Life at Gateshead
Jane is severely mistreated by her aunt (Mrs. Reed) who became her guardian when Jane’s parents died. One day, Jane faints after being banished to the room where her uncle (Mr. Reed) died. When she wakes up, the apothecary taking care of her suggests she is sent to the Lowood School.
The Lowood School
Mr. Brocklehurst (the headmaster) forces the students to live a life of poverty while he and his family remain wealthy. An epidemic of typhus breaks out at the schoool and Jane’s friend Helen Burns dies. This causes Mr. Brocklehurst to be dismissed and the school is taken over by a group of men. Jane stays at the school for 6 years as a student and 2 as a teacher.
Jane applies for and receives a governess position at Thornfield Hall. She teaches a young French girl named Adele, the ward of Jane’s employer Mr. Rochester. She meets Mr. Rochester unknowingly one night after he falls off his horse. After that, she slowly falls in love with him. She saves him from a fire one night that he says was started by a servant named Grace Poole, but Jane knows she isn’t getting the full story. Mr. Rochester brings home a woman named Blanche Ingram who he is expected to propose to, but he proposes to Jane instead who agrees in disbelief.
Jane and Mr. Rochester’s Wedding Day
Just as the couple are exchanging vows, Mr. Mason bursts into the chapel and says that Mr. Rochester is already married to his sister, Bertha Mason. Mr. Rochester explains that Bertha has gone mad and takes the group to the third floor of Thornfield Hall to witness her madness firsthand. Mr. Rochester employs Grace Poole to care for and control Bertha, and it was Bertha that set the fire earlier in the story, not Grace. After Bertha is revealed, Jane flees from Thornfield Hall.
Moor House (Marsh End)
Jane has nowhere to go and nothing to eat until she is taken in by Mary, Diana, and St. John Rivers who turn out to be her cousins. St. John is a clergyman and gets Jane a job teaching at a small schoolhouse. One day, St. John informs Jane that her uncle John Eyre has died and left her a massive fortune. He also tells her that her uncle is also his uncle and that they are cousins. Jane immediately decides to split the fortune between herself and her newfound cousins.
St. John and Jane’s relationship
St. John informs Jane that he plans to go to India as a missionary and he wants Jane to accompany him, as his wife. Jane says she will go with him but not as his wife. She contemplates giving in and marrying him but realizes Mr. Rochester is her true love when she hears his voice calling her name across the moor one night.
Return to Thornfield Hall
Jane rushes back to Thornfield Hall to find it burned to the ground and that Bertha Mason also perished in the fire. Mr. Rochester survived but lost his sight and one of his hands to the fire while saving his servants. She finds out Mr. Rochester’s new residence and immediately goes to see him.
Ferndean + Epilogue
Jane travels to Ferndean, where Mr. Rochester moved after the fire, and the two rekindle their relationship and marry soon after. In the epilogue, Mr. Rochester regains his sight after two years and is able to see their firstborn child. At the end of the novel, Jane and Mr. Rochester have been married for ten years.