Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead, where she is abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations; her time as the governess of Thornfield Manor, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester; her time with the Rivers family at Marsh's End (or Moor House) and Morton, where her cold clergyman-cousin St John Rivers proposes to her; and her reunion with and marriage to her beloved Rochester at his house of Ferndean. Partly autobiographical, the novel abounds with social criticism and sinister gothic elements.

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