Jane Eyre By Charlotte Brontë

An imaginary portrait of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: An Unusual Literary Masterpiece


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is undeniably a literary captivating, and unique masterpiece published in 1847. This novel stands out as an unconventional and groundbreaking artwork of its time. From its strong-willed and independent protagonist to its exploration of controversial themes, Jane Eyre challenges societal norms and leaves an indelible mark on the literary world. Queen Victoria described Jane Eyre’s novel as “a really wonderful book with such fine religious feeling.” Jane is the narrator and time to time, addresses herself to the reader, expressing her confidence and most profound thoughts.

A Non-Conforming Protagonist

One of the principles of the novel that Charlotte Brontë wants to express is that “conventionality is not morality.” Jane is unconventional, but she possesses a profound moral sense. At the heart of Jane Eyre is its remarkable protagonist, Jane herself, who distinguishes herself from other Victorian heroines. Indeed, unlike the typical female characters of her era, Jane defies expectations and societal norms. She is depicted as a fiercely independent and strong-willed woman who refuses to conform to the limitations imposed on her by society. Jane’s determination to assert her own identity and pursue her passions, despite the obstacles she faces, makes her an empowering figure for readers of all generations.

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Jane Eyre is more than a mere love story; it is a profound exploration of one woman’s journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance. Brontë delves into Jane’s innermost thoughts and emotions, allowing readers to witness her growth and transformation. Through her experiences at Lowood School, Thornfield Hall, and her encounters with Rochester and St John Rivers, Jane learns the importance of staying true to herself and finding her own voice.

A Critique of Gender Roles in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Brontë’s novel challenges the prevailing gender roles of the Victorian era. Jane Eyre defies the traditional expectations placed upon women, advocating for their independence and agency. The character of Jane represents a departure from the passive and submissive female archetype, making her a feminist icon ahead of her time. Brontë also critiques the limitations imposed on women by exploring the themes of marriage, love, and societal prospects relative to women.

A Haunting and Atmospheric Setting

The atmospheric setting of Jane Eyre plays a crucial role in enhancing the novel’s gothic elements. The imponent and impressive Thornfield Hall, with its dark secrets and mysterious occurrences, creates an eerie backdrop for the unfolding story. Indeed, Brontë’s vivid descriptions of the landscapes and the haunting presence of the infamous “madwoman in the attic” contribute to the novel’s atmospheric and haunting ambience.

A Love Story with Deepness

While Jane Eyre is often categorised as a love story, it is far from conventional. The relationship between Jane and Edward Rochester challenges societal expectations and explores the complexities of love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. Brontë crafts a love story that is not solely reliant on physical attraction but delves into the emotional and intellectual connection between the two characters, making it a tale of profound depth and complexity.

Symbolism and Allegory in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a literary gem that goes beyond its surface narrative, employing symbolism and allegory to convey deeper meanings and themes. This novel is rich with hidden symbols and allegorical elements that enhance the reader’s understanding and appreciation of the story. From the recurring motifs to the subtle references, Brontë masterfully weaves these literary devices throughout the novel, inviting readers to explore the layers of symbolism and allegory within Jane Eyre.

The Red Room

One of the most prominent symbols in Jane Eyre is the Red Room, where Jane is confined as a child as punishment. The room represents Jane’s entrapment and isolation, symbolising her emotional and psychological imprisonment. The colour red symbolises passion, anger, and rebellion, reflecting Jane’s fiery spirit and her desire to break free from societal constraints. The Red Room serves as a metaphor for the oppressive nature of Victorian society and Jane’s struggle for independence.

Thornfield Hall

Thornfield Hall, the grand estate where Jane becomes a governess, holds symbolic significance throughout the novel. It represents the facade of societal respectability and the hidden secrets that lie beneath. The “thorn” in Thornfield alludes to the obstacles and challenges Jane faces in her pursuit of happiness. The decaying state of the mansion reflects the decay of the characters’ moral values and the consequences of suppressing one’s true nature.

Bertha Mason

Bertha Mason, Rochester’s first wife, serves as a complex allegorical figure in Jane Eyre. Her character represents the repressed and marginalised voices of women in Victorian society. Bertha’s confinement in the attic symbolises the suppression and silencing of women’s desires and emotions. Her presence serves as a reminder of the consequences of societal expectations and the limitations placed on women.

Fire and Ice 

Fire and ice are recurring motifs throughout the novel, representing the contrasting forces that shape Jane’s journey. Fire symbolises passion, rebellion, and emotional intensity, while ice represents restraint, control, and emotional detachment. These opposing elements reflect the internal struggle within Jane as she battles between her passionate desires and her need for self-control. The interplay between fire and ice highlights the complexity of Jane’s character and her quest for balance.

Nature in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Nature is a powerful symbol in Jane Eyre, representing freedom, vitality, and spiritual renewal. Jane’s connection to nature serves as a source of solace and inspiration throughout her journey. The landscapes and natural settings reflect the characters’ emotions and inner turmoil, providing a backdrop for their personal growth and transformation. Nature also symbolises the untamed and wild aspects of human nature, contrasting with the rigid societal expectations of the Victorian era.

A Treasure of Symbolism and Allegories in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a treasure trove of symbolism and allegory, inviting readers to delve beneath the surface and uncover its hidden meanings. Through symbols such as the Red Room, Thornfield Hall, Bertha Mason, fire and ice, and the portrayal of nature, Brontë skillfully adds depth and complexity to the narrative. These literary devices not only enhance the reader’s understanding of the story but also offer insights into the themes of confinement, rebellion, societal expectations, and the search for personal freedom. Jane Eyre is a confirmation of Brontë’s mastery of symbolism and allegory, making it a timeless and incomparable masterwork of literature.

Bertha Mason as The Alter Ego of Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë’s Novel

In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the character of Bertha Mason serves as a compelling alter ego to the novel’s protagonist, Jane. Bertha, the “madwoman in the attic,” embodies the repressed desires, passions, and complexities that Jane suppresses within herself. Through the juxtaposition of these two characters, Brontë explores the duality of human nature and the consequences of denying one’s true self.

Suppressed Desires and Passions

Bertha represents the unrestrained and passionate side of Jane’s nature, which society deems unacceptable. Bertha’s fiery spirit and uncontrolled emotions mirror the suppressed desires and passions that Jane keeps hidden beneath her composed exterior. Bertha’s presence in the attic symbolises the consequences of denying one’s true self, as her repression leads to madness and self-destruction.

Social Constraints and Rebellion

Bertha’s existence as the hidden wife of Mr Rochester highlights the societal constraints placed upon women during the Victorian era. Bertha’s rebellious nature and refusal to conform to societal expectations mirror Jane’s own defiance of societal norms. While Jane rebels against these constraints in her own way, Bertha represents the consequences of a complete denial of societal expectations, serving as a cautionary tale for Jane.

Exploration of Identity in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Bertha’s presence challenges Jane’s perception of her own identity. As Jane learns about Bertha’s existence, she is forced to face the darker aspects of her own nature. Bertha becomes a mirror through which Jane must examine her own desires, fears, and flaws. This exploration of identity allows Jane to confront her own complexities and embrace her true self, ultimately leading to her personal growth and self-acceptance.

Symbolism of the Attic

The attic, where Bertha is confined, serves as a metaphorical representation of the hidden and repressed aspects of Jane’s psyche. It symbolises the societal expectations and limitations that confine women during the Victorian era. The attic becomes a physical manifestation of the internal struggle within Jane as she battles between societal conformity and her own desires for independence and self-expression.

Redemption and Empathy in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Through Jane’s interactions with Bertha, Brontë explores themes of redemption and empathy. Jane’s compassion towards Bertha demonstrates her ability to understand and empathise with the marginalised and oppressed. By showing empathy towards Bertha, Jane also exhibits self-love and acceptance, ultimately leading to her own redemption and the resolution of her internal conflicts.

The Complex Character of Bertha 

In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Bertha Mason does not have only the role of a powerful alter ego to the novel’s protagonist, Jane. In fact, through the character of Bertha, Charlotte Brontë explores the complexities of human nature, the consequences of societal constraints, and the importance of self-acceptance. Bertha represents the suppressed desires and passions that Jane denies within herself, challenging her to confront her own identity and embrace her true nature. The presence of Bertha in the novel adds depth and complexity to Jane’s journey, highlighting the internal conflicts that she must overcome in order to find self-fulfilment and personal growth.

Literary References in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is not only a captivating story in its own right but also a rich inventory of literary references. The Gothic novel showcases Brontë’s extensive knowledge and love for literature by incorporating subtle allusions and references to other works. From Shakespeare to the Bible, these literary references add depth and complexity to the narrative, enriching the reader’s experience and offering insights into the themes and characters within Jane Eyre.

Shakespearean Allusions

Brontë pays homage to William Shakespeare’s works throughout Jane Eyre. One notable reference is the character of Mr Rochester, whose complex and brooding nature echoes that of Shakespeare’s tragic hero, Hamlet. Additionally, Jane’s passionate and introspective nature is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Juliet, as both characters defy societal expectations for the sake of love. These allusions not only add depth to the characters but also highlight the timeless themes of love, identity, and fate.

Biblical References

The Bible serves as a significant source of inspiration and reference in Jane Eyre. The story of Job, for example, is alluded to in Jane’s own trials and tribulations, emphasising her resilience and unwavering faith. The biblical story of the prodigal son is also echoed in Jane’s journey as she seeks independence and returns to Thornfield Hall. These references provide moral and spiritual context, adding layers of meaning to the characters’ experiences.

Gothic Literature

Jane Eyre, with its atmospheric setting and elements of mystery, draws inspiration from the Gothic literary tradition. Brontë incorporates references to gothic novels of that period, such as The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. The eerie and haunting atmosphere of Thornfield Hall, as well as the presence of the “madwoman in the attic,” align with the gothic tradition, heightening the suspense and adding an element of the supernatural to the narrative.

Romantic Poetry

Brontë’s love for poetry is evident in Jane Eyre, with references to Romantic poets like William Wordsworth and Lord Byron. The natural landscapes and descriptions of nature throughout the novel echo the themes and imagery found in Romantic poetry. These references not only enhance the beauty of the prose but also contribute to the exploration of emotions, highlighting the intensity of Jane’s experiences and her connection to the natural world.

Fairy Tales and Folklore

Brontë incorporates elements of fairy tales and folklore into Jane Eyre, adding a touch of enchantment and symbolism to the narrative. The character of Bertha Mason, for example, can be seen as a nod to the Bluebeard folktale, where a wife discovers her husband’s dark secrets. The theme of transformation, often found in fairy tales, is also present in Jane’s journey of self-discovery and growth.

Allusions and References 

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a literary masterpiece that is not only outstanding but also pays tribute to a rich tapestry of literature. Through subtle allusions and references to Shakespeare, the Bible, Gothic literature, romantic poetry, and fairy tales, Brontë adds depth and complexity to the narrative, offering insights into the themes, characters, and emotions within the novel. These literary references not only showcase Brontë’s own academic knowledge and influences but also enhance the reader’s understanding and appreciation of Jane Eyre as a timeless work of literature.

The Complexity of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a novel that defies simple categorisation. This remarkable masterwork of immense complexity explores a multitude of themes, delves into the depths of human emotions, and challenges societal norms. From its multi-faceted protagonist to its nuanced exploration of love, morality, and identity, Jane Eyre proves Brontë’s ability to create a layered and thought-provoking narrative.

A Multi-Faceted Protagonist

At the heart of the novel lies the enigmatic and multi-faceted character of Jane Eyre. Brontë presents Jane as a complex individual, embodying a range of contradictory qualities. She is both strong-willed and vulnerable, independent yet yearning for connection and morally upright while grappling with her own desires. Jane’s complexity stems from her internal conflicts and her journey of self-discovery, making her a relatable and captivating protagonist.

Exploration of Morality and Ethics

Jane Eyre delves into the complexities of morality and ethics, challenging conventional notions of right and wrong. Brontë presents characters who are flawed, morally ambiguous, and capable of both good and evil. The novel raises questions about the nature of morality, the consequences of one’s actions, and the importance of personal integrity. Through the choices and dilemmas faced by its characters, Jane Eyre forces readers to confront their own beliefs and judgments.

Love and Relationships

Love and relationships are explored with great complexity in Jane Eyre. The novel challenges traditional notions of romance, emphasising the importance of emotional and intellectual connections over superficial attractions. For instance, the relationship between Jane and Mr Rochester is fraught with moral and social complications, forcing the characters to navigate the complexities of love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. Brontë presents love as a complex force that can both empower and constrain individuals.

Social Critique in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre serves as a critique of the societal norms and expectations of the Victorian era. Brontë challenges the rigid class and gender hierarchies of the time, highlighting the injustices and limitations they impose on individuals. The novel explores themes of social inequality, women’s rights, and the consequences of societal conventions. Through Jane’s journey, Brontë encourages readers to question and challenge the status quo, advocating for personal freedom and authenticity.

Spiritual and Existential Quest

Jane Eyre delves into the realms of spirituality and existentialism, exploring questions of faith, identity, and purpose. Jane’s search for meaning and her struggle with her identity mirror the existential dilemmas individuals face in a complex and ever-changing world. Brontë raises profound questions about the nature of existence, the role of religion, and the pursuit of personal truth.

A Remarkable Complexity

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is an excellent example of a novel with remarkable complexity, encompassing a wide range of themes and emotions. From its multi-dimensional protagonist to its exploration of morality, love, societal critique, and existentialism, the novel invites readers to grapple with the intricacies of human nature and the complexities of life. Brontë’s masterful storytelling and nuanced character development make Jane Eyre a timeless work that continues to resonate with readers, challenging them to confront their own beliefs, values, and understanding of the human experience.

The Academic Journey of Jane and Her Literary Contributions in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë depicts Jane Eyre as a strong-willed and fiercely independent woman. A crucial aspect of Jane’s character development is her academic education, which significantly shapes her worldview, resilience, and eventual success. Furthermore, Jane’s passion for literature and her own creative endeavours within the novel adds deepness to her character and illuminate her growth as a writer.

Early Education and its Impact

Jane Eyre’s academic journey begins with her early education at the Lowood Institution, a strict and austere boarding school. Despite the harsh conditions, Jane finds solace in learning and discovers the transformative power of education. Through her diligent studies, she excels academically, becoming a proficient scholar. Her academic achievements at Lowood lay the foundation for her future aspirations and serve as a demonstration of her determination and intellectual capabilities.

Intellectual Curiosity and Literary Pursuits

Beyond her formal education, Jane Eyre possesses an innate curiosity and a fervent love for literature. This passion is evident as she immerses herself in a vast array of books, finding solace and inspiration within their pages. Jane’s love for reading fuels her intellectual growth and broadens her perspectives, enabling her to navigate the complexities of her life.

Jane’s Creative Endeavors

As the tale advances, it becomes evident that Jane’s passion for literature extends beyond reading. She discovers her creative voice and begins writing her own stories and poems. Through her writing, Jane finds a means of self-expression, catharsis, and introspection. Her creative endeavours become an integral part of her identity and serve as a conduit for her emotions and thoughts.

Themes of Empowerment and Identity

Jane Eyre’s academic education and her literary pursuits are deeply intertwined with themes of empowerment and self-discovery. Education provides Jane with the tools to challenge societal norms and assert her independence. It equips her with the knowledge and intellectual prowess necessary to navigate a world that often seeks to confine and suppress women. Through her creative expression, Jane asserts her identity, finding her voice in a society that often denies her agency.

The Literary Love of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The academic education of Jane Eyre and her literary contributions in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre serve as powerful symbols of empowerment, resilience, and self-discovery. Jane’s intellectual pursuits, from her early education at Lowood to her passionate love for literature and her own creative writing, shape her character and propel her narrative forward. Her journey exemplifies the transformative power of education and the ability of literature to empower individuals to challenge societal constraints and define their own identities. Jane Eyre’s academic prowess and her artistic endeavours add profoundness and complexity to her character, making her a beloved and enduring figure in the realm of literary heroines.

The Favorite Books of Jane: A Literary Journey

The eponymous protagonist in the timeless novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë captivates readers with her resilience, intelligence, and love for literature. Throughout the pages of the novel, Jane’s passion for books plays a pivotal role in shaping her character and guiding her through life’s trials. Readers discover her favourite books throughout the novel, which offer insights into her remarkable literary journey.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

In Jane Eyre, Jane finds solace and escape within the pages of Gulliver’s Travels. Swift’s satirical masterpiece resonates with Jane as she navigates her own challenging circumstances. Like Gulliver, Jane feels both physically and emotionally isolated, and she draws strength from his resilience and determination to survive in a world that often seems inhospitable.

Marmion by Sir Walter Scott

Scott’s historical epic, Marmion, captures Jane’s imagination with its vivid descriptions and romantic allure. Jane’s fascination with this poem reflects her desire for adventure, passion, and a love that transcends societal norms. The tale’s grandeur and passion mirror Jane’s own longing for a life beyond the constraints imposed on women during that era.

The Bible

Jane’s favourite book is undoubtedly the Bible. Its teachings provide and guide her with moral guidance and spiritual solace during her darkest moments. The Bible’s stories and messages of hope, forgiveness, and endurance resonate deeply with Jane as she grapples with her own moral dilemmas and seeks to understand her place in the world.

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, holds a special place in Jane’s heart and mind. Its exploration of good and evil, redemption and the complexities of human nature deeply resonate with her own journey. Jane’s identification with the fallen angels and their quest for freedom reflects her own struggle for independence and self-fulfilment.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Dickens’ humorous and heartwarming novel, The Pickwick Papers, provides Jane with much-needed moments of levity and joy. Amidst the darkness and seriousness of her life, Jane finds solace in the book’s wit, lively characters, and amusing anecdotes. This novel serves as a reminder that even in the midst of adversity, there can be moments of lightness and laughter.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: A Portrait of A Refined Intellectual 

Jane Eyre’s favourite books in Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel provide valuable insights into her character and literature’s role in her life. From finding solace in “Gulliver’s Travels” to seeking inspiration in “Marmion” and drawing strength from the Bible, Jane’s reading choices reflect her resilience, intellect, and yearning for a life beyond societal expectations. As readers, we are reminded of the transformative power of literature and its ability to shape and transform us into who we are destined to become.

Jane Eyre and Other Victorian Heroines

Jane Eyre stands out among other Victorian heroines for several reasons. Firstly, Jane is depicted as a strong-willed and independent individual, challenging the traditional gender roles and societal expectations of women during that era. She refuses to conform to the submissive and passive nature often expected of women at the time. Additionally, Jane Eyre is characterised by her outspokenness and assertiveness, which were uncommon traits for women in Victorian society. She is unafraid to express her thoughts, challenge authority, and stand up for herself, even when it means going against societal norms.

Moreover, Jane’s journey of self-discovery and quest for personal fulfilment sets her apart from other Victorian heroines. Rather than relying on external influences like wealth or social status, Jane seeks inner strength and finds her own path to happiness, emphasising the importance of self-reliance and individuality. Overall, Jane Eyre’s unique characteristics and rebellious spirit make her a distinctive and inspiring figure among Victorian heroines, breaking the mould of conventional female characters of that time.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: A Mysterious Gothic Novel

Jane Eyre is often considered a Gothic novel due to its inclusion of various Gothic and supernatural elements. These elements contribute to the story’s overall atmosphere of mystery, suspense, and darkness. The setting of Thornfield Hall, where Jane serves as a governess, embodies the Gothic tradition. It is described as a gloomy and imposing mansion with hidden passages, creaking floors, and eerie corridors, creating a sense of foreboding. 

Eerie And Disquieting Features

Among the book’s characters, the most disquieting personality is Bertha, who represents the supernatural and mysterious aspect of the story. She is depicted as a madwoman with a history of violence, lurking in the attic and occasionally manifesting as a disturbing presence. Jane experiences vivid dreams and visions throughout the novel, blurring the line between reality and the supernatural. These dreams often foreshadow events or reveal hidden truths, adding an element of mysticism to the narrative. Her first shock was to be locked in the Red Room, where Jane is confined as a punishment, symbolising repression and fear. It evokes a sense of the supernatural with its haunting atmosphere, dark colour scheme, and Jane’s imagination running wild. 

Mr Rochester: The Byronic Hero of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mr Rochester, the character from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, can indeed be considered a Byronic hero. The Byronic hero archetype, popularised by the poet Lord Byron, is characterised by brooding introspection, a tumultuous past, and rebellious nature. Mr Rochester exhibits several qualities associated with this archetype. He is mysterious, possessing a dark and troubled past, which adds an air of intrigue to his character. Rochester is also emotionally complex, often displaying a mix of arrogance, passion, and vulnerability. Additionally, he defies societal norms and conventions, challenging the status quo in both his relationships and actions. These traits align with the typical characteristics of a Byronic hero, making Mr Rochester a prime example of this literary archetype.


Jane Eyre is a classic English literature novel that remains a timeless piece of literature, never ceasing to captivate readers with its compelling story and complex characters. As a first-person narrative, Jane Eyre provides a deep insight into the protagonist’s thoughts and emotions, allowing readers to connect with her on a personal level.

One of the notable aspects of Jane Eyre is the character development. Jane herself is a strong and independent woman, defying the societal norms of her time. Her journey from a mistreated orphan to a governess who finds love and stands up for her principles is inspiring. The novel also explores themes of feminism, social class, morality, and the search for personal identity.

The complicated relationship between Jane and Mr Rochester is central to the story. Their love is depicted as passionate and intense, yet challenged by external circumstances. The moral dilemmas they face and the choices they make add depth to their characters and create a sense of tension throughout the narrative.

Moreover, the novel delves into the injustices faced by women and the restrictions imposed on them in Victorian society. Jane’s desire for independence and her refusal to conform to societal expectations make her a relatable and empowering character.

Overall, Jane Eyre is a thought-provoking novel that explores themes of love, identity, and social constraints. Its enduring fame can be attributed to its strong characters, engaging plot, and the timeless issues it addresses.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments