Chapter summaries 1-15

Chapter 1 

The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë begins when Jane is ten, living at Gateshead Hall after being taken in by her aunt, Mrs Reed. Jane is reading in the window seat and has drawn the curtains around her for privacy. Mrs Reed’s fourteen-year-old son, John, discovers Jane’s hiding place with the help of his sister, Eliza. John, who usually bullies Jane, tells Jane that she is not allowed to read the books they own, insults her, and attacks her. He throws the book at her hard enough to make her fall and cut her head, and when Jane calls John wicked, he attacks her again, and she fights back. Mrs Reed arrives to break them up and punishes Jane by sending her to the red room. 

Chapter 2

Jane is taken to the red room by Bessie, the children’s nurse, and Miss Abbot, Mrs Reed’s maid. They tell Jane that she should be grateful to Mrs Reed for taking her in and that she should behave because otherwise she would be sent away. They lock her in and leave. 

Jane wonders why she must always suffer and is never liked by anyone at Gateshead. She thinks that if her uncle Reed was still alive, he would have treated her nicely. She remembers that Mr Reed died in the red room nine years before and gets scared thinking she sees his ghost. Her scream makes Mrs Reed punish her with another hour alone in the red room, as she believes Jane is playing a trick to escape her punishment. Locked in the red room again, Jane faints from fear. 

Chapter 3

Jane wakes up in the nursery. Bessie watches over her and tries to be nice to her to lift her spirits. In the following days, however, Jane continues to feel weak and depressed. Mr Lloyd, the apothecary, is called, and Jane tells him she is unhappy at Gateshead. Mr Lloyd asks if she w...

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