About the Book

Book Protagonist: Jane Eyre
Publication Date: 1847
Genre: Coming of Age, Romance

Character List

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë’s main character in ‘Jane Eyre’ is depicted as smart and free-spoken, yet honest, sincere, and true to her purpose.

Jane, who’s the main act of the book, is not one to suffer in silence, as she is often portrayed as being vocal about the maltreatment given to her by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, even though this culminates into more punishment for her. Beyond Jane, Charlotte Brontë’s other characters in ‘Jane Eyre’ are equally as unique and true to their character, purpose, and role. 

Jane Eyre

Jane is the protagonist of Charlotte Brontë’s book and is introduced to readers as a simple and honest young girl who has to shrug off challenges coming from the people around her, first with family – her aunt Mrs. Reed and her children, and then with her employers and the people she works for. 

From age ten and staying with her aunt, Jane would receive the worse treatment and often fought with her cousins who – like their mother – were also mean to her because she’s a poor orphan who has no one to help or support her. Even though this experience turns Jane into a saucy girl, she knows who she wants to be is a decent, kind, and independent woman, and from the moment she leaves her aunt’s house at Gateshead to school at Lowood school and then works at Thornfield Hall, she never stops fighting for her true goals.

Mrs. Reed

She is Jane’s aunty who adopts Jane and has her stay with her and her children. Mrs. Reed is cruel and wicked towards Jane and shows no mercy and compassion towards her – even though Jane is only about ten years old while staying with her. Even though she is described as well to do, she doesn’t put Jane in school but turns her into a maid and is quick to chide her whenever a fight erupts between any of her children and Jane, it doesn’t matter if Jane is right on the case or not. 

Eliza Reed

Eliza is the daughter of Mrs. Reed and a sister to Georgiana. She is shown as being stubborn and green-eyed toward her sister. Although she claims to be a Christian, her character doesn’t show this very much. The high point of Eliza’s involvement is when, out of jealousy, she destroys her sister Georgiana’s wedding plan with Lord Edwin. In the end, she abandons her family and commits to the life of a nun.

John Reed

He is the spoiled brat of Mrs. Reed. John constantly gets Jane into trouble with his mother while Jane stays with them; however, later in life as an adult, John wastes his life as an alcoholic and gambler and becomes depressed, so much so that he kills himself. 

Georgiana Reed

She is the only one who shows a slight interest in Jane. She’s described as gracious in beauty but also a spoiled rich brat who is mean and disrespectful. In her later life, she marries an affluent man after Eliza spoiled her first union with Lord Edwin.


She is a servant of Mrs. Reed and the only one who treats Jane kindly and cares for her. She is there for Jane during one of Jane’s arguably toughest moments when she is confined to the red room. She makes sure that Jane has enough to eat, someone to talk to, and someone who stands in as a mother figure. 

Mr. Rochester

He is a wealthy man and the master at Thornfield Hall who crosses paths with Jane, first as her employer and later love interest. Mr. Rochester is described as influential and aggressive but also prone to being deceived based on outward appearances. He is married to the unstable Bertha but hides her in the attic of his mansion. He eventually falls for Jane because she is the only one that brings tranquility to his life. However, he gets turned down by her at first. 

Bertha Mason

She is the crazy wife of Mr. Rochester and the sister to Richard Mason. Bertha enchants Mr. Rochester with her good looks but a greater interest in her lies in his riches. Bertha’s family is also wealthy, although there exists a history of hereditary madness that runs in her family, which later begins manifesting fully in her a few years after her marriage to Mr. Rochester. In the end, she accidentally kills herself and a few others after setting fire to Thornfield. 

Celine Varens

She is one of Mr. Rochester’s love interests and the mother of Adéle – who is the reason Jane is employed to tend at the Thornfield mansion in the first place. Celine, like Bertha, is only attracted to Mr. Rochester for his money and not love. She eventually leaves him and runs off with a musician lover – abandoning her daughter Adéle for Mr. Rochester to take care of.

Adéle Varens

The daughter of Celine and adopted daughter of Mr. Rochester, whom Emily looks tutors and looks after at Thornfield Moor. At first, Adéle seemingly exhibits many negative traits of her estranged mother, but after Jane starts to tutor and work on her character and values, she appears to have become a better person and also gracious and likable. 

Blanche Ingram

She is another of Mr. Rochester’s mistresses who comes into the picture to disrupt Jane’s connection with him (Rochester). Like all the other women before her, Blanche has her eyes fixed on the money and not the man. Mr. Rochester knows this but plays along because she’s beautiful, and he wants to get Jane jealous.

Grace Poole

She is the somewhat strange housekeeper who looks after crazy Bertha. Grace’s habit of always falling asleep while on duty creates a loop for Bertha to escape and cause tremendous damage – such as property vandalism or setting up a fire – in the house. The last such event results in Bertha burning down the whole building, including herself. 

Helen Burn

Helen and Jane are friends at Lowood school much earlier in the novel, and she is portrayed as very Christian and with impeccable values. Helen dies prematurely but becomes a great influence on Jane from early on, helping her develop her Christian values, which would go a long way in helping her deal with people she would meet later in life. 

St. John Rivers

St. John is Jane’s cousin and brother to Diana and Mary. He and his sisters find and accept Jane into their home when Jane is destitute and helpless, and later tell Jane that they’re her cousins – because they share one uncle, John Eyre, who is late by now. Through St. John, Jane finds out about a 20,000 pounds inheritance of hers and decides to split it with her cousins. St. John wants Jane to marry and move with her to India for missionary reasons, but Jane loves someone else too much to accept him. 

Diana Rivers

She is St. John and Mary’s sister, strong-willed and self-reliant. She tries to support Jane in any way that she can and admires her (Jane) for turning down her brother’s proposal as she doesn’t think it is the right thing to do.

Mary Rivers

Like Diana, her sister, Mary, is independent and possesses a strength of character. She is kind and compassionate towards Jane and becomes a good influence on her as she and her sisters typify the kind of person Jane wants to become.

Mr. Brocklehurst

Mr. Brocklehurst runs the Lowood school that Jane and Helen attend earlier in the novel. He lacks care, is mean, and is a hypocrite – because he preaches about the importance of leading a humble, meek lifestyle but is quite wasteful, extravagant, and lavished himself. He is later fired from the school for a series of administrative failures and incompetencies. 

Miss Temple

She is the new administrator of the Lowood school, who takes over after Mr. Brocklehurst is dismissed. She is the exact opposite of him because she is kind, not a hypocrite, and does everything she can to help and assist her students with their most necessary needs. 

Richard Mason

He is the caring brother to Bertha Mason, who convinces Mr. Rochester to marry his sister- hiding from him the part that his sister is mentally sick. He loves and tries to do whatever is right for his family’s sustainability. Although he once becomes a victim of his sister’s violence, he moves in to stop her husband from marrying another woman.


John Eyre

John Eyre is the uncle that Jane never gets to meet, as he passed on before she ever gets the chance. He is revealed as having been quite wealthy and had left Jane a good piece of his fortune. When Jane was still a baby and had lost her parents, John inquired about her from Mrs. Reed, who lied to him that Jane was dead. 

Hannah Rivers

She is a slightly aged woman servant at St. John’s Moor House. Hannah doesn’t like Jane very much when she first meets her, and this is largely based on their differences in social class. But along the line, they reconcile and become acquainted. 

Mr. Lloyd 

This man becomes a sort of lifesaver for Jane back at the Gateshead, where Jane is treated horribly by her aunt, Mrs. Reed. He advises Jane’s aunt to let her go to the Lowood school, where she can’t possibly cause her headaches anymore. Mr. Lloyd does this to save Jane from her aunt’s cruelty. 

Mr. Briggs 

He is the lawyer that Richard Mason hires to review the legal terms of his sister’s marriage to Mr. Rochester, thereby preventing the latter from marrying a second wife. 


In Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre,’ what kind of character is Jane?

Jane starts out being mean and rebellious because of the treatments she gets under her aunt; however, through life, she finds herself drawn to the real person she wants to be; a kind, virtuous, and independent woman.

Why does Jane refuse the marriage proposal of Mr. Rochester?

When lawyer Mr. Briggs reveals that Mr. Rochester has a legal wife, she doesn’t want to get involved with him and leaves instead – rejecting his standing marriage proposal.

Is Jane a feminist in the book ‘Jane Eyre’?

Jane typifies the personality of what a modern woman wants; that is, she is strong, independent, and imagines herself equal – not inferior – to any man, or in a more specific way, to Mr. Rochester, her husband.

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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