This is a Chapter-wise summary of Jane Eyre. (Also read: short summary of Jane Eyre).
Novel begins with first person narration from the main character Jane Eyre who is a child in the scene. The scene is set at Gateshed, the home of the wealthy Reed Family who Jane (being orphaned) lives with. The scene is set on a bleak November afternoon creating an unhappy and depressing atmosphere. The audience feels pathos for Jane Eyre when we discover her aunt has forbidden her from playing with her cousins and is then conspired against and bullied particularly by her cousin John Reed.
Violence is introduced when John discovers Jane sat in the drawing room, reading ‘History of British Birds’ on the window seat and he then confiscates and throws the book at Jane. Jane responds and her aunt sends her to the ‘Red room’ as punishment. In this chapter, the reader is given insight into the unhappy childhood of Jane Eyre.
Jane is forcefully escorted to the ‘Red room’ by two new characters- two servants- Bessie Lee and Miss Abbot. Once imprisoned in the room, Jane views herself in the mirror.
She is shocked at what a pathetic sight she is and then reviews why she is in such a state, reflecting on how she has been constantly mistreated since she was orphaned. During this reflection of her life, she remembers her Uncle Reed who was kind to her and whose dying wish to his wife was that she look after Jane. Next Jane senses that his ghost is in this room that she is trapped in; the room that he died in and that he has returned to take revenge on his wife for breaking her promise. Jane screams out in terror but her aunt refuses to release her accusing her of acting and pretending to try to avoid her punishment.
Jane then faints due to complete fear and exhaustion.
Jane wakes, disorientated and confused in her own bedroom. Jane is kept company by the Mr Lloyd, the family apothecary (doctor) and Bessie. Jane stays in bed the next day and Bessie confesses that she has always disliked the way Jane has been treated by her aunt and sings her a song. Mr Lloyd talks to Jane about her life at Gateshead and suggests to her aunt that Jane be sent to boarding school (Jane feels nervously excited at the prospect).
Jane then learns more about her heritage (overhears a conversation between Bessie and Ms Abbot); her mother was a member of the wealthy Reed family who was ‘written off’ by her father when she married the poor clergyman that was Jane’s father. They died soon after Jane was born of Typhus (Jane’s father contracted it from working with the poor).
Jane has endured around 2 months of mistreatment from her aunt and cousins as she waits for her school arrangements to be made.
Jane is finally informed that she may attend the girls school Lowood and is introduced to Mr Brocklehurst (the stern headmaster) Mr Brocklehurst interrogates Jane about religion and expresses indignation when she declares it ‘uninteresting’. Jane’s aunt warns Mr Brocklehurst that Jane is deceitful and he responds by declaring his intention to make that well-known at the school upon Jane’s arrival. When Mr Brocklehurst leaves, Jane cannot help but respond to her aunts false account of her and for once Mrs Reed seems to admit defeat.
Before she leaves for school, Bessie admits to Jane that she has always preferred her to the Reed children and reads her stories and sings her songs.
Jane travels to Lowood. She is lifted from Bessies arms and put on the 6am coach. Neither Mrs Reed, nor Janes’ cousins, raise to see her off. She arrives in miserable grey weather and is taken through a plain and basic building. The next day, Jane is introduced to the school, the girls and the daily routine. Jane feels warmly towards the headmistress Ms Temple, but dislikes a teacher Miss Scatcherd who she finds cruel and overly strict.
She particularly notices the vendetta Miss Scatcherd has for a girl Helen Burns. Jane and Helen begin talking and Jane discovers the school is a charity school so Mrs Reed has not in fact suffered any large expense for sending Jane to the school, despite what she led Jane to assume. Jane also learns that Mr Brocklehurst is in fact in charge of the school and this worries Jane as she fears he will relay the false information about her character and behaviour (a courtesy of her aunt) to members at the school.
Jane’s second day at Lowood describes the trials and harsh living conditions endured by the girls. They are unable to wash in the morning as the water is frozen, and their breakfast is inedible (burnt porridge). Jane also finds the lessons long and tiresome. We learn more about Helen through Jane’s eyes; Jane is impressed by her academic capability and both in awe of and surprised at how Helen can stand the unfair cruel way she is treated by Miss Scatcherd. Helen speaks of Christianity and acknowledging her faults.
After a week at the school, Mr Brocklehurst makes a visit much to Jane’s apprehension. In her fear, she accidentally drops her slate in his presence and he then summons her to the front of the class, makes her stand on a stool, informs the girls of Jane’s habit of lying and encourages them to shun her: public humiliation and isolation is to be Jane’s punishment. Jane finds strength in this difficult day from her friend Helen, who ignores instructions to treat Jane as an outcast, by catching her eye and smiling at her every time she passes by.
When Jane is finally allowed down from her stool at 5pm, she collapses on the floors and bursts into tears, distraught at the humiliation and the thought of her reputation in ruins. Helen comforts Jane, assuring her that the girls do not hate her and most in fact pity her. Jane and Helen are then taken to Miss Temple’s room where Jane recounts her side of the story and both herself and Helen are treated to seeded cake and tea. Jane now feels even more warmly towards Miss Temple.
Miss Temple’s actions (she holds Helen a little longer and is sad to see her go) seems to foreshadow Helen Burns early tragic death. Miss Temple later pardons Jane in front of the whole school, after Jane’s story has been verified by the doctor Mr Lloyds.
There are contrasting moods in chapter 9; first the happy feeling of enjoying the spring- warmer weather, playing and eating outside and Jane’s new friend Mary Ann Wilson. However the mood is darkened by disease- many of the girls fall ill and die from Typhus and Jane’s first friend Helen Burns is ill with consumption (tuberculosis).
When Jane learns that her friend is dying, she sneaks into Miss Temple’s room where Helen sleeps and we witness an emotional scene between the two young girls as Jane climbs into bed with Helen and Helen assures her that she is happy to go to her last home- death. She claims she feels no pain and by dying young she is saved years of suffering. The girls fall asleep together and Jane wakes to find herself being carried back to her own room as Helen has died. Jane informs us that Helen’s death remained unmarked for years until a plaque is later placed (presumably by Jane) on her grave with the latin word Resurgam meaning ‘I will rise again’.
Conditions at Lowood improve throughtout the next 6 years that Jane is a student there. We learn that a group of overseers become involved in running the school due to Mr Brocklehursts neglect. Jane excels in her studies and remains there for two more years as a teacher after finishing school. Jane then however decides to leave Lowood; she feels it is time for a change, especially as Miss Temple has married and left the school. Jane advertises herself for the post of a governess and is offered a post at a manor called Thornfield.
Just before Jane leaves the school she meets Bessie who informs her of John Reeds failure in life (failing his studies and becoming a gambler) and of Gorgianna’s attempt to elope. Bessie also informs Jane that her fathers brother came seven years ago to look for her but with not enough time to travel to Lowood, he left to seek fortune in Madeira (an island west of Morrocco). Once more, Jane and Bessie part as Jane starts her new life at Thornfield.
Jane arrives at Thornfield in the dark, the driver having been late to pick her up.
She is pleased with the house and likes Mrs Fairfax who she assumes is the Lady of the house. She later discovers that Mrs Fairfax is in fact the housekeeper, the owner of the house being Mr Rochester who travels often, is rarely at home and visits with little or no notice. Jane is introduced to her pupil, 7/8 year old Adele whose mother was a French dancer/singer. When questioned by Jane about Mr Rochester, Mrs Fairfax says that he is eccentric man and his family have a history of violent behaviour. At the top of the house, Jane hears a strange and disturbing laugh and murmurs.
Mrs Fairfax tells her that it is Grace Poole, the seamstress.
Jane finds life at Thornfield fairly pleasant; Adele has no great faults other than being a little spoiled. One evening when delivering a letter, Jane hears a horse approaching. She spots a dog next, and then a rider. She passes the horse and it’s rider only to hear the horse fall and the rider curse. Jane aids the man to mount his horse and introduces herself. After a short interrogation from the man, she then continues on her way.
When she returns, she sees the same dog in Mrs Fairfax’s room. She learns that the man she helped is in fact Mr Rochester.
The next day, Jane and Adele are summoned to have tea with Mr Rochester, he is blunt and almost rude with both of them, although he finds Jane’s drawings interesting. Jane comments that she finds Mr Rochester ‘very changeful and abrupt. Mrs Fairfax alludes to him having a difficult past and that he was in fact ‘the black sheep’ of the family and that he only inherited Thornfield when his elder brother died nine years ago.
After several days of few encounters with Mr Rochester, Jane and Adele are once more summoned to join him. Adele receives the long-awaited present she had wanted and Jane was required to keep Mr Rochester company and talk to him. Jane is awkward when instructed to talk to him and when he asks if she finds him handsome, she answers no quickly and without thinking. Their conversation then moves on to topics of sin, redemption, regret and so on. Adele mentions her mother and Mr Rochester informs Jane he will speak more of Adele’s mother on another occasion.
Mr Rochester does indeed keep his promise and he tells Jane of his passionate affair with the French singer and dancer that is Adele’s mother. He speaks of jealousy (Charlotte Bronte uses imagery to describe his jealousy- ‘the green snake of jealousy, rising on undulating coils… ’) when he discovered that she was being unfaithful to him. The French dancer claimed Adele to be his daughter and despite not believing him on grounds that she bears none of his features, he brought her to England when her mother abandoned her so that she could be properly provided and cared for.
Later that night, Jane is woken by the same laugh she first heard on her arrival to Thornfield, and the sound of a door opening. On investigating the noise, she sees smoke billowing from Mr Rochester’s room and rushes in to wake him. Rochester responds to Jane’s tale of the noises and the fire by visiting the third floor of the house and then evasively saying to Jane ‘I have found it all out. It is just as I thought. ’ He also thanks Jane for saving his life and instructs her to tell no one of the incident.
Having told Jane that it was indeed Grace Poole’s laugh that she heard and bidding her goodnight, Mr Rochester slept on the library sofa, and Jane returned to her room where she tossed feverishly until dawn.
The following morning, Jane is surprised and confused to discover that Mr Rochester has covered up Grace Poole’s actions by claiming that the fire was the result of a candle he left burning at his bedside; he mentioned nothing of Jane’s role in the drama. Jane attempts to casually interrogate Grace Poole but the seamstress shows no signs of guilt or remorse.
Jane is completely confused as to why Mr Rochester allows Grace Poole to continue to reside in his house. Jane wonders at an attraction that Grace Poole may be to Mr Rochester, but finding her dull in character as well as in looks she is utterly at a loss. Jane is also disappointed to discover that Mr Rochester left early that morning to join a party that includes the particularly beautiful Blanche Ingram. Jane realises she had been starting to develop feelings for Mr Rochester and chastises herself.
She vows never to think of him romantically again and draws two portraits- a plain pencil version of herself and a carefully colourful masterpiece of the description of Blanche Ingram she received from Miss Fairfax.
Mr Rochester has now been away for a week much to Jane’s disappointment. However, after hearing rumours of him contemplating travelling to Europe, he sends word that he will arrive in three days with a party of guests. All of the servants then throw themselves into a panic of housework, excluding Grace Poole who Jane feels she knows little about.
On overhearing a conversation between other servants that discuss how much Grace Poole earns and says that she ‘… understands what she has to do… ’ Jane is further convinced that she is missing something regarding Grace Poole’s role at Thornfield. The guests finally arrive after hectic prepping on the servants behalf and Adele sits anxiously by the window dressed to be introduced to the ladies. On the second evening of their stay Mr Rochester invites Adele and Jane (despite her attempts to get out of it) to join the group.
Adele soon begins chattering away to the other ladies, but Jane remains seated in ‘the shade’ and is treated cruelly by the Ingrams. When Jane attempts to make her exit, she finds Rochester blocking her way and he only begrudgingly allows her to leave when he sees the tears in her eyes. He does however inform her that he expects her to join the guests every evening of their stay. As he bids her goodnight, he falters, allowing the reader to wonder at what he almost said ‘Good-night my-‘
During the next few days the guests find entertainment in games such as charades in which Mr Rochester and Blanche Ingram compete as a team.
Jane watches them intently and suspects an inevitable marriage between them although she believes it would be a marriage of convenience rather than a marriage of love (Blanche seeks Mr Rochester’s fortune and he her beauty and social position) Mr Rochester has left for the day and Jane notes that the atmosphere and tone of conversation is much depressed without him. However, other sources of excitement are soon found in a surprise guest Mr Mason (whom Jane instantly dislikes), and a gypsy woman wishing to tell the fortunes of all the young single women.
Blanche Ingram goes first and returns in a foul mood which is later accounted for as the result of being informed that Rochester is not as wealthy as he seems.
Jane, eager for an excuse to escape the guests agrees to have her fortune told and soon discovers the gypsy is Mr Rochester in disguise. Jane also learns during her fortune telling of what the gypsy told Blanche to cause her bad mood. She reproaches Mr Rochester for tricking her and then informs him that a Mr Mason is here. Rochester seems shocked by this news and says ‘Jane, I’ve got a blow. I’ve got a blow, Jane’
Later that night, Jane is woken by moonlight streaming in her window and she then hears a cry for help. On emerging from her room Jane witnesses Mr Rochester sending all the other guests, excusing the disturbance with the excuse that a servant has had a nightmare. Once the guests have returned to their rooms, Mr Rochester then calls on Jane to help him; he asks if she’s afraid of blood. Mr Rochester then leaves Jane to staunch a wound on Mr Mason’s torso and forbids them to talk to each other.
Mr Rochester then returns with a surgeon who fixes Mr Mason up enough so that he may travel that morning (with a little help from Mr Rochester’s potion to ‘give him heart’) Jane and Mr Rochester then watch the sunrise from the orchard and discuss Mr Rochester’s past- hypothetically of course. Mr Rochester asks Jane if he could find salvation from his past mistakes by marrying Blanche, but the two part before Jane can answer.
Jane has dreams of children for a week which she fears is bad news as she heard that dreaming of babies is a bad omen.
She then learns that her cousin John Reed has died and as a result her Aunt has suffered a stroke and now on her deathbed has asked for Jane Eyre. Jane takes leave and travels to Gateshed where she is reunited with Bessie and her cousins Eliza and Georgina. The two sisters are complete opposites- Eliza, plain and sensible and hoping to join a convent while Georgiana is beautiful and self-centered. Despite Jane forgiving her Aunt and attempting to act maturely and let ‘bygones be bygones’, Mrs Reed still holds much resentment for Jane who discovers this is because Jane was Mrs Reeds late husband’s favourite before he died.
Mrs Reed also reveals a letter from Jane’s uncle sent three years ago asking to know the whereabouts of his niece whom he would like to adopt. Mrs Reed informs Jane that she wrote back and told him that Jane Eyre had died at Lowood School to spite her. And yet, despite Mrs Reeds malevolent nature towards her, Jane attempts to end things on good terms yet again but her Aunt refuses and dies at midnight.
After a month spent at Gateshed (before Georgiana goes to live with her uncle in London and Eliza goes off to join a French Convent), Jane returns to Thornfield.
While at Gateshed, a letter from Mrs Fairfax informs Jane that Mr Rochester has bought a new carriage- a sign of a soon approaching marriage she is sure. When Jane encounters Mr Rochester on her journey back to Gateshed, he asks her where she has been and says he must show her the new carriage and ask her opinion regarding if it will suit the new Mrs Rochester-although he does not explicitly say who the new Mrs Rochester is… Jane accidentally lets slip her feelings about Mr Rochester when she says how happy she is to be back ‘I am strangely glad to get back again to you; and wherever you are is my home- my only home’.
Jane is welcomed back warmly by everyone else at Gateshed too.
Two weeks pass and then Jane meets Mr Rochester in the gardens by chance. Despite attempting to sneak by unnoticed, she ends up walking and talking with him. Mr Rochester officially informs Jane that he is in fact going to wed Blanche Ingram and that Jane must leave Thornfield. He does however suggest a replacement post in Ireland but Jane, unable contain herself any longer expresses unhappiness at being so far away from Thornfield and ultimately from him.
The conversation develops and soon Jane confesses her love for Mr Rochester and he responds by proposing his hand in marriage. He reveals that his whole courtship with Blanche was an attempt to ignite jealousy in Jane and make her mad with love for him. With some persuasion, Jane believes him to be good to his word and agrees to marry him. A storm then starts and they hurry inside where drenched and while removing their coats, they kiss much to Mrs Fairfax’s surprise. The next day, it is discovered that the tree beneath which Jane and Rochester sat was struck by ightning and has been split in half.
This chapter outlines the preparations for the wedding. Mrs Fairfax is distant with Jane, not understanding first that they were already engaged when they kissed and second, the interest she holds to Rochester. Jane feels a sense of foreboding regarding the marriage and worries that it too dream-like to be real. Mr Rochester does nothing but aid this illusion, with talk of drenching her in jewels and attempting to buy her a wardrobe full of silk dresses.
Jane decides to write to the uncle who tried to claim her three years ago, hoping that if she becomes his sole heir, she will feel as if she is not a financial burden and more of an equal to Rochester.
The night before the wedding Jane anxiously awaits Mr Rochester’s return; becoming desperate she decides to go out and meet him in the storm. When inside and drying off, she fills him in on several strange events that occurred in his absence. Jane describes a dream where she carries a crying baby down a long, winding road in search of him (Rochester).
Rochester brushes this dream aside but Jane said the dream continued the following night and she dropped the baby. This dream woke her from her sleep to see a figure and hear a rustle in her room. A demented woman stook with Jane’s expensive veil and tore it in two before leaving the room. Mr Rochester assures her it must have been Grace Poole sleep-walking and says he will explain why he allows her to stay at Thornfield when they have been married a year and one day. Rochester then asks Jane to sleep in with Adele and Sophie for the night.
Jane does not sleep, but cries, knowing she will leave Adele the following day.
Sophie dresses Jane for the wedding and Jane and Rochester then walk to the church. No sooner had the ceremony began, then one of the two strangers already present in the church declared that the wedding could not go on, and claimed there was an ‘impediment’. Rochester attempts to continue with the ceremony, but the intruder- who introduces himself as Mr Briggs, a solicitor from London reveals a document proving that Rochester married a Creole woman in Jamaica 15 years earlier.
Rochester snaps and angrily admits that by marrying Jane he would be knowingly taking a second wife, although he does defend her and say that she had no knowledge of Bertha’s existence. He then drags everyone back to Thornfield where he bursts into a room (the door of which is hidden behind a tapestry) on the third storey where he keeps his insane wife. It is revealed that Grace Poole is in fact Bertha’s carer. Bertha lunges at Rochester and attempts to strangle him before Jane, Briggs and Mason exit the room. Jane then learns that Mason discovered Rochester’s intent to marry his governess via Jane’s letter to her Uncle.
Her Uncle, on his deathbed at the time urged Mason to hurry to England (when Mason revealed that Jane’s suitor was already married) to stop the marriage and preserve Jane’s honour. After the confrontation with Bertha Mason, Jane retreats to her room where she nurses her new-found heartache with neither tears nor anger. She prays to God in her moment of need.
Jane wakes from a short nap and makes the decision to leave Thornfield; she feels that she has no other choice. On emerging from her room she finds Rochester there in wait of her and Jane confides that she could not be angry at Rochester and that she forgave him instantly.
She feels faint and Rochester carries her to the library. He then begins to describe their new life in the South of France, where they can live unknown as man and wife. Jane refuses stating that while Bertha Mason breathes, to her Rochester is still married. Rochester then tries to justify why he does not consider himself married by delving back into his past. We learn that his father wished to leave all of his wealth and property to Rochester’s elder brother, but not wanting the embarrassment of his other son being in poverty, he made it his goal to find a rich woman for Rochester to marry.
The woman he found was Bertha Mason, a Creole from Jamaica with an inheritance of ? 30 000. The woman was beautiful and Rochester convinced himself that he was in love and so he married her. It was only after the honeymoon that he discovered Bertha’s mother was in fact not dead as he believed, but mad and locked away in an asylum. Her brother was also a mute idiot and it was believed that Bertha was to go insane as her mother had before her. Rochester learned that his father and brother knew of this history of mental illness but said nothing as they cared only for the huge fortune Rochester would gain from the marriage.
Bertha even before the inevitable madness took her, proved to be disagreeable and Rochester found himself trapped in a loveless marriage. His father and brother both died in the space of four years, leaving all the property and wealth to him and also leaving him alone with an insane wife. After contemplating suicide, he returned to England and hid Bertha away out of the public eye. Rochester then travelled in search of a woman to love he claimed. He says he was always disappointed in his mistresses as they were ‘the next worse thing to buying a slave’ Then Rochester met Jane who he declares charmed and intrigued him from the start.
Jane feels torn, she knows that out of respect to herself she cannot stay with a married man, and yet she feels that no one has ever and ever will care for her as this man does. However, that night she has a dream that her mother comes to her and urges her to resist temptation, and so she rises at dawn, takes her bag and leaves Thornfield.
Jane boards a coach that will take her as far as she can go for 20shillings but then is turned out on the side of the road. She sleeps outside and eats the crust of bread she has with her and a handful of wild berries.
The next day she walks to a nearby village and begs for work and food but receives nothing other than a slice of bread and some cold porridge. The following day, Jane follows the light of a house across the moors and once there studies its’ inhabitants through the window. She sees two young ladies who she finds rather educate to be living in such a humble cottage, and a servant knitting. Jane knocks on the door, but the servant Hannah, refuses to let her in and orders her to leave. Jane cries in despair ‘I can but die, and I believe in God. Let me try to wait his will in silence. From behind her comes a voice that surprises her ‘All men must die, but all are not condemned to meet a lingering and premature doom such as would be if you perished here of want. ’ The man who speaks these words is St John, Mary and Diana’s brother. They take her in, give her food and drink and when they ask her name, she says it is Jane Elliot.
Jane spends sever days recovering from her ordeal in bed in the Rivers household. On the fourth day she feels much improved and ventures downstairs where she encounters Hannah baking.
Jane heatedly reproaches Hannah for judging her when she tried to turn her away at the door several days prior. Hannah apologizes and soon the two are chatting amicably. Jane learns from Hannah that Mr Rivers went bankrupt in a bad business deal and as a result Diana and Mary had to work as governesses. Their father died three weeks ago, which is why they are at home now. Jane has lunch with the siblings and gives them a little information of her past. She also informs them that her real name is not Jane Elliot but still doesn’t give them her real name.
St John agrees to help Jane find employment.
Jane gets on very well with Diana and Mary. She borrows their books and then discusses the reading material with them afterwards. They share opinions and Jane respects how well educated they are. Jane does not however form a close friendship with St John who is rarely at home and often seems distant. A month later Diana and Mary are returning to their governess posts and Jane has accepted an offer of work at charity school for girls in Norton.
John suspects that she will not however stay there long as she may find it dull and be restless, as he is. His sisters tell Jane they think he will soon go abroad and do missionary work. Jane also learns that the siblings Uncle John has died and left all his money to an unknown relative; it is this same uncle that apparently suggested that Mr Rivers take the bad business deal.
At Morton, Jane has her own cottage to live in which is more than acceptable, however she finds the work degrading and disappointing.
St John visits her and admits he felt the same way about his career until he found God. Their visit is interrupted by the beautiful heiress at Morton Rosamond Oliver and from her interaction with John, Jane suspects the two to be in love.
Jane’s popularity with her students improve at Morton and she is happier in her work. However, nightmares regarding Rochester trouble her sleep. Jane becomes more and more convinced of a romance between John and Rosamond due to the frequent visits to the school from Rosamond when St John is known to be there.
Rosamond asks Jane to draw her portrait and Jane is working on this portrait one day when St John stops by to lend her a book of poetry. He studies the portrait and Jane offers to duplicate it for him before boldly suggesting that he should marry Rosamond. John confesses that he loves her and finds her incredibly beautiful but concludes her not suitable to be a missionary’s wife. As John leaves, he tears something from the corner of one of Jane’s sheets of paper- Jane is confused but continues the portrait.
One winter night, Jane is at home reading when St John arrives looking troubled.
He tells Jane of an orphan girl who became a governess at Thornfield Hall, almost married Edward Rochester but then ran away. Her name is Jane Eyre. John suspects this Jane Eyre to be Jane but Jane does not immediately confess to it. He goes on to say how important it is to find her because her Uncle John Eyre has died leaving her his sole heir ? 20 000. John then makes the further connection that her Uncle John is in fact the River siblings Uncle too. Jane is far more excited at having found a family than the huge fortune she has inherited and decides to split the inheritance between the four of them- ? 000 each.
Having closed the school, Jane spends Christmas with her new-found cousins who all exempting John are thrilled to have her as part of their family. Diana and Mary respect the improvements Jane has made at the school but John remains distant. Jane learns that Rosamond is engaged to a rich man and John now speeds up his plans to work abroad as a missionary. He asks Jane to give up studying German and learn ‘Hindustani’ with him in preparation for the mission. St John becomes more and more controlling much to Jane’s displeasure but she feels powerless to do anything other than accept it.
Eventually he asks her to travel with him on the mission in India, and to become his wife. She agrees to become a missionary and travel to India but says she will not marry him for she does not love him. John storms out in anger.
John continues to pressure Jane to marry him throughout the next week but each time she kindly declines. He becomes more and more frustrated and forceful. Diana urges Jane to stick to her original refusal, saying that she would be mad to go to India with John who does not recognise her as the special person that she is, but as a tool.
After dinner, John gives a prayer for Jane and she almost agrees to marry him so enraptured and impressed by his oratory skills. But just before she can consent, she thinks she hears Rochester’s voice calling her name and just like that, St John’s spell is broken.
After hearing Rochester’s voice calling for her the previous night, Jane fears that he may in reality be in trouble and so she boards a coach, ignoring a note from St John urging her to ‘resist temptation’, and she travels to Thornfield.
On her journey, Jane realises how much has changed since she left Thornfield… She left, a penniless, impoverished and lonely governess, and now she returns with friends, family and fortune. On arrival Jane is shocked to find Thornfield a charred ruin. She learns from a local inn that Bertha Mason set the house on fire and after rescuing all the servants, Rochester attempted to save her but she threw herself off the roof. Rochester lost a hand and is now blind from the fire, and he resides in a house Ferndean in the forest.
At Ferndean, Jane spots Rochester at the door, she thinks him much the same other than a desperate and helpless look on his face. Inside, Jane carries a tray to him and sensing her presence he says she must be a ghost speaking to him. Next he catches her hand, takes her in his arms and she promises never to leave him again. Taking a stroll through the gardens the following day, Jane fills Rochester in on the past happenings and consents to marry him following his second proposal to her.
He then confesses, that a few nights ago, he called out her name in a moment of desperation and imagined that he heard her answer. Jane does not confess this to be reality, not just his imagination, for fear of exciting him in his present predicament.
Jane and Rochester marry and send an announcement to Jane’s cousins who exempting John are overjoyed on her behalf. Jane moves Adele from her current school after finding her unhappy there and remembering her harsh treatment at boarding school.
Jane then informs the reader that she is writing this ten years following the reunion of her and Rochester and says that they have been happily married since. Rochester regained some vision so he was able to see their son when he was born two years after they married. We learn also that Diana and Mary are happily married and that John went to India as he planned. He writes to Jane fairly regularly and in his last letter said he has had a premonition of his own death. Jane believes she will not see him again and ends the book with his quote.