Jane Eyre, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 5

Context 5

Summary 7

Characters 9

Jane Eyre: 9

Edward Rochester: 10

St. John Rivers: 10

Helen Burns: 11

Mrs. Reed: 12

Bessie Lee: 12

Mr. Lloyd: 12

Georgiana Reed: 12

Eliza Reed: 12

John Reed: 12

Mr. Brocklehurst: 13

Maria Temple: 13

Miss Scatcherd: 13

Alice Fairfax: 13

Bertha Mason: 13

Grace Poole: 13

Adèle Varens: 14

Celine Varens: 14

Sophie: 14

Richard Mason: 14

Mr. Briggs: 14

Blanche Ingram: 14

Diana Rivers: 14

Mary Rivers: 15

Rosamond Oliver: 15

John Eyre: 15

Uncle Reed: 15

Important Quotations Explained 16

1. 16

2. 17

3. 18

4. 19

5. 20

Themes 22

Love Versus Autonomy: 22

Religion: 22

Social Class: 23

Gender Relations: 24

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Context

Charlotte Brontë was born in Yorkshire, England on April 21, 1816 to Maria Branwell and Patrick Brontë. Because Charlotte’s mother died when Charlotte was five years old, Charlotte’s aunt, a devout Methodist, helped her brother-in-law raise his children. In 1824 Charlotte and three of her sisters – Maria, Elizabeth, and Emily – were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen’s daughters. When an outbreak of tuberculosis killed Maria and Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily were brought home.

Several years later, Charlotte returned to school, this time in Roe Head, England. She became a teacher at the school in 1835 but decided after several years to become a private governess instead. She was hired to live with and tutor the children of the wealthy Sidgewick family in 1839, but the job was a misery to her and she soon left it. Once Charlotte recognized that her dream of starting her own school was not immediately realizable, however, she returned to working as a governess, this time for a different family. Finding herself equally disappointed with governess work the second time around, Charlotte recruited her sisters to join her in more serious preparation for the establishment of a school.

Although the Brontës’ school ...

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