Jane Eyre : characters

Shape Shape

Jane Eyre is a notable literary work by Charlotte Brontë. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Jane Eyre.


Learn about the characters of Charlotte Brontë’s novel “Jane Eyre” here.

Jane Eyre

The protagonist and narrator of the story, Jane, is an orphan who grows up in the unloving and abusive home of her aunt, Mrs. Reed, and her cousins. She is portrayed as a strong-willed, independent young woman with a strong sense of morality and self-worth. Jane faces numerous challenges throughout the novel but remains true to her codes. 

As Jane matures, she becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets and falls in love with her mysterious employer, Mr. Rochester. After discovering his dark past, Jane refuses to compromise her principles for the sake of love. She only marries Rochester after being financially independent and enjoys equal love. Jane’s character development is central to the story as she matures from a mistreated child into a self-assured and principled adult.

Mr. Rochester

Mr. Rochester is the mysterious and complex master of Thornfield Hall, where Jane becomes a governess. He is initially brooding and reserved, but as the story unfolds, his character is revealed to have a troubled past. He proposes to Jane to marry her. Jane doesn’t sacrifice her principles for the sake of love and only marries Rochester as an equal partner. Rochester becomes a significant figure in Jane’s life, and their relationship is central to the novel.

Bertha Mason

Bertha is Mr. Rochester’s first wife, whom he married when he was young and living in Jamaica. She is kept hidden away in Thornfield Hall’s attic due to her mental illness. Bertha’s presence in the story is a source of tension and mystery, and she serves as a symbol of Mr. Rochester’s past mistakes.

St. John Rivers

St. John is a clergyman whom Jane encounters later in the novel at Moor House. He is helping, reserved, and duty-bound. St. John proposes to Jane to marry and accompany him on his missionary work in India. Marrying St. John would mean sacrificing true love, as Jane truly loves Mr. Rochester. St. John represents a different path in Jane’s life, one that is based on duty rather than passion.

Helen Burns

Helen is Jane’s childhood friend at Lowood School. She symbolizes endurance and patience in the face of suffering and adversity. Helen’s character influences Jane’s moral and philosophical development. She teaches Jane the importance of forgiveness and fortitude. Helen dies of typhus consumption at Lowood School.

Mrs. Reed

Mrs. Reed is Jane’s cruel and unloving aunt who raises her after her parents’ death. She mistreats Jane and favors her own children, particularly her son John. Mrs. Reed’s injustice of Jane drives much of the early conflict in the novel. She locks Jane in the red room as a punishment.

Minor Characters

Adele Varens: Adele is Mr. Rochester’s ward, a young French girl Jane tutors at Thornfield Hall. She is lively and loving and forms a bond with Jane.

Bessie Lee: Bessie is a maid at Gateshead Hall, where Jane lives as a child. She shows kindness to Jane.

John Reed: Jane’s cousin and Mrs. Reed’s son.

Eliza Reed: Jane’s cousin and Mrs. Reed’s daughter.

Georgiana Reed: Jane’s cousin and Mrs. Reed’s daughter.

Mr. Brocklehurst: The hypocritical and corrupted headmaster at Lowood School.

Miss Maria Temple: A kind teacher at Lowood School.

Diana and Mary Rivers: St. John Rivers’ sisters. They become good friends with Jane.

Mr. Lloyd: A kind apothecary who cares for Jane at Lowood.

Grace Poole: A servant at Thorfield. She is responsible for overseeing Bertha Mason.

Mr. Richard Mason: Bertha Mason’s brother.

Blanche Ingram: A beautiful and wealthy woman Mr. Rochester initially brings to Thornfield.

Mr. Briggs: A lawyer involved in investigating Jane’s background.

Mrs. Fairfax: The housekeeper at Thornfield Hall.