FROM A TO Z: JANE EYRE

Word Cubes
Image: Michael Schwarzenberger

Are you too busy to read a book, but still want to discuss it at your next dinner party or to barely pass the essay portion of your upcoming English Literature midterm exam (BTW, we cannot be held accountable if you do not pass your exam because of this post)? Then, you have stumbled across the right blog because today we are giving the A to Z of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which is my personal all-time favorite novel.

A – Adèle Varens

The daughter of Mr. Rochester’s mistress, Céline. Jane is her governess at Thornfield Hall.

B – Bertha

The first wife of Mr. Rochester who is locked in the attic of Thornfield Hall. She later commits suicide after setting Thornfield Hall on fire.

C – Currer Bell

The pen name Charlotte Brontë used when Jane Eyre was originally published.

D – Diana and Mary Rivers

The sisters of St. John who turn out to be Jane’s cousins.

E – England

The setting for the novel and where Jane Eyre was first published.

F – Feminism

Jane Eyre is one of its patron saints and a lady not of the time. She is intelligent, self-reliant, and will be controlled by no man.

G – Governess

Jane’s occupation at Thornfield Hall as the caregiver and educator for Adèle.

H – Heroine

Two words – Jane Eyre

I – Independence

The spirit of Jane Eyre who wants to be able to support herself and choose her own destiny.

J – John Eyre

Jane’s paternal uncle who wanted to adopt her as a child. John left Jane his fortune after his death.

K – Kinship

Orphaned Jane has been searching for family her entire life. She finally finds it in both blood and spirit with Diana and Mary.

L – Lowood Institution

The boarding school for poor and orphaned girls where Mrs. Reed sends Jane.

M – Morality

Jane’s strong sense of morality keeps her from marrying Mr. Rochester and becoming his mistress when she learns he is already married to Bertha.

N – Ninety

The approximate number of times Jane Eyre has been adapted in film radio, TV, theater, and literature.

O – Orphan

At the age of 10, Jane’s parents die from typhus, so she goes to live with her maternal uncle, Mr. Reed, and his family.

P – Proposals

The literal plain Jane receives not one, but three marriage proposals.

Q – Quote “Reader, I married him”

Probably the most famous quote from the novel. It has even inspired a collection of short stories by Tracy Chevalier.

R – Rochester

As in Edward Rochester, the master of Thornfield Hall and guardian of Adèle, who falls madly in love with our heroine, Jane Eyre.

S – Sarah Reed

The wife to Mr. Reed who dislikes Jane and abuses her physically and emotionally. She also prevents the adoption of Jane by John Eyre out of spite towards Jane.

T – Thornfield Hall

Home of Edward Fairfax Rochester and the place where Jane works as governess.

U – Unpretty

The general characterization of Jane’s appearance. She is poor, obscure, plain, and little.

V – Victorian

The era in which the story takes place. It was the era where Queen Victoria ruled, and there was a long period of peace and prosperity in Britain.

W – Wide Sargasso Sea

A novel by Jean Rhys written as a prequel to Jane Eyre in the voice of Antoinette Cosway (Bertha).

X – X.X.

Victorian slang for double excellent, which is how I rate Jane Eyre.

Y – Yearning

The intense feelings between Edward Rochester and Jane Eyre.

Z – Zealot

St. John, the clergyman, who turns out to be Jane’s cousin. He values practicality and good work over human emotions like love and passion.

Your Turn

So…are you surprised that we found something for those random letter like Q, X, and Z? What are some of your ABC’s for Jane Eyre? What’s the next book you want to read From A to Z? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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