Literary Qualities

Critics agree that Jane Eyre offers a fine example of the author-as-narrator; narrative credibility follows from an intimate knowledge of the speaker. The novel is also an excellent fusion of the pious moral tone of Victorian literature and the Gothic elements of earlier romanticism. Thornfield and its bizarre third-floor inhabitant combine with Jane’s telepathic messages from the beyond and with awesome happenings in nature to produce scintillating ghostly touches.

Bronte uses foreshadowing and symbolic character- or place-naming to leave hints for the reader about plot development. At Lowood, Miss Scatcherd is as hard and abrasive as her name, and Maria Temple acts as the sanctified refuge for Jane that her surname signifies. Overall, the plot is rich with memorable characters acting within a predictable range of psychological and social motivations. Their actions and dialogue are well documented, and the settings are described adequately enough to provide appropriate context.