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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre was written by Charlotte Brontë and published in 1847. This influential novel is famous for its feminist approach considering the time it was created. Besides being a bildungsroman, Jane Eyre is a Gothic fiction with much social criticism.

Plot Summary

Jane Eyre is an orphan first living with her cruel aunt and cousins who treat the little girl like their servant. Jane`s terror seems to end when she starts attending Lowood School for Girls. At this charity school her suffering does not come to an end as the conditions there are bad and she is not well treated.

After eight years of school, Jane becomes governess at Thornfield Hall where she falls in love with the master of the house, Edward Rochester. They spend a lot of time together and become very close. Meanwhile, strange things happen at the mansion, such as an attack, a mysterious laugh and a strange fire.

Mr. Rochester proposes marriage to Jane, but things are not as simple as they seem. Before the wedding, a woman enters Jane`s room and rips her wedding veil. In order to comfort Jane, Mr. Rochester blames a drunkard servant for the incident. At the wedding, Jane finds out she cannot marry the man she loves because Mr. Rochester is married to an insane woman, the one responsible for all the previous curious incidents. Even if he tells Jane to run away with him in France and start a life together, Jane leaves the mansion in the middle on the night.

Having almost no money, Jane is about to die, but she is saved by St. John Rivers and finds a job as a teacher. When John finds out her true identity, he informs Jane they are cousins and she has been left with all her rich dead uncle`s fortune. Jane rejects John`s marriage proposal and instead returns to Thornfield to look for Mr. Rochester. The mansion is on ruins because of a fire set by Mr. Rochester`s mad wife who committed suicide. In this misfortune event Mr. Rochester lost his eyesight and a hand. But despite his condition, Jane wants to spend her life with him, so they get married. In the end, he partially recovers so he can see their first baby.

Themes and style
Jane Eyre is written in the first-person and the main themes in the novel are morality, social class, gender relations, religion, love, independence, family and forgiveness.

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