Two places in particular within Gateshead Hall play prominent roles in Jane’s life there. The window seat in which the reader first encounters Jane as she reads a book on the history of British birds is surrounded by thick red curtains and shelters her from both the cold, raw weather on the outside of the window and the cold, loveless environment of the Reed household on the other side of the curtain. Shortly after Jane leaves the womblike safety of the window seat, she is banished to the red room, her late uncle’s old bedroom, after being unjustly accused of fighting with her cousin John. It is from the unhappy atmosphere of Gateshead Hall that Jane acquires the strength of character to help her with the difficulties she must face in the future.
Lowton. Fictional town near which the Lowood Orphan Asylum is located, some fifty miles from Gateshead Hall. This school is believed to be based in part on the Cowan Bridge School that Charlotte Brontë and her sisters attended as girls.
Lowood Orphan Asylum. After the incident of the red room, Mrs. Reed contacts Mr. Brocklehurst, treasurer of the Lowood Orphan Asylum, to arrange for Jane to live at the school permanently. Jane’s first year at Lowood, especially, is difficult because Mr. Brocklehurst forces the teachers and students to survive on inadequate nourishment and in harsh living conditions. By the spring of her first year at Lowood, typhoid fever ravages the school, resulting in an investigation of Brocklehurst’s methods and leading to vastly improved conditions for the inhabitants of Lowood.
Jane spends the next eight years at Lowood–six years as a student and two years as a teacher. Though her remaining years at Lowood are less difficult than the first, Jane still yearns for more from life. During her years at Lowood, Jane learns from her close friend, Helen Burns, and the superintendent of Lowood, Miss Temple, what it means to live life as a true Christian.
Millcote. Fictional English village that is the location of Thornfield Hall, the home of Edward Fairfax Rochester. The village affords Jane the first glimpse of her new home after she leaves Lowood School and is also the scene of her near-marriage to Rochester.
Thornfield Hall. Home of Rochester, his ward Adela, and the housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax. It is there that Jane begins to enjoy life for the first time. However, as the house’s name implies, the house is also a field of thorns, in which Jane learns the joys and pain of true love as well. Thornfield is a large upper-class estate with many rooms and an equal number of secrets. One secret that is kept from Jane and visitors to the estate is that on the upper floor of the mansion, Rochester is hiding Bertha, his legal wife, who has gone mad. After Jane’s arrival, the house transforms from a place nearly abandoned by its master to the scene of family tranquillity, parties, and Jane and Rochester’s growing love for each other. Later, however, it becomes a place of pain and regret that Jane must leave in secret in order to escape the prospect of love without the sanctity of marriage.
Whitcross. Fictional crossroads on the moors of northern England to which Jane flees from Rochester and the memories of their lost love. Left with no food, money, or clothes, Jane must beg for scraps of food and spends several nights sleeping outside.
Moor House. Home of St. John, Diana, and Mary Rivers. Left with no other options, Jane finds herself outside Moor House, hoping to find food, lodging, and possible employment. The cottage is warm and inviting, and the Rivers family takes in an ailing Jane and nurses her back to health. Finding Jane to be well bred and educated, St. John immediately employs Jane to run a school for village girls. In her small home and school Jane finds the contentment of employment to be both fulfilling and enjoyable. However, Jane soon discovers that she is both an heiress to a considerable fortune and the cousin of the Rivers family. She is also faced with a marriage proposal from St. John. Realizing that she loves only Rochester, she leaves Moor House to go to him. Upon arriving in Millcote, Jane learns that Thornfield Hall has burned down, Rochester’s wife has died, and Rochester has moved to his other home, Ferndean Manor.
Ferndean Manor. One of Rochester’s homes, located two miles from Millcote. After Jane learns of the change in Rochester’s circumstances, she rushes to Ferndean Manor and finds that he is both blind and maimed as a result of the fire that destroyed Thornfield Hall and killed Bertha. Jane and Rochester decide on a quiet wedding with only the two of them present. It is at Ferndean Manor that Jane is rewarded for her years of suffering and longing for love and where the Rochesters finally begin a long and happy marriage.