks why Mr. Briggs wrote to him about her. He’s reluctant to tell her, but finally he admits that his name is St. John Eyre Rivers—his mother was the sister of Jane’s father. Diana, Mary, and St. John are all Jane’s cousins!
    • Jane’s much more excited about finding out that she has such great relatives than about the money. She realizes that she has the power to bring the Rivers family back together now that she has wealth: Diana and Mary won’t have to be governesses anymore.
    • St. John tries to talk Jane out of it, but she insists on splitting the twenty thousand pounds four ways so that she, St. John, Diana, and Mary each have five thousand.
    • St. John also agrees to treat Jane as a sister, although he tells her that she doesn’t have to feel like she’s buying her family: she could keep the money. Jane still insists on splitting it.
    • Jane agrees to stay at the village school until St. John finds a substitute, despite her newfound wealth.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 8

    • At Christmastime, Jane closes up the school. St. John asks her if she feels good about the work she’s been doing, and when she admits that she does he asks if she would devote her entire life to charitable works. She says that she couldn’t do that; she wants to enjoy her own life, too.
    • Jane begins preparing Moor House for Diana and Mary’s return. St. John objects to her keeping her talents and abilities for her private domestic life and argues that she has larger duties in the world.
    • Jane ignores St. John and spends a few days getting Moor House ready, cleaning and decorating.
    • On the Thursday when Diana and Mary are supposed to arrive, Jane is waiting at the house for them. St. John arrives first; she shows him everything she’s done in the house, but he doesn’t care about any of it and starts reading a book.
    • Jane realizes that St. John is right about his calling—he really doesn’t care about leading a pleasant, comfortable life, only about huge, glorious projects and challenges and sacrifices.
    • Diana and Mary arrive and are delighted with all Jane’s work in the house.
    • A poor boy comes and asks St. John to go and see his dying mother. St. John does and comes back tired but happier.
    • Diana, Mary, and Jane spend Christmas week hanging out together and chatting; St. John gets away from them to do different clergyman-type duties as much as possible.
    • Diana and Mary ask St. John about his plans; he has arranged to go to India next year, and he’s heard that Rosamond Oliver is about to be married to someone else. Nobody really knows how to react to this, but St. John seems to be calm about it now.
    • For a few weeks, things settle into a pattern; each of the women has something she’s reading or studying, and Jane also makes weekly visits to the school. St. John is really excited about these weekly visits and encourages Jane to make them in all types of weather.
    • One day, St. John asks Jane to stop learning German and start learning Hindustani, because he needs a study-buddy and he thinks she would be better than either of his sisters. She agrees.
    • Jane makes progress studying Hindustani, but somehow her teacher-student relationship with St. John makes her feel like she’s very much under his control. She starts to be extremely obedient to him whenever he asks her to do anything.
    • One evening, when St. John is kissing his sisters goodnight, Diana convinces him to kiss Jane, too, because she’s sort of like a sister to them. He does, and the kiss is super-weird.
    • More and more frequently, Jane wants to please St. John, but she feels like she has to suppress her real personality to do it.
    • Jane writes to Mrs. Fairfax, but doesn’t hear anything back from her.
    • One day, St. John asks Jane to go for a walk with him. They go out onto the moor and sit beside some large rocks. St. John tells Jane about his plans to leave England for India in six weeks.
    • St. John asks Jane to marry him and go with him to India; he says that God intended her to be a missionary’s wife.
    • Jane objects, saying that she doesn’t have the right calling to be a missionary. St. John says that he’s watched her for ten months (that’s how long she’s been in Morton) and he can tell she has all the right qualities.
    • Jane asks for time to think, and they sit in silence. She realizes that she could do the work, but is worried that living in India would kill her. She also realizes that St. John might approve of her, but he’ll never love her.
    • Jane offers to go with St. John to India as his fellow-missionary, but refuses to marry him.
    • St. John tries to persuade her that there’s no way for her to go to India if she’s not married to him; going alone together, both of them single, just wouldn’t be right in his opinion.
    • Jane sticks to her guns again. She’ll go with him, but not as his wife. They can continue to be like brother and sister, since they are, after all, cousins, or even act just like co-workers.
    • St. John refuses this arrangement again… they seem to be stuck in a loop here.
    • St. John tells Jane that he’s going to Cambridge for two weeks to say goodbye to various friends and that he wants her to think bout it while he’s gone.
    • That evening, they shake hands before going to bed; St. John is angry with her, although he thinks that he’s forgiven her.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 9

    • St. John stays at Moor House for another week. Jane feels tortured by his constant pressure, but the pressure just convinces her even more what a mistake it would be for her to actually marry him.
    • The night before he leaves, Jane tries to get reconciled with him, but it just turns into the same argument: she refuses to marry him and tells him that his weird behavior is killing her. He is incredibly angry.
    • Jane offers again to go with St. John as his assistant, but not his wife. He insists that’s absolutely impossible, but says that he’ll arrange for her to go as the companion of some other missionary’s wife. That way, he says, she won’t be breaking her promise.
    • Jane is outraged at the suggestion that she’s made any formal agreement to go to India, especially with random strangers. She says that she won’t leave England unless it’s more useful for her to leave than stay.
    • St. John asks if Jane is going to see Rochester, and she admits it. They part.
    • Jane goes back inside and sees Diana. Diana admits that she’s been watching them from the window and asks what’s been going on.
    • Jane explains the situation to Diana: St. John doesn’t love her, but has asked her to marry him and go with him to India. Diana is convinced that going to India would kill Jane because the climate is so harsh.
    • Jane and Diana discuss St. John’s offer of marriage. Diana agrees with Jane that she could never marry a man who just thought of her as "a useful tool," although she also defends her brother.
    • Jane has to see St. John at dinner, and he behaves pretty normally. After dinner, during the family Bible reading, St. John chooses a freaky passage from the book of Revelations, and Jane realizes that he thinks she’s damned.
    • As St. John says good night to Jane, he tries again to convince her that marrying him and doing missionary work is God’s will. Jane is awed by his manner and starts to relent—in fact, she’s almost ready to agree to marry him!
    • Suddenly, out of thin air, Jane hears Rochester’s voice calling her name. She responds, but can’t figure out where the voice is. Still, she breaks away from St. John and goes to her room to pray in her own way, eager to do something about what she’s heard in the morning.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 10

    • St. John slips a note under Jane’s door in the morning; he can tell she was ready to sacrifice everything and become his wife and fellow missionary, and he’ll ask her again when he comes back in two weeks.
    • After St. John leaves, Jane thinks about the supernatural voice and wonders where it came from. She decides she must know what’s going on with Rochester, wherever he is.
    • Jane arranges a journey back to Thornfield; after thirty-six hours, she arrives at an inn called the Rochester Arms. She can’t bring herself to ask anyone there about him, so she just starts walking to Thornfield.
    • Jane comes up toward Thornfield walking along the wall of the orchard. She peeks out from around a corner of the wall... and sees a complete ruin.
    • It’s burned down, blackened and collapsed. She compares it to a man sneaking up to peek at the face of his sleeping beloved and finding her dead.
    • Shocked, Jane goes back to the inn and asks the host what happened. From him she learns the whole story of what happened: Bertha burned down the house in the middle of the night by setting fire to what used to be Jane’s own bed.
    • Rochester saved the servants and then climbed up to a high wall where Bertha was standing to try to rescue her, but she jumped off and committed suicide. Rochester was blinded and lost a hand when the wall collapsed.
    • Jane asks where Rochester is now, and the innkeeper tells her that he’s at his other home, Ferndean. Jane arranges to go there in a chaise right away.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 11

    • Jane goes to Ferndean to find Rochester. When she comes up to the house, she sees him coming out and watches him for a long time without letting him know she’s there. He looks like "some wronged and fettered wild beast or bird, dangerous to approach in his sullen woe"—in other words, he’s really let himself go.
    • Jane goes into the house and talks to the servants, John and Mary. She arranges to bring a tray in to Rochester in Mary’s place.
    • When Jane enters the parlor, the dog, Pilot, recognizes her. Rochester realizes something is up and demands to know what’s going on, but he doesn’t know it’s Jane yet.
    • Rochester reaches out, trying to touch her, and she takes his hand in hers. When he feels her fingers, he clasps her to him and figures out who she is based on her shape. Sexy, eh?
    • Rochester can hardly believe that it’s really Jane, but when she tells him about her inheritance he decides this is reality—he would never imagine something boring about wills and money.
    • Jane offers to be Rochester’s nurse or housekeeper, convinced that he will immediately ask her to marry him again, but he doesn’t.
    • Jane insists that Rochester eat supper, which he usually doesn’t. They eat and talk together, but Jane won’t tell him yet where she was or what she was doing. Rochester’s still worried that she’s a spirit or ghost or hallucination. Jane combs his hair, which he’s allowed to get a bit wild.
    • Jane heads to bed without answering any of Rochester’s questions. She decides to tease him for a while and let him think she fell in love with someone else in order to distract him from his depression.
    • In the morning, Jane comes down to breakfast, and then takes Rochester outside so they can stroll in the wood and meadows.
    • They sit down in a dry place and Rochester asks Jane to tell him where she’s been and what’s happened to her. She tells the story, but doesn’t emphasize how hungry she got during the first three days.
    • When Jane tells Rochester about Moor House, he cross-examines her about St. John Rivers. Jane answers with the truth, but very sparingly, and he becomes convinced that she’s in love with St. John.
    • When Jane finally reveals that she has no feelings for St. John—and that St. John was only interested in her because she’d be a good missionary wife—Rochester is ecstatic. He laments his blindness and lost hand, but asks Jane to marry him anyway. She accepts gladly.
    • Rochester is worried that Jane will find it unpleasant to wait on him and deal with his blindness, but she says she’s even more happy to be his wife now, when she can be really useful to him.
    • As they walk back to the house for dinner, Rochester tells Jane that he understands why she had to leave him, and that he feels remorse and repentance for his behavior in the past.
    • Rochester also tells Jane that, four days before, between eleven and twelve at night, he called her name three times frantically—and he heard her respond. He thinks that perhaps they met in spirit.
    • Jane doesn’t tell Rochester that she heard him call her name and responded to him while she was sitting, miles away, with St. John. She doesn’t want him to get obsessed with the supernatural.
  • Volume 3, Chapter 12

    • Jane and Rochester have a quiet wedding; the servants are surprised, but they approve.
    • Jane tells the Rivers siblings about her wedding; St. John doesn’t write to her for six months.
    • Adèle goes to one boarding school and then another because Jane doesn’t have time to teach her; the English schools seem to take the French-ness out of her and she becomes less frivolous.
    • Jane and Rochester live happily ever after; the Jane telling the story has been married to Mr. Rochester for ten years.
    • Rochester gets his sight back after two years of marriage.
    • Jane and Rochester have a son.
    • Diana and Mary Rivers each get married.
    • St. John Rivers goes to India alone and works himself to death there. The novel ends with a quotation from one of his letters in which he anticipates his own death.