The orphaned Jane Eyre grows up with her cruel aunt and cousins, before she is sent away to a girls' boarding school, Lowood, which teaches poor and orphaned girls. Though her aunt tries to undermine Jane's experience at the school, Jane does well in school, and stays at Lowood as a teacher after she graduates.
After her confidante and former teacher, Miss Temple, gets married, Jane takes a job as a governess at Thornfield Hall, which the elderly housekeeper, Alice Fairfax, advertised. Her student is a young, French girl named Adele, whose connection with the household is not particularly clear.
The master of the house, Edward Rochester, takes an immediate liking to Jane, even though at their first meeting, Rochester had just fallen off his horse on an icy bit of road. Rochester seems to be falling in love with Jane, who is also falling for him, but there are also rumors that Rochester will soon get married to the lovely and talented, but hard-hearted Blanche Ingram. Beyond that, Thornfield Hall is becoming more and more eerie, as Jane hears disembodied voices, and one night Rochester almost dies when his bed catches fire under mysterious circumstances.
However, Rochester does ask Jane to marry him, but their modest wedding ceremony is interrupted when Mr. Briggs declares that Rochester already has an insane wife locked away on the third floor. Jane runs away, and coincidentally ends up on the doorstep of a group of siblings who turn out to be her cousins (from the other side of her family than the cruel aunt from her childhood). While living with the Rivers family, Jane learns she has inherited money from her uncle, which she shares with her cousins. One of her cousins wants Jane to marry him and be a missionary with him in India, but Jane does not want to, though she feels a sense of Christian duty to do so.
Then one night, she hears Rochester's disembodied voice calling her name, and takes it as a sign to return to Thornfield. When she arrives she finds that Rochester's wife has burned Thornfield to the ground, and Rochester has lost his hand and his sight. His wife died after jumping off the building. Jane marries him, and they have a child together.