Jane Eyre

Summation by B. Robert

Jane Eyre is forced to struggle against the restrictions of a cruel guardian, a severe employer and a unyielding social order which circumscribes her life and position.

At an early age Jane Eyre is orphaned with no money of her own and sent to live with her Aunt Reed.

Jane leads a very lonely while at her Aunt's and finds some comfort in reading books when she is able. She is verbally abused and humiliated by an older son until one day she strikes back after he throws a book at her and knocks her down.

She is traumatized by the elder son and finds herself in trouble with her Aunt.

Continued confliction and rebellion by Jane leads Mrs. Reed to lock Jane up in the "red-room", an unused chamber in which Mr. Reed died.

Quote:

"It was in this chamber he breathed his last; here he lay in state; hence his coffin was borne by the undertaker’s men; and, since that day, a sense of dreary consecration had guarded it from frequent intrusion."

While locked in the room, Jane sees a gleam of light and becomes frightened losing her self-control. She screams and tries to get out of the room awakening the servants and Mrs. Reed; yet, Jane is left locked up for a longer period of time.

Quote:

"..I abhor artifice, particularly in children; it is my duty to show you that tricks will not answer: you will now stay here an hour longer, and it is only on condition of perfect submission and stillness that I shall liberate you then.”

“O aunt! have pity!  Forgive me!  I cannot endure it—let me be punished some other way!  I shall be killed if—”

“Silence!  This violence is all most repulsive:” and so, no doubt, she felt it.  I was a precocious actress in her eyes; she sincerely looked on me as a compound of virulent passions, mean spirit, and dangerous duplicity.

Jane becomes ill from her experience and an apothecary is called to see her. He learns of her ordeal and discusses her circumstances living at Mrs. Reed's and having no other relatives.

After his visit with Jane he talks with Mrs. Reed and suggests sending her away to school.

Quote:

"Mrs. Reed surveyed me at times with a severe eye, but seldom addressed me: since my illness, she had drawn a more marked line of separation than ever between me and her own children; appointing me a small closet to sleep in by myself, condemning me to take my meals alone, and pass all my time in the nursery, while my cousins were constantly in the drawing-room.  Not a hint, however, did she drop about sending me to school: still I felt an instinctive certainty that she would not long endure me under the same roof with her; for her glance, now more than ever, when turned on me, expressed an insuperable and rooted aversion."

Mrs. Reed decides that Jane be sent away to live and be educated at Mr. Brocklehurst's Lowood School.

Mr. Brocklehurst is a hypocritical clergyman who runs Lowood Institution, a charity school.

He comes to meet Jane and Mrs. Reed. Jane sees him as her interrogator.

Jane is distraught and overwhelmed when Mrs. Reed asks him to warn the teachers of her tendency to deceit.

Quote:

“Mr. Brocklehurst, I believe I intimated in the letter which I wrote to you three weeks ago, that this little girl has not quite the character and disposition I could wish: should you admit her into Lowood school, I should be glad if the superintendent and teachers were requested to keep a strict eye on her, and, above all, to guard against her worst fault, a tendency to deceit.  I mention this in your hearing, Jane, that you may not attempt to impose on Mr. Brocklehurst.”

Well might I dread, well might I dislike Mrs. Reed; for it was her nature to wound me cruelly; never was I happy in her presence; however carefully I obeyed, however strenuously I strove to please her, my efforts were still repulsed and repaid by such sentences as the above.  Now, uttered before a stranger, the accusation cut me to the heart; I dimly perceived that she was already obliterating hope from the new phase of existence which she destined me to enter; I felt, though I could not have expressed the feeling, that she was sowing aversion and unkindness along my future path; I saw myself transformed under Mr. Brocklehurst’s eye into an artful, noxious child, and what could I do to remedy the injury?

“Nothing, indeed,” thought I, as I struggled to repress a sob, and hastily wiped away some tears, the impotent evidences of my anguish.

“Deceit is, indeed, a sad fault in a child,” said Mr. Brocklehurst; “it is akin to falsehood, and all liars will have their portion in the lake burning with fire and brimstone; she shall, however, be watched, Mrs. Reed.  I will speak to Miss Temple and the teachers.”

“I should wish her to be brought up in a manner suiting her prospects,” continued my benefactress; “to be made useful, to be kept humble: as for the vacations, she will, with your permission, spend them always at Lowood.”

After initial discussions and questioning Jane, Mr. Brocklehurst agrees to accept her into the school.

Mrs. Reed announces that she will send her as soon as arrangements can be made.

Quote:

“I will send her, then, as soon as possible, Mr. Brocklehurst; for, I assure you, I feel anxious to be relieved of a responsibility that was becoming too irksome.”

Mr. Brocklehurst gives Jane a book about deceit and departs. Jane and Mrs. Reed are left in the room alone.

Quote:

"..and stinging in my mind; I had felt every word as acutely as I had heard it plainly, and a passion of resentment fomented now within me."

Mrs. Reed tells Jane to return to the Nursery. She begins to leave and then turns back and walks closer to Mrs. Reed and expresses her emotions of hate for her and her family. She also gives the book on deceit to Mrs. Reed to give to her daughter.

Quote:

"That eye of hers, that voice stirred every antipathy I had.  Shaking from head to foot, thrilled with ungovernable excitement, I continued—

“I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will never call you aunt again as long as I live.  I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick, and that you treated me with miserable cruelty.”

“How dare you affirm that, Jane Eyre?”

“How dare I, Mrs. Reed?  How dare I?  Because it is the truth.  You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity.  I shall remember how you thrust me back—roughly and violently thrust me back—into the red-room, and locked me up there, to my dying day; though I was in agony; though I cried out, while suffocating with distress, ‘Have mercy!  Have mercy, Aunt Reed!’  And that punishment you made me suffer because your wicked boy struck me—knocked me down for nothing.  I will tell anybody who asks me questions, this exact tale.  People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard-hearted.  You are deceitful!”

Quote:

"Ere I had finished this reply, my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of freedom, of triumph, I ever felt.  It seemed as if an invisible bond had burst, and that I had struggled out into unhoped-for liberty.  Not without cause was this sentiment: Mrs. Reed looked frightened; her work had slipped from her knee; she was lifting up her hands, rocking herself to and fro, and even twisting her face as if she would cry.

“Jane, you are under a mistake: what is the matter with you?  Why do you tremble so violently?  Would you like to drink some water?”

“No, Mrs. Reed.”

“Is there anything else you wish for, Jane?  I assure you, I desire to be your friend.”

“Not you.  You told Mr. Brocklehurst I had a bad character, a deceitful disposition; and I’ll let everybody at Lowood know what you are, and what you have done.”

“Jane, you don’t understand these things: children must be corrected for their faults.”

“Deceit is not my fault!” I cried out in a savage, high voice.

“But you are passionate, Jane, that you must allow: and now return to the nursery—there’s a dear—and lie down a little.”

“I am not your dear; I cannot lie down: send me to school soon, Mrs. Reed, for I hate to live here.”

 

Jane's Life at Lowood School:

Jane is sent off to travel by herself  to Lowood. At first she finds life at Lowood dismal; then she becomes friends with a special classmate, Helen Burns who inspires her continued stay at Lowood.

Helen is an angelic fellow-student and becomes Jane's best friend. Helen is several years older than Jane who is  ten-years-old.

Helen endures and accepts all the heartless attitudes of teachers and the insufficiency of the school's living capabilities. She refuses to hate or to complain and  believes in the New Testament teaching--that one should love one's enemies and turn the other cheek.

Jane holds Helen in the highest regard. Helen helps to shape Jane's mind-set and way of thinking towards hate and evil. Jane experiences heartbreak through Helen's life as she dies of consumption in Jane's arms.

When Jane first comes to Lowood, Mr. Brocklehurst, humiliates her on his inspection visit to the school. He places Jane on a tall stool in view of the entire assembly; then tells them, "...this girl, this child, the native of a Christian land, worse than many a little heathen who says its prayers to Brahma and kneels before Juggernaut—this girl is—a liar!"

Jane is incensed; however, later in the day, Miss Temple allows Jane to speak in her own defense. Miss Temple writes to Mr. Lloyd, the apothecary, to confirm what Jane has told her. His reply confirms Jane's account, and she is publicly cleared of Mr. Brocklehurst's accusation.

Jane experiences courage, heartbreak and matures into a professional young lady while attending Lowood, however leaves when Miss Temple marries and moves away.

Jane's Life at Thornfield Manor:

She is employed as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she encounters the mysterious Mr. Rochester.

At Thornfield Hall, Jane Eyre learns passionate love, tribulation and final triumph.

She encounters a ghostly woman who wanders the halls by night and the mystery of Thornfield Hall deepens.

The story characterizes Jane as plain-not beautiful, yet possesses a resolute spirit, a sharp wit and noble courage.

Mr. Rochester's unfathomable secrets are brought to the surface and Jane experiences unbearable and agonizing circumstances that set her on a horrendous forward journey.

Her immediate escape leads into an even deeper situation; and conditions where she finds herself faced with melancholy and searching sadness. She experiences joy and passion that takes her to a final strength of will and determination for her future.

audiobooksez.com jane eyre cd-rom by charlotte bronte
Fire at
Thornfield Manor

Jane Eyre with the Mysterious Gypsy
Jane with the Mysterious Gypsy

 

Comments -

Charlotte Bronte originally published Jane Eyre under the pseudonym Currer Bell in 1847.

Immediately Jane Eyre erupted onto the English literary scene winning the devotion of many of the world's most renowned writers, including William Makepeace Thackeray, who declared it a work "of great genius."

For the first time English readers had read about a heroine like Jane Eyre who was bold and a woman of strength, yet plain in appearance.

Readers were exposed to a different style in the portrayal of passion.

Jane Eyre completes her story via the character and the narrator where readers can feel and see the inside of everyone and everything through her own eyes and her emotions. This was a defining style of writing.

It is written in first person narrative -- auto-biographical technique, with great personal involvement by the heroine, Jane Eyre.

Indeed, Charlotte Brontë was the first subjective novelist, the literary ancestress of Proust and James Joyce.

In reading or listening, you find so many words that flow like refreshing rivers; and streams of paragraphs with intrigued mystery including unfathomable and intense emotion.

There is no doubt why this classic lives on and will for future generations. Surely, you cannot find another who can write like Charlotte Bronte.

The above brief summation do no justice to this great classic. Don't miss this wonderful story in audio.

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Jane Eyre

 
1 Preface and Note to 3rd Edition 05:57
2 Chapter 01 12:40
3 Chapter 02 17:59
4 Chapter 03 21:18
5 Chapter 04 32:20
6 Chapter 05 31:07
7 Chapter 06 19:55
8 Chapter 07 22:11
9 Chapter 08 22:22
10 Chapter 09 23:50
11 Chapter 10 29:50
12 Chapter 11 40:41
13 Chapter 12 28:25
14 Chapter 13 26:30
15 Chapter 14 32:40
16 Chapter 15 34:05
17 Chapter 16 21:01
18 Chapter 17 47:02
19 Chapter 18 35:02
20 Chapter 19 26:52
21 Chapter 20 39:29
22 Chapter 21 53:56
23 Chapter 22 25:13
24 Chapter 23 34:24
25 Chapter 24 40:25
26 Chapter 25 34:21
27 Chapter 26 31:28
28 Chapter 27 85:26
29 Chapter 28 50:29
30 Chapter 29 28:34
31 Chapter 30 24:04
32 Chapter 31 19:59
33 Chapter 32 28:47
34 Chapter 33 38:02
35 Chapter 34 58:22
36 Chapter 35 28:18
37 Chapter 36 24:13
38 Chapter 37 47:59
39 Chapter 38 11:23
 

 

 

 

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